Exhibit ‘smallasaGIANT,’ focusing on juvenile incarceration, coming to CSUSB Anthropology Museum
Office of Strategic Communication
“smallasaGIANT,” a traveling art exhibition that focuses on issues related to juvenile incarceration, will make a stop for about two months at Cal State San Bernardino’s Anthropology Museum, marking its debut.
The museum, housed on the third floor of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, will display “smallasaGIANT” from April 15-June 15. CSUSB is the first of eight venues the exhibit’s creator, Ise Lyfe, will bring his work to, and the only university campus on the tour itinerary.
An opening reception is set for April 18.
“This is a statewide project, and as myself and team were looking for opportunities to lift up areas that are gems in the state, San Bernardino was high on the list,” Lyfe said. “Wherever you land on a social or political spectrum, juvenile justice and mass incarceration impact you in some way or another.
“I believe it is a human rights issue – and when I reflect on the strong labor, family, and education culture of this area, day to day humanity is obvious and apparent,” he said. “I’m proud that we are premiering here!”
The exhibit is a multi-media display of photos and other media that explore the lives and journeys of people who were sentenced to prison as adults before they turned 18.
As the exhibit’s website explains, “smallasaGIANT fuses a photography effort and exhibition with community forums held across California to expose the inhumanity and ineffectiveness of juvenile incarceration – particularly for long-term sentences. The project will pragmatically reveal in a provocative way the cruelty and ineffectiveness of juvenile incarceration, to galvanize people in a non-abstract, pointed way to participate in local and state efforts to reform the juvenile justice system. The aim of the project is to photograph young people who have been sentenced to more than 20 years in prison when they were under the age of 18 – now serving those sentences. …
“The core purpose of the entire project is to create a tangible tool and glaring statement through conceptual art that can be used to influence and empower voters, communities, politicians, and stakeholders to change the attitude, policies, and laws that fuel one of America’s most tragic and grotesque appendages: Locking children in prison for their entire lives.”
As part of the exhibit, Lyfe and the Anthropology Museum have put out a call to the university and the off-campus community to develop programs that would tie in with the exhibit, which aims to raise awareness of the issues related to incarcerating juveniles.
Some programs already planned include:
- “The House I Live In,” Screening and Discussion, April 4, 2 p.m., John M. Pfau Library, PL-5005;
- “Jane Elliot on Race and Racism,” April 18, noon, Santos Manuel Student Union Events Center; and
- “Inside/Out: Reflections from a Formerly Incarcerated Prison Educator,” May 16, 4 p.m., in the John M. Pfau Library, room PL-5005.
Additional information about these and other related events can be found online.
The exhibition is also available to serve as a venue for hosting events to support community organizations, and will arrange extended hours to accommodate group tours and meet-ups.
For more information and to reserve the exhibition for your event, contact Arianna Huhn, director of the Anthropology Museum, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (909) 537-5505.
About Ise Lyfe
The exhibit’s creator, Ise Lyfe, is an award-winning conceptual artist, justice advocate, author, spoken word artist and actor from Oakland, Calif.
Among his larger conceptual art projects was “Brighter That Blight,” a 2013 effort in which he transformed a blighted, condemned housing project in Oakland into a life-sized exhibition and artistic narrative on housing as a human right. News media took interest in the work – watch two reports at “Ise Lyfe on Channel 2 KTVU talks about Oakland's Brighter than Blight,” and “Artist creates exhibit in the midst of Public Housing Demolition.”
He has also served as a commissioner of Cultural Affairs for the city of Oakland, and in 2016, Lyfe helped launch the city’s Department of Race and Equity. In 2012, Lyfe’s hometown declared his birthday, Dec. 28, as “Ise Lyfe Day.”
Visit his website for more information.
About the Anthropology Museum
The CSUSB Anthropology Museum was founded in 2000. Located within the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences building at Cal State San Bernardino, the breathtaking gallery space provides expansive views of the surrounding San Bernardino and San Gabriel mountains.
The mission of the Anthropology Museum is to serve as a teaching laboratory for Museum Studies Certificate students, who gain hands-on experience in collections management, exhibition planning, curation and museum administration. The museum additionally provides space for the presentation of exhibitions that illustrate and interrogate the cultural contexts and meanings of community histories, events, identities and behaviors — locally, across the world and over time — and other anthropological perspectives on topics of interest.
The museum is open 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday-Friday. Guided tours and weekend visits can be arranged with advanced notice by contacting the museum director at (909) 537-5505. Admission is free; parking at CSUSB is $6.
Visit the Anthropology Museum website for more information.