Urban Frontier Bench (The Limited Youth Edition)


Tyler Denmead


Champaign, Illinois, USA

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Art > Direct from the Artist > Other Art from the Artist

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Q & A

is this for homies or not?

homies … bromies … as long as they are the highest bidder.

Artist Bio:

Tyler Denmead is an Assistant Professor at the School of Art and Design, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Denmead has spent his career facilitating and researching highly collaborative nationally recognized community-based arts programs for youth, and his current research examines youth and the political economy of creative cities. He is the founder of New Urban Arts, a youth arts collective for high school students and artists based in Providence, Rhode Island. His publications can be read in Visual Arts Research, Art Education, Journal of Arts and Communities, International Journal of Education through Art, and the International Journal of Education and the Arts.


Ghidini & Modrak

Artist Statement:

This artwork makes a critical comment on how arts and humanities programs for young people of color from low income and working class backgrounds living in cities (i.e. “Youth”) are implicated in the political economy of post-industrial cities. These cities are now often imagined as sites of social inclusion and economic opportunity whereby all residents will participate in a new urban landscape kickstarted by arts, culture, and creativity. These programs are central to this urban imaginary. While these programs do undoubtedly provide powerful creative learning opportunities, they also engage young people in revitalizing these cities at their expense. Their cultural labor provides images of sanitized diversity and artsiness that more affluent residents that are gentrifying neighborhoods desire. Furthermore, their labor provides both an illusion of consent and unjustified opportunity amidst this gentrification. This artwork uses the auction itself to highlight these concerns by foregrounding the obscured means of youth production and consumption that I consider key to mobilizing post-industrial redevelopment.