CREATING GOOD TROUBLE
LOCAL ARTISTS CELEBRATE THE LIFE OF CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER JOHN LEWIS, THROUGH THE NEW ART INSTALLATION GOOD TROUBLE BUCKET BY KYLEY WARREN
Photos courtesy Joan Baron and Gloria Martinez-Granados
ocal artists Joan Baron and Gloria Martinez-Granados have dedicated much of their careers to exploring social justice issues, as well as visualizing them through compelling and interactive art installations and performances. Their latest, a piece titled Good Trouble Bucket, was created as a means to honor civil rights leader John Lewis. Inspired by a mutual admiration of Lewis’ legacy, the duo began collaborating on the installation back in March of this year— though they were completely unaware of the weight their work would soon carry, with Lewis’ unexpected passing on July 17. Congressman Lewis—often referred to by those who knew him as “America’s conscience”—spent more than 50 years fighting for civil rights, and attempting to bridge America’s racial and political divides. Lewis’ legacy is unforgettable. He was regarded as one of the “Big Six” leaders who organized the March on Washington in 1963, and in 1965, he led the Selma to Montgomery marches across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Lewis worked alongside Martin Luther King Jr. throughout the civil rights movement, and dedicated his life to seeking justice and equality for his Black brothers and sisters.
greenliving | August 2020
His unforeseen passing has left many mourning, and others more inspired than ever in the fight for racial equality. For Baron and Martinez-Granados, their work feels even more important, as their performative art piece draws on the late congressman’s lifelong approach to enact change. They used their own identities—Martinez-Granados of Mexican heritage, and Baron of Jewish heritage—to speak to not only their own experiences and struggles, but those of others around the world, as well. “What comes up for me, in terms of our roles in the piece, is collaboration,” says Baron. “The power of collaboration in delivering a message addressing issues of suppression and oppression.” Through their passion and mutual love for Lewis, the artists created an installation that honors “good trouble” in all of its forms. The piece features performative elements, like carrying water in a bucket—which was meant to honor those who leave water bottles for migrants who are crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. Another element features the two walking alongside one another through a labyrinth made up of more than 200 pounds of dirt. greenlivingaz.com