“Say Their Name” art exhibit


Caleb Kahila

Wall of framed pictures in the Say Their Names exhibit

Caleb Kahila, Assistant Arts and Rec Editor

If there is one thing that will never fail to impress me, it is the impressive and insightful exhibits that will often be shown at Roberta’s Art Gallery in the University Center. While a small gallery in size, many of its exhibits can often give off a large impact on those who view them.

The Say Their Names exhibit is definitely one of these.

Framed picture of Larry Jenkins (Caleb Kahila)

Organized by the Black Student Union on the University of Whitewater campus, the Say Their Names exhibit focuses on the issues revolving around the Black Lives Matter Movement and the issue of policing in the country. The exhibit features a long line of photos placed on the exhibit wall, with roses situated between each framed picture. The pictures in question are of people who have been victims of police brutality, with each having a name and the story behind their story of police brutality being placed at the bottom of each picture. 

The people who are shown in the exhibit have become very familiar to the American public when it comes to the issue of police brutality, such as Tamir Rice and George Floyd. But the exhibit also features individuals whose stories never gained large notoriety or at least I never personally heard of until going to the exhibit. Some of the more unknown names that caught my attention were ones like Larry Jenkins who was killed by Police in 2002 after trying to run from an officer who shot Jenkins seven times after he attempted to enter a friend’s car. Tony Robinson is also a notable name in the exhibit, Robinson was killed in 2015 after witnesses called the police saying that Robinson was on multiple drugs and a danger to himself, but was shot in the head by an officer after shortly arriving on the scene. 

Framed Picture of Tony Robinson (Caleb Kahila)

The exhibit is available to the public in the UC center until May 7, and while this exhibit focuses on a very sensitive issue facing the country and may be considered controversial to some, I would nevertheless recommend going to see it. Whether you agree with the exhibit’s message or not, it is vital that we receive all perspectives of such a large and important issue facing this country. It is important that we hear each other out at the very least so that we do not isolate ourselves to just one perspective and one opinion, but that we open ourselves up to all arguments being made. And the argument being made by the Say Their Names exhibit is a very important one that should be seen and heard.

More information regarding the Say Their Names exhibit can be found here