On View Image
Just Yesterday
May 17, 2021 - October 1, 2021

This summer, Weisman Art Museum presents a new public art installation, Just Yesterday. The 60-foot wraparound mural will be on prominent display along the exterior façade of the museum at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus. The installation will be on view from May 17 through October 1, 2021. In addition to the installation, a screen-printed edition of each poster will be considered for the Weisman’s permanent collection.

Just Yesterday was conceived by interning art director Mike Gaines and first-year copywriter Maggie Williams, as part of an initiative by Minneapolis advertising agency Solve, during the protests that swept the world in 2020. The series uses iconic pop culture references to put systemic injustices from our recent past into context — injustices that continue to oppress communities of color to this day.

As Gaines says of the series, “The posters are meant to evoke the feeling of nostalgia, like a BuzzFeed quiz or the print version of clickbait. The images and color draw you in, which is how the real message catches you unaware—a gut punch you aren’t expecting.” Williams adds, “I think for a lot of white Americans there’s a disconnect between the civil rights movement of the 1960s and the present-day racial justice movement.” She goes on: “In some ways, since the Civil Rights Act, Voting Rights Act, and Fair Housing Act were passed, it’s gotten harder for our society to address racism head-on because white people feel like those pieces of legislation put it to rest, that our society is somehow ‘post-racial’. With this series, we used pop culture touchstones to show people just how recent all of this institutional progress is. And it isn’t over yet. How can it be? This all happened just yesterday.”

WAM's website and social platforms (including Instagram, Facebook and TikTok) will amplify Just Yesterday’s important message, as well as offering additional content developed by commissioned writers, students, faculty, artists, and community members. Content will include artist responses to the series, and other educational resources to support continued dialogue. Visitors are invited to share their own #JustYesterday stories via the project website.

To see the Just Yesterday outdoor art installation, visit the Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus. To learn more about the project, the backstory behind each of the posters, and and to find more about the series' creators, see JustYesterday.org. Note: the interior spaces of the Weisman Art Museum building will be closed to the public for maintenance until fall 2021.

Pre-order Just Yesterday posters

A limited run of individual Just Yesterday posters will be sold exclusively in the WAM Shop. Prints are 10" x 6.5" and printed on high quality archival paper ($24.00 each). Proceeds go to supporting programs at the Weisman Art Museum. Pre-orders of these limited edition posters are now available through the WAM Shop: https://z.umn.edu/JustYesterdayPreOrder

Read more about the project

"A New Take on 'Visualizing Black America'" - an introduction to the project by WAM Director of Programs and Student Engagement, Katie Covey Spanier.

"Q & A: Mike Gaines and Maggie Williams, Creators of #JustYesterday"- WAM Collective students interview the series creators, to dig deeper into the inspiration and aspirations of the posters.

Diversity, Equity, Accessbility, and Inclusion at WAM: (Re)New(ed) Collaboration - As the museum continues to progress in this direction, we invite your comments and collaboration. Read more about WAM's work to advance DEAI, and get a fuller picture of the specific benchmarks and programming initiatives undertaken already, and in the planning stages, thus far.