» Catalyst Series
Hands Up Don’t Shoot - HER
A collaborative presentation by Intermedia Arts, Obsidian Arts, and United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities
Hands Up Don’t Shoot - HER
Curated by Roderic Southall

Where are the protests and riots when the lives of black women are ended at the hands of police?

Hands Up Don’t Shoot – HER
, a new visual art exhibition, raises long-standing and uncomfortable questions about the value of the lives of black women (as well as what makes a woman) in a time and place where whole communities seem to be at war with their local police systems.

Recent deaths of black women, killed by or after encounters with the police, have not garnered nearly the level of attention or outrage of similar incidents involving male victims. Curated by Roderic Southall, Hands Up Don’t Shoot – HER features work by local and national artists centered around the role and value of black women in our present volatile and violent time. Southall, who has curated shows with Obsidian Arts, brings a perspective that is rooted in a love for his native Minneapolis.

Hands Up Don’t Shoot – HER is a partnership among Intermedia Arts, Obsidian Arts, and United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities seeking to geographically and intellectually connect one another’s communities, audiences, and students.

Faith [In]Action?, a sister exhibition at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, examines the role and response of the faith community to the significant number of black lives ended by policing systems. Co-curated by Roderic Southall and Sheryl Schwyhart, these works seek to reveal the measure of Faith in Action (or conversely, Faith Inaction) and to create a broader conversation using art as the touchstone.

Hands Up Don't Shoot - HER features artwork by B Ra-El Ali, Brandy Bond, Pamela Cook, Rosetta DeBerardinis, Marcia haffmans, Fatima Laster, Adel Maxwell, Katherine Parent, Daniel Rothman, Kathryn Scott, Elka Stevens, Tabala Thomas, Eca Eps, Francesca Gagliano, and David Obermeyer.

Both exhibitions are curated through a jury selection process. The selection panelists are Hawona Sullivan Janzen, Leola Johnson, and Jann Cather-Weaver.


January 28 | Thursday | 6-8PM; Program at 7PM | Free
At United Theological Seminary
, 3000 Fifth Street NW | New Brighton
Opening Reception with performances, panel discussion and refreshments. Join United Theological Seminary Alum and Black Lives Matter Mpls organizer Lena Gardner, Hands Up Don't Shoot- HER curator Roderic Southhall, Director of the Center for Arts, Faith & Culture Cindi Beth Johnson, Artist Activist Brittany Lynch, Huffington Post blogger, ordained minister, and Director of Communications at the Center for Progressive Renewal Ashley Harness and others for dialogue, food, and art inspired by the current exhibition Faith in Action. Registration is requested.

February 15 | Monday | 5-7PM | Free

Starting at Intermedia Arts, 2822 Lyndale Ave South | Minneapolis

Join us as we partner with the Million Artist Movement who will lead this evening channeling the historically relevant Freedom Rides with chants, poetry, and history. We will meet at Intermedia Arts at 5PM to tour the visual art exhibition Hands Up Don’t Shoot - HER before boarding the bus to view the sister exhibition Faith (In)Action? at United Theological Seminary. Expect a lively discussion around the artwork, Black Lives Matter, Faith, and Social Change. Specially-prepared appetizers created by United Theological Seminary's resident Chef will be served. The bus departs from Intermedia Arts promptly at 5:20PM. Feel free to caravan or meet the group at Untited Theological Seminary (3000 Fifth Street NW | New Brighton). Seating on the bus is limited. Click here to reserve your spot!


March 4 | Friday | 5-6:30PM | Free
At Intermedia Arts, 2822 Lyndale Ave South | Minneapolis

A dialogue led by members of Intermedia Arts' Youth Leadership Council around the themes of race, gender, equity, and social justice, as they relate to the visual art exhibition Hands Up Don't Shoot - HER and the Guerrilla Girls' approach to activism.This event is in partnership with the Guerrilla Girls Twin Cities Takeover.

GALLERY WORKSHOP 'HANDS ON: Justice Words, Justice Actions'
March 21 | Monday | 6-7:30PM | Free
At Intermedia Arts, 2822 Lyndale Ave South | Minneapolis

It is often said that actions speak louder than words but what happens when our actions and words find a place of common expression?  In this workshop, led by Pamela Cook, participants will be invited to draw from the prophetic statements of leaders in racial justice movements from across disciplines. Selected statements will then be applied to jackets in a creative process that is both accessible and significant. During the process we will talk about the importance of words and the ways in which the words of one generation can inform and equip another generations. You will leave with a jacket of your own that can be worn every day or for events in which you want to align your actions for justice with your words.
No artistic experience necessary. Participants are asked to go to Ragstock, Good Will or some other location (bring something from home) to purchase a jacket that they will want to keep or give away.  All other supplies will be provided.
Click to reserve your spot!

April 17 | Sunday | 5-7PM | Free
At Intermedia Arts, 2822 Lyndale Ave South | Minneapolis

Join artists, curators, and more at this closing reception for Hands Up Don't Shoot - HER and Faith [In]Action.The evening will feature a performance selection from the acclaimed We Must Breathe reading and performance series.


Roderic Hernub Southall is a curator. His areas of interest include African/ American culture, economic anthropology, and community identity politics. Past exhibitions curated or conceived of by Southall include: Fiction Friction (Soap Factory), HangTime: Perspectives on Saggin’ (Obsidian Arts), Freedom Fighters: American Icon Re-imagined (Obsidian Arts, ArtMiami:South Beach) and  Afrofuturism (Soap Factory, Spaces Gallery). Southall lives and works in Minneapolis-Saint Paul.


Pamela Cook is a womanist scholar-activist and artistheologian, currently completing her Master’s of Divinity at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities.  She serves as Youth Minister at Springhouse Ministry Center in Minneapolis. Her current activism includes serving on the clergy team and as an artist supporting Black Lives Matter Minneapolis, as well as, a facilitator for AntiRacism Dialogue Circles (ASDIC). Pamela received a B.A. magna cum laude in political science from Spelman College and a J.D. from Emory University School of Law.

Obsidian Arts
strives to create art programming options that reduce the barriers and increase the payoff for the time spent. Our programs are locally crafted, fun, and explore new cultural terrain. From our acclaimed art history workshops to our thought provoking exhibitions to our dynamic group art experiences we welcome all people. No art background necessary . . . no passionate love for art necessary.  Just an interest in spending your time focused on the subject at hand. 

United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities is a progressive graduate school welcoming diverse faiths, life stages and perspectives. Theological degree programs focus on social justice, interfaith dialogue and the arts in religion. Learn more at unitedseminary.edu.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund, and a grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation Minnesota.

A Part of Intermedia Arts' Catalyst Series