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Margaret Rozga review of the Justseeds show “Uprisings: Images of Labor”

April 1, 2013


Margaret Rozga – one of Milwaukee’s great activists for the past five decades – wrote the following review of the recent Justseeds show in Milwaukee. She writes:

“Uprisings: Images of Labor” is an exhibit not to be missed, and you have one week to catch this exhibit at the UW Milwaukee Union Art Gallery. The work of the Justseeds Artists Cooperative, this show presents stunning visual art. It will renew your spirit.
Walk into the gallery and find yourself surrounded by an array of powerful images on the walls and hanging across the room. Some of those that immediately impressed me include an image of Wisconsin as Union Made and one that shows the false promise of ecologically destructive jobs by depicting a tree stump in a forlorn setting.

Deeper into the room, I could not take my eyes off of this one: a woman in labor, the effort of her push visible in her face, in her body. She lies on the ground, her head at the foot of a tree. The earth flowers around her.
And Paul Kjelland’s work: the people of the Bad River stand shoulder to shoulder, their backs to the camera. They face an earth moving machine more than twice the size of the tallest of them. Their shoulders, arms, bodies have the ease of people on their way to a picnic. The machine, its headlights, grill, and windshield seem to give it a monster’s rigid face. It looks as if it would advance, but the people hold their ground, and with the artist we have their backs.

Go. Gather your own impressions of Justseeds. Then go plant these seeds of justice.

Margaret Rozga
author of Though I Haven’t Been to Baghdad and 200 Nights and One Day


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