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Exhibition at the Luminary explores how white women uphold white supremacy

Photos in exhibition at the Luminary.
The Luminary
Works pictured from left to right: "A belief rather than a memory," "True match," "Multinational lifestyle retail corporation," "Better Homes & Gardens."

Abstractions of whiteness are in focus at the Luminary in “Kelly Kristin Jones: nwl.”

Through photography prints and sculpture, the exhibition examines how “nwl,” or “nice white ladies,” sustain white supremacy in their daily lives — whether they realize it or not.

Chicago-based artist Kelly Kristin Jones joined St. Louis on the Air to discuss the focal points of her exhibition.

“I consider what I'm doing to be a feminist revisionist action,” Jones said. “I think we often like to make white supremacy this testosterone-fueled expression, but it's just as likely to wear heels.”

Black and white photo of the artist, Kelly Kristin Jones.
Kelly Kristin Jones
“I wholly recognize that I have my own very privileged and particular kind of viewpoint," Jones said about her upcoming talk at the Luminary. "I just hope this [conversation] is a jumping-off point for more in other ways.”

The curation was a collaborative effort between Stephanie Koch, the Luminary’s interim executive director, and Simon Wu of the Racial Imaginary Institute. For many years, Koch and Wu contemplated ways to address white supremacy in an artistic setting, Jones said. They later asked Jones to help flesh out their ideas through her art.

Jones and Koch are hosting a conversation about the exhibition on its closing day as a way to encourage further community discussion. To Jones, rejecting white supremacy requires honest introspection and reassessment of our culture in spaces “both public and private.”

Related Event
What: In conversation: Kelly Kristin Jones and Stephanie Koch
When: 1-3 p.m. Dec. 10
Where: The Luminary
2701 Cherokee St., St. Louis, MO 63118
Register here

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is produced by Miya Norfleet, Emily Woodbury, Danny Wicentowski, Elaine Cha and Alex Heuer. Avery Rogers is our production assistant. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr. Send questions and comments about this story to talk@stlpr.org

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Avery is the Production Assistant for "St. Louis On The Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.