Social interactions have been altered. COVID-19 is closing institutions and fueling cancellations. This weekend was supposed to be the opening receptions for the 100 Years of Freedom at Art Works Downtown in San Rafael and Portraits Without People at Axis Gallery in Sacramento. Both events were cancelled and community health is top priority!
Art Works Downtown: “100 Years of Freedom honors the centennial anniversary of women’s right to vote in the United States with artwork that explores the concept of freedom. This exhibition brings together diverse expressions of freedom, from depictions of important historical and contemporary figures and iconic symbolism to personal interpretations and celebrations of art as an act of freedom. Many of the artworks are politically driven and aim to deepen public discourse around important subjects such as women’s rights, immigration, and climate change. 100 Years of Freedom reminds us that the fight for equality and freedom in this country continues.”
Christine Koppes (San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art Curator and Director of Public Programs) selected my artworks WOMEN, BYE PATRIARCHY BYE, and WHY CONTROL MY BODY AND VOTE? for the 100 Years of Freedom exhibition. BYE PATRIARCHY BYE description: A custom sliding sign typically indicating a business room in use has been repurposed altering its function. 2020 is the centennial anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment allowing women the right to vote in America. The Arial font was co-developed by pioneer designer Patricia Saunders. President Trump was greeted with the Women’s March, confronted by sexual abuse victims, and ultimately ignited the #metoo revolution. Sexism is interwoven into systemic discrimination and progress (aka “equality”) feels like oppression to the privileged. Women will continue to disrupt power structures and reclaim equality.
Roula Seikaly (Humble Arts Foundation Senior Editor) selected my artwork SANDRA BLAND for the Portraits Without People exhibition. Description: Lady Justice is a symbol of impartiality in our judicial system. Standing stoically with a scale in one hand and a sword in the other, she is blindfolded representing that power, status, or money has no influence. A standard braille sign becomes repurposed by altering its function. The art serves as a memorial to how privilege benefits some while persons of color continue to pay the ultimate price for sheer existence. Citizens must question, organize, and demand the highest standards preserving truth and justice.
Axis Gallery: “Portraiture is a foundational photographic genre. It is a means of defining ourselves visually. But, how do we define ourselves beyond our physical presence? Can the definition of portrait expand to include what lies beyond our physicality to include passions, fears, places we live, the car we drive, the food we eat? Can photography convey who we are without including the human form?”
Artists won’t be cancelled during the pandemic. They will thrive and support the community. Art has the power to tell the truth. Time to strengthen connections and create new paths!
100 Years of Freedom. Art Works Downtown. San Rafael, CA. March 6 – April 16, 2020.
Portraits Without People. Axis Gallery. Sacramento, CA. March 6 – April 26, 2020