'We All Live Downwind' Exhibition in Schumacher Gallery Through March 1

"We All Live Downwind," a show by artist, photojournalist, and activist Shanna Merola, will be on display in the Schumacher Gallery through March 1.

"Uranium" (inkjet print) by Shanna Merola

Exhibition by Artist and Activist Shanna Merola in Schumacher Gallery Through March 1

"We All Live Downwind," an exhibition of work by Shanna Merola, a visual artist, photojournalist, and activist legal worker, will be on display in Westover's Schumacher Gallery through March 1.

The Schumacher Gallery is located in the Louise B. Dillingham Performing Arts Center on South Street. Visitors must access the gallery through the main entrance of the School. The gallery is open Mondays through Fridays from 12 noon until 5 pm and Saturdays from 1 to 5 pm; it is closed on Sundays.

Merola will discuss her work in an all-school Visiting Artist Assembly on Tuesday, January 30, from 9:51 to 10:37 am. Although not open to the public, her presentation will be broadcast on Westover's Livestream channel at

In her artist's statement, Merola said, "The images in 'We All Live Downwind' are culled from daily headlines — inspired by both global and grassroots struggles against the forces of privatization in the face of disaster capitalism." Merola cited the writer Naomi Klein's observations that societies experience natural and economic disasters or acts of war and terror that put "the entire population into a state of collective shock. The scenes in 'We All Live Downwind' have been carved out of dystopian landscapes in the aftermath of that shock."

In addition to her studio practice, Merola describes herself as "a human rights observer during political uprisings across the country – from the deeply embattled struggle for water rights in Detroit and Flint, Michigan, to the frontlines of Ferguson, Missouri, and Standing Rock, North Dakota." She said her collages and constructed landscapes "are informed by these events."

A resident of Detroit, Michigan, Merola also facilitates Know-Your-Rights workshops on best practices during police encounters and coordinates legal support for grassroots organizations through the Michigan Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild.

Merola has been a lecturer and visiting artist at the Rhode Island School of Design, the University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities, Cranbrook Academy of Art, the University of Richmond Department of Art and Art History, and the School of Visual and Performing Arts at the University of Toledo. Her work has been published by the Humble Arts Foundation, Art 21 Magazine, Wayne State University Press, and Nat.Brut. Her artwork has been exhibited both nationally and abroad. She has been awarded studio residencies at The MacDowell Colony and the Santa Fe Art Institute, and fellowships through the Virginia Museum of Fine Art and the Midwest Environmental Justice Network.

Merola holds an M.F.A. in Photography from Cranbrook Academy of Art and a B.F.A. in Photo and Film from Virginia Commonwealth University.