community history gallery

Opening January 25

Untold Stories: The Forgotten Underclass in Rust Belt Urban Renewal

Untold Stories: The Forgotten Underclass in Rust Belt Urban Renewal is a multi-venue exhibition of Mahoning Valley native and Los Angeles-based new genre artist Jennifer Vanderpool. The exhibition will be on view at the Tyler History Center, from January 25 – April 7, 2019, and the Emily Davis Gallery, Myers School of Art, at The University of Akron from March 11 – April 19, 2019. The exhibition and related programming is funded in part by both institutions and an ArtSTART grant from The Ohio Arts Council.

Untold Stories’ narrative objectifies outmoded imagery of blighted ‘Rust Belt’ cities and employs them as allegories to evoke questions about neighborhood decay and gentrification, segregation and integrated cities, generations of unemployment and economic redevelopment. The exhibition at The Tyler History Center functions as a case study of Youngstown, while at the Emily Davis Gallery it emphasizes Akron. Together the venues work hand in hand to query the social, political, economic, and racial crises faced by these legacy cities located 50 miles apart in Northeast Ohio. Both exhibitions will include Vanderpool’s imaginary realism prints and multiple videos of filmed first-person accounts with community members reflecting on the past, present, and future of their city in addition to curated archival materials she selected from The Mahoning Valley Historical Society at the Tyler History Center and the University of Akron Archives at the Emily Davis Gallery.

A native of the Mahoning Valley in Northeast Ohio, Jennifer Vanderpool, Ph.D., is a Los Angeles-based new genre artist who works across mediums to reveal relationships between physical landscapes and the unseen forces that shape them, knitting together narratives about forgotten institutions, people, and communities. Some recent exhibitions include Super Natural, at the National Centre for Contemporary Art in Moscow and at Nepravilnyi Prikus, Simferopol; Flores Para El Trueque with Mercadito & Mentidero, Bogotá, Colombia, and with No Lugar – Arte Contemporáneo and La Huerta y La Maquina, Quito, Ecuador; Garment Girl at Heritage Space, Hanoi, Vietnam; and at Edward Cella Art+Architecture, Los Angeles.

Vanderpool has spoken about her practice at California College of the Arts, UCLA, Otis College of Art and Design, Universiteit van Amsterdam, OVERGADEN: Institute for Contemporary Art, Copenhagen, and Universidad de Los Andes, Bogotá. Her work has been awarded funding from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Kunstrådet: Danish Arts Council, Kulturrådet: Swedish Arts Council, and Malmö Stad. Vanderpool and the UCSB Isla Vista Liaison were awarded the National Endowment for the Arts Challenge America grant for her community arts work in Isla Vista, California.

The Tyler History Center, 325 West Federal Street in Downtown Youngstown, is open to the public Tuesday through Sunday from Noon to 4:00 p.m. Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors (60+) and college students, and $5 for children. Admission includes a same day visit to The Arms Family Museum (reopening, Friday February 1st).

The Youngstown Foundation Community History Gallery, located on the first floor behind the main exhibit space and grand staircase. Utilizing the theme “Inspiration through Heritage,” the displays in the Community History Gallery are developed through collaborative efforts with local historical societies as well as with educational, civic, cultural, and religious organizations in the Valley.

Janice E. Strasfeld, executive director of The Youngstown Foundation, states, “The Tyler History Center is going to be such an asset for everyone in the Mahoning Valley — from preserving unique segments of local history to providing interactive educational programs for all ages. By sponsoring the Community History Gallery, The Youngstown Foundation is helping to strengthen regional partnerships which not only highlight unique connections between the Valley’s past and present but also build pride and awareness for current and future generations.”

How it Works

Non-profit cultural organizations, schools, and neighborhood associations are invited to participate in our Community History Gallery program on a first come-first served basis. If selected, you will meet with the History Center staff to discuss how to effectively tell your story and what artifacts or other materials you might want to display.

Once you have decided on a theme and selected items to include in the Community History Gallery you will install your exhibit with guidance from our trained staff.