Borough of Manhattan Community College students in Soniya Munshi’s Asian American History class installing their artwork “What a test never taught me…” for the Pressing Public Issues exhibition in the James Gallery at the Graduate Center, CUNY.

About the Exhibition:

Pressing Public Issues

May 17 – June 15, 2019

Gallery hours: Wednesday 2pm – 4pm, Thursday 2pm – 7pm, Friday 2pm – 4pm 

Exhibition Reception and Program on May 30th from 12-2pm, and on June 3, 2019, at 6:30pm in the James Gallery at the Graduate Center, CUNY.

Spearheaded by a partnership between the James Gallery, the Teaching and Learning and Center, and the CUNY Humanities Alliance, Pressing Public Issues brings together a cohort of six teaching artists and six faculty teaching courses in various disciplines at CUNY community colleges in Spring 2019. Through a series of meetings during the summer and fall of 2018, this cohort has explored, shared and developed creative teaching practices and pedagogies to inform and shape their Spring 2019 courses, and forged a collective dynamic to support each other and to find potential forms of cross-campus collaboration. Each of the six projects, led by a pairing of a community college faculty and a teaching artist, who were approached and are funded by the partnering organizations, encourages students to experiment through creative modes of research, expression, knowledge-production and public scholarship.   

In each project, faculty and students are selecting a pressing contemporary issue―or a set of issues―relevant to both the students’ lives and interests and to the aims and focus of the course. Students are then exploring these particular issues through a variety of forms of artistic expression―poetry, photography, printmaking, zines, digital storytelling, performance art and other modes. Over the course of the semester the students, both individually and collectively, are creating artistic projects that they will then publicly display or perform in unexpected and underused spaces on their community college campuses and in the James Gallery in May and June 2019. These exhibitions will serve as public-expressive forums to spark challenging and productive conversations about pressing and contentious issues with the publics of the students’ community college campuses, their local communities, the broader CUNY community, and across New York City.