Around the world, 2020 was a crazy year. From national COVID-19 lockdowns to the Black Lives Matter protests, the world has drastically changed since early 2020. The Columbia Museum of Art's (CMA) newest exhibit, "Hindsight 20/20," aims to show these intense changes and events.
The exhibit hosts pictures from five photojournalists, featuring some of the many protests from the summer of 2020. These pictures were taken in a variety of places, including Black Lives Matter protests, anti-masks protests, Trump rallies and the riots that happened on May 30.
Most of the photojournalists are native to Columbia. The featured photographers include Héctor Vaca Cruz, Thomas Hammond, Catherine Hunsinger, Sean Rayford and Marion "Crush" Rush.
Crush Rush, one of the photojournalists featured in the exhibition and popular local photographer, said he was out at least twice a week during the Black Lives Matter protests.
Crush Rush is native to Columbia and is a nationally published freelance photographer. He is a popular facet of Columbia photography. He is known for how his work puts a lens on humanity and the world through their critical finite moments, according to One Columbia's website.
In the exhibit, many perspectives are captured uniquely — each inspired by the eye of the talents of the photographer.
"We all living on a float-in-space rock, spinning around, around and around in a circle. We have nothing else better to do than to treat each other better," Crush Rush said about the message behind the exhibit.
Crush Rush has a number of stories to tell from the experience, both inspiring and intense.
“I got tear gassed. I did, unfortunately, experience that,” Crush Rush said.
Crush Rush said he also almost ended up fighting with someone digging through the pockets of a compromised man whom he was trying to help.
In particular, one popular image from this exhibit is a piece by Crush Rush at a Black Lives Matter protest.
“When you look at that line of police officers, all of them are Caucasian men, except for one. There's an African American man. What's interesting is that all of the officers have their guards down in front of their face, except for that one black officer, who had his shield up,” Jackie Adams, CMA director of art and learning, said.
The image is just one of the many profound pieces on display representing 2020.
Crush said he received a lot of feedback about the complexity of this image, with one admirer, Lynn Lawson, even writing a poem to accompany the picture to emotionally dissect and deepen the message.
Crush Rush said the more feedback he received, the more he began to appreciate how complicated the photo is. He was the second place winner of the 2021 Free Times "Best of Columbia" for photography, with his award specifically recognizing these pieces on display at the CMA.
Zhané Bradley, visitor experience associate for the museum, said her favorite image is the "Million Man March" image.
"You can see the diversity of everyone that was at the protests, and the number of people that were out there," Bradley said.
The exhibit will remain open until October 24. More information can be found on the Columbia Museum of Art's website.