the kids are all right: an exhibition about family and photography

  • Jun 1, 2013 – Aug 18, 2013
  • The Bob & Lissa Shelley McDowell Gallery
Lisa Lindvay, "Dinner", 2009, Archival Inkjet Print, 32 x 40 in. Courtesy
of the artist.

Did you know?

Since the 1980s, the structure of the classic American family has rapidly changed and the marriage rate has declined each year. Even so, according to a 2010 Pew study, three-quarters of all U.S. adults (76%) still say their family is the most important element of their life. 

the kids are all right brings the bedrock theme of family into the twenty-first century—an age when love defines the family unit more than tradition, convention, the law, or even blood. This exhibition will feature photography and time-based media created in the last ten years by 38 established and emerging artists who sensitively reveal, with radical openness, the current notion of family.  It includes a number of works that investigate challenging issues and the intimate nature of family life.

The exhibition demonstrates today’s reality: Family is a complicated entanglement of people. Uninhibited by the failed promise of a conventional family, the artists reject irony and judgment to show us families—natural or found—in whatever forms they take.  The artists take no critical position but, rather, affirm with poignancy and humor the ever-shifiting notion of the contemporary family. 

Just as families have changed, so too has photography. Now that almost everyone carries a digital camera in the form of a cell phone, human behavior is being extensively documented.  Further, they are immediately disseminated with little or no editing via email, Facebook, and YouTube. The medium and the manner in which photography is now understood substantially contribute to the frankness and honesty of the images included in the kids are all right.

Artists: Janine Antoni, Matt Austin, Guy Ben-Ner, Melonie Bennett, Nina Berman, David Bush, Patty Chang, Goseong Choi,Yolanda Del Amo, Todd Deutsch, Jenny Drumgoole, Rafael Perez Evans, Martha Fleming-Ives, Lucas Foglia, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Tiereny Gearon, Aron Gent, Steve Giovinco, David Hilliard, Justin Kirchoff, Justine Kurland, Deana Lawson, Jocelyn Lee, Carrie Levy, Lisa Lindvay, Julie Mack, Ryan McGinley, Andrea Modica, Sanitago Mostyn, Catherine Opie, Josh Quigley, Robert Rainey, Justine Reyes, Kathleen Robbins, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Betsy Schneider, Angela Strassheim, Chris Verene, and Rona Yefman.

The exhibition is curated by Alison Ferris. The kids are all right is organized by the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, Wisconsin and made possible through grants from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Ruth St. John and John Dunham West Foundation, a foundation that prefers anonymity, BMO Harris Bank, and the Frederic C. Kohler Charitable Trust. This project is also funded by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board, with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts. Contributions from the John Michael Kohler Arts Center’s loyal corporate, foundation, and individual donors have also been vital.

This exhibition is funded in part by The Bob and Lissa Shelley McDowell Fund.

Related programs

Reception & Curator Lecture: Alison Ferris • Thu July 25 @ 5pm 

Noon @ the 'Spoon • Tue Jul 9 @ 12pm

Family Ties Film Series • Thu Jul 11 @ 7pm

Family Ties Film Series • Thu Jul 18 @ 7pm

Family Ties Film Series • Thu Jul 25 @ 7pm


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