P.L.U.A (Proposed Land Use Action)

Jite Agbro


February 1 – March 11, 2022


Sunday, March 13, 2022


 March 15 – April 30, 2022


Featuring dancer Akoiya Harris
Thursday, April 28

Follow & share on Instagram: #PLUAMadArt


Seattle-based print and collage artist Jite Agbro considered our changing and nuanced social, psychological, and physical relationships to the built urban environment in her MadArt Studio exhibition P.L.U.A. (Proposed Land Use Action). This site-specific work comprised architectural textile prints that compositionally created a fragmented rendering of the public housing complex where Agbro grew up with her family in Seattle’s Central District. Today the building still stands and remains home to its current residents; however, there are plans to demolish the existing structure to make way for a new mixed-use retail and low-income residential housing space. Though Agbro has not lived there since she was a teenager, news of the building’s impending demolition, paired with her complex process of internally negotiating this loss, became the driving impetus for her work.

P.L.U.A. immersed viewers in a large, semi-transparent, graphic structure that utilized the studio’s steel supports to span both vertically and horizontally in succession across the space. Influenced by the structural characteristics of the actual housing complex, the panels were an amalgam of cut graphic fabric designs textured with the artist’s hand-printed-and-sewn ornamentation. In the far corner of the studio, there was a series of figural panels that acted as pillars of P.L.U.A. Imbuing the work with life, this inclusion was a reminder of the human presence within urban architecture and the often unseen comings and goings of domestic life. With the addition of an audio recording of Agbro’s personal recollections of growing up in Seattle’s Central District, it was hard not to reflect on one’s emotional connection to place and how memory tethers itself to the physical world.

Much of Agbro’s work incorporates the human form to comment on cultural inheritance that is passed down through history and familial understanding. While this exhibition was decidedly less figurative, she expanded on this concept to consider the structural influences—physical, institutional, ideological—that inform one’s lineal circumstance. Much like traversing through urban landscapes, the installation presented the viewer with several perspectives, a hopeful visual reminder that our life position is influenced, but not necessarily controlled, by our environmental circumstances. 

Audio components for this exhibition were created in partnership with Wa Na Wari and the Shelf Life Community Story Project. To learn more about the program and hear other stories, please visit www.shelflifestories.com.

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Video by James Harnois
Photo by James Harnois