Social Justice: It Happens to One, It Happens to All

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Copyright 2016 by Gutfreund Cornett Art. The book author and each artist here retains sole copyright to their contributions to this book. This catalog is documentation of Social Justice: It Happens to One, It Happens to All, an exhibition created by Gutfreund Cornett Art,, and shown at Saint Mary’s College Museum, September 18— December 11, 2016. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means without prior permission in writing from Gutfreund Cornett Art. Gutfreund Cornett Art specializes in creating exhibition opportunities for artists on themes of “art as activism” to stimulate dialog, raise consciousness and create social change. With backgrounds in national and international projects, advocacy, non-profits, government, corporate art and a successful history in DIY Blockbuster shows on feminist issues, Gutfreund and Cornett have combined these skills to provide unique opportunities for artists, communities and our relevant non-profit collaborators to come together around social and environmental themes. Catalog designed and edited by Gutfreund Cornett Art Cover Design by: Rozanne Hermelyn, Arc and Line Communication and Design. 2

4 ABOUT Saint Mary’s College 6 ABOUT the Special Recognition Juror 7 STATEMENT Sandra Fluke 8 WHY Sherri Cornett 13 SOCIAL JUSTICE Karen Gutfreund 17 Gallery Artists

SOCIAL JUSTICE: IT HAPPENS TO ONE, IT HAPPENS TO ALL Presented by Gutfreund Cornett Art at Saint Mary’s College Museum of Art September 18—December 11, 2016 3

107 Slideshow Artists 155 DIRECTORY Slideshow Artist 160 ARTIST ESSAYS

About the Museum: Saint Mary's College of California invites you to passionately embrace knowledge, the challenges of scholarship, and the capacity to make lasting change in the world. The foundation for this is our mission. To probe deeply the mystery of existence by cultivating the ways of knowing and the arts of thinking. Recognizing that the paths to knowledge are many, Saint Mary's College of California offers a diverse curriculum that includes the humanities, arts, sciences, social sciences, education, business administration and nursing, serving traditional students and adult learners in both undergraduate and graduate programs. As an institution where the liberal arts inform and enrich all areas of learning, it places special importance on fostering the intellectual skills and habits of mind, which liberate persons to probe deeply the mystery of existence and live authentically in response to the truths they discover. This liberation is achieved as faculty and students, led by wonder about the nature of reality, look twice, ask why, seek not merely facts but fundamental principles, strive for an integration of all knowledge and express themselves precisely and eloquently. To affirm and foster the Christian understanding of the human person which animates the educational mission of the Catholic Church. Saint Mary's College holds that the mystery which inspires wonder about the nature of existence is revealed in the person of Jesus Christ giving a transcendent meaning to creation and human existence. Nourished by its Christian faith, the College understands the intellectual and spiritual journeys of the human person to be inextricably connected. It promotes the dialogue of faith and reason: it builds community among its members through the celebration of the church's sacramental life; it defends the goodness, dignity and freedom of each person, and fosters sensitivity to social and ethical concerns. Recognizing that all those who sincerely quest for truth contribute to and enhance its stature as a Catholic institution of higher learning, Saint Mary's welcomes members from its own and other traditions, inviting them to collaborate in fulfilling the spiritual mission of the College. To create a student-centered educational community whose members support one another with mutual understanding and respect. As a Lasallian college, Saint Mary's holds that students are given to its care by God and that teachers grow spiritually and personally when their work is motivated by faith and zeal. The College seeks students, faculty, administrators and staff ‌... 4

from different social, economic and cultural backgrounds who come together to grow in knowledge, wisdom and love. A distinctive mark of a Lasallian school is its awareness of the consequences of economic and social injustice and its commitment to the poor. Its members learn to live “their responsibility to share their goods and their service with those who are in need, a responsibility based on the union of all men and women in the world today and on a clear understanding of the meaning of Christianity.” (From The Brothers of the Christian Schools in the World Today: A Declaration).

The Saint Mary's College experience is guided by the Lasallian Core Principles: Concern For the Poor and Social Justice We are in solidarity with the poor and advocate for those suffering from injustices. Faith in the Presence of God We believe in the living presence of God in our students, our community and our world. Quality Education We engage in quality education together as students, staff and faculty by thinking critically and examining our world in light of faith. Respect for all Persons We honor and respect the dignity of all individuals. Inclusive Community We celebrate diversity and welcome all members of our community. The Catholic Institute for Lasallian Social Action (CILSA) is both an organization and a catalyst to integrate social justice into the curricular and co-curricular experience of Saint Mary’s College of California. Founded in 1999, CILSA is the academic center at Saint Mary’s College for promoting a culture of service and social justice education consonant with Catholic social teaching and integrating the three traditions of the college: Catholic, Lasallian, and Liberal Arts. The goal of CILSA is to support students, faculty, staff, campus units, and community partners to work together to promote intellectual inquiry and student leadership and development through action in academic, co-curricular, and community settings to foster personal and social responsibility for the common good. HEAD – CILSA programs foster students’ intellectual and social responsibility for the common good. personal development through academic exploration of issues related to justice that prompt critical thinking in and outside the classroom. For faculty and staff, CILSA provides resources, materials and education in best practices to integrate social justice within the curricular and co-curricular experience. HEART – CILSA programs nurture students’ critical reflection of their experiences as they relate to meeting academic, intellectual, and other personal goals. The process promotes an understanding premised on knowledge coupled with compassion. HANDS – CILSA programs provide an array of service activities through coursework and co-curricular experiences that enable students, faculty, and staff to apply their knowledge and understanding in order to engage critical social issues and promote social justice for the common good.”

Saint Mary's College Museum of Art — 1928 St Mary's Rd, Moraga, CA 94556 — (925) 631-4000 5

About the Special Recognition Juror: Sandra Fluke

Sandra Fluke is a social justice attorney and women's rights activist. She first came to public attention when, in February 2012, Republican members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee refused to allow her to testify to that committee on the importance of requiring insurance plans to cover birth control during a discussion on whether medical insurance should have a contraception mandate. Fluke co-founded the New York Statewide Coalition for Fair Access to Family Court, which successfully advocated for legislation granting access to civil orders of protection for unmarried victims of domestic violence, including teen LGBTQ victims. Fluke was also a member of the Manhattan Borough President's Taskforce on Domestic Violence and numerous other New York City and New York State coalitions that successfully advocated for policy improvements impacting victims of domestic violence. While in New York City, she worked for Sanctuary for Families, which aids victims of domestic violence and human trafficking. Fluke earned her B.S. in Policy Analysis and Management as well as Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Cornell University in 2003. She also received her J.D. with a Certificate in Refugee and Humanitarian Emergencies from Georgetown University Law Center. While at Georgetown, Fluke was the President of Law Students for Reproductive Justice, an editor for the Journal of Gender and the Law and Vice President of the Women's Legal Alliance. Fluke was a featured speaker at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, where she addressed the different visions of the role of women in the election.


Special Recognition Selections and Comments by Sandra Fluke: In The Sunshine State, Justyne Fischer power-fully evokes the grief, anger, sorrow, pain, and history that courses through the Black Lives Matter movement. The lynched bodies of Jordan Davis and Trayvon Martin are reminiscent of Lady Justice. Yet, their families and their communities continue to search for true justice. The needle dropped on “Strange Fruit� long ago, but it's haunting lyrics and plaintive melody continue to score a nightmare of racism our country has yet to wake from. No justice, no peace.

The faceless refugees depicted in Flight by Maru Hoeber are anything but. Their features burst rapidly into focus as the sculpture's kinetic energy captivates viewers, too many of whom have turned their minds away from the tragic realities of a crisis with no respite in sight, long forgotten by our 24-hour cable news cycle. The refugees' heartbreak at leaving their homes behind, bittersweet relief at escaping their war torn country, and optimism that a better life awaits them on distant shores is palpable. This piece amplifies the voices of people who have been silenced for far, far too long. Snippets of their conversations rush through the minds of viewers, crackling with hopefully enough intensity that apathy is jostled away.

Racism also lies at the heart of EPA Regulations by Nancy Ohanian, environmental justice evading the residents of Flint and numerous other cities across our country. Flint is one of Michigan’s poorest, Blackest cities, intersecting identities that increased its marginalization and vulnerability. Flint's government served not just contaminated water, but a pointed disregard for the health of its poverty stricken African American community.


WHY “It is a big question, a question of the work we have to do to eventually get to place where there is freedom in the world. It is a huge question and it calls for a huge answer, but that huge answer consists of small steps and we can begin engaging in those small steps today . . . I have always discovered that it is artists who guide us into arenas that we have not necessarily known before . . .” Angela Davis1 Small steps, all steps are needed to answer the huge and vital question, “How do we create a more just and free world for ourselves and future generations?” The list of issues, projects, actions and policies responding to this question, as outlined by Dennis McDonough in his White House Blog is overwhelming: Gender equality, race equality, marriage equality, a livable wage, equal pay for equal work, voting rights, civil rights, reducing violence via guns, in domestic settings, and bullying, opportunities for people with disabilities, accessible and affordable child care, worker’s rights, expanding early education, improving K12 education, healthier school meals, more affordable or free college options, cradle to college-career support, retirement savings, social security, reforming wall street, job training, strengthening the relationship between the US and tribal governments, immigration reform, refugee integration, clean energy, fuel economy standards, infrastructure, domestic manufacturing, equal access to and affordable health care empowering patients and their decision making, health security, veteran care, internet accessibility for all, climate policies, criminal justice reform, increasing trust and accountability with policing, preventing and ending homelessness, protecting consumers. 2 The frequency, depth and intersectionality of the stories and tragedies related to all of these can be paralyzing, especially if we consider even a portion of this complexity when we are alone. And the sub-questions can easily find us wishing to retreat further. What can we realistically do? Can we do anything? Can we contribute anything? How do we process our emotional responses? In anger? In action? In compassion? How much compassion can we give until we, ourselves, fall apart? How do we handle change as a constant and accelerating force? How do we avoid shutting down, pretending that these issues are not our issues, “I” am not “them”? How can we be truthful about our own views? Our own responses? How do we stay open to new ideas and solutions when our heads are seemingly too full to take in any more information? How do we as a society reverse the divisiveness that comes out of this helplessness and fear? How do we make our voices heard? Our votes count? What do we tell our children? How do we protect them? How do we preserve our humanity, compassion and empathy? How do we find comfort? How do we channel the myriad emotional responses into something worthwhile, meaningful, even cathartic? None of the answers are black/white, either/or and they take time, energy and thought. Artists have many media into which to place these emotions, to process our distress, share our concerns and implore viewers to take action. Karen and I, through our curatorial partnership Gutfreund Cornett Art, are channeling our anguish, as well as hope, into the creation of exhibitions such as Social Justice: It Happens to One, It Happens to All. SANCTIONED SPACES FOR CONTEMPLATION AND REFLECTION The art and museum galleries give us a permissible venue to which to process and meditate on the tragedies around us and in the larger world and to acknowledge the tensions about and visceral reactions to such horrors. A place removed from 8

from the seemingly constant barrage of bad news. These works call to us to feel, to have sympathy and empathy, to recognize our own shame, guilt, fear and anxiety and, perhaps, examine where our own perceptions need tweaking. During the opening for our What’s Right, What’s Left: Democracy in America exhibition in January 2016, a Turkish man introduced himself to me. He was visiting his daughter, who was studying in the city and, because he was so distraught about the state of democracy or lack thereof in his country, he needed the solace of being in a safe place where democracy was being talked about and analyzed. He was not an artist but told me how comforting it was that we had that space to share our concerns and feelings about what is right and what is wrong in government. That brief conversation made the world seem like a smaller, kinder place, where strangers feel safe enough to reach out to each other for a bit of solace.

Install shot, What’s Right, What’s Left: Democracy in America 9

In that show and in this one, artists present us with multivariate angles from which to look at social justice issues. Some works invite us in subtly, such as Jennifer Cawley’s “For Darfur, for Sudan” while others present images not easily forgotten, such as Veronica Cardoso’s The Girl Who Fell from the Sky / La niña que se cayo del cielo. They can startle us out of complacency and into questioning what we think we know.

Jennifer Cawley, For Darfur, for Sudan

Veronica Cardoso The Girl Who Fell from the Sky/La Niña que se Cayo del Cielo

OPPORTUNITIES FOR DIALOG One of the main motivators for creating these kinds of exhibitions is the dialog that is engendered by the works and the communities that form in the process of developing and participating in them. Between the artworks and the viewers, between the artists and the viewers, within groups of viewers, within groups of artists. The informal comments and reactions while viewing works with strangers and the more formal “In Conversation” gathering with the artists and audience which is planned during the opening day events of this exhibitions. Artists have an opportunity to be part of the discourse. They are shedding light on their personal experiences with injustice or those endured by others. Viewers have the opportunity to talk about their own experience, to voice their own imperfections and reflect on those in other people and, hopefully, rediscover patience and tolerance for those imperfections as they, through this shared dialog, work together to transcend polarities and rediscover our common humanity. CREATING COMMUNITIES These communities may only be temporary or they might ripple outward from the gallery spaces into permanent bonds. But, they are born within the structure of activist-themed exhibitions, such as this one, and pull us back into our genetic need for connection, the comfort of a collective experience and the satisfaction of common-focused work and problem solving. They give us hope and reassurance that others in the world are concerned and evaluating and determining their next steps, along with us. They are also asking themselves and us how to best navigate through the world and be an engaged citizen. Interacting with others strengthens our beliefs in cooperation that may lead to better decision-making and policies from the local to global arenas. This sense of community can empower those least likely to speak out, to do so and to respond and take action with whatever skills and insights they have. We are creating a space from which action moves forth from these communities to larger ones. As Berthold Brecht has advised, we are showing the world it is capable of changing. 10

HOW DO WE KNOW ACTIVIST ART AND EXHIBITIONS HAVE VALUE AND SOCIAL IMPACT? Centuries of contemplation of art’s value and the parameters within which we value art have certainly evolved. Socrates saw art as a mirror held up to nature. Aristotle believed art could provide a catharsis, a creation in the audience of emotions similar to those experienced when the artists created the piece. Nietzsche thought of art as a way to make life more bearable. If we look at art as a sign of Hegel’s Geist (mind, spirit, essence), the evolution of activist art is in line with where the human psyche is now, especially right now, with the potency in our society’s questioning of social justice issues. The business of being an artist, according to R. G. Collingwood, is “to explore his own emotions: to discover emotions in himself of which he was unaware, and, by permitting the audience to witness the discovery, enable them to make a similar discovery about themselves.”3 Peggy Phelan, writing about the political purpose of feminist art, stated that it has “something of Hegel’s aufhebung about it, a “simultaneously a lifting and renunciation . . . [and that the] ‘raising’ in consciousness-raising involves an elevation and lifting of awareness, even as it also entails a renunciation of passive acceptance, a new intolerance towards unconsidered ‘going along’.” 4 Viewers at these shows are asked to not look away, but to, instead, spend time seeing the sometimes disturbing and upsetting works and perhaps take unfamiliar, uncomfortable, yet courageous and important steps by talking with others about their reactions. There are personal benefits in working out concerns with others, forming solutions, and creating a sense of solidarity. Our sense of powerlessness, pessimism, regret, shame and guilt can be transformed. Jen Delos Reyes, Executive Director of the Open Engagement Conference, which is focused on socially-engaged art, posited, “In our work it is necessary that we enact what we value and what we want to see in the world.” In fact, these annual conferences are packed with artists analyzing how they can do just that. 5 Angela Davis, a keynote speaker at the 2016 Open Engagement Conference, told us, “Nina Simone devoted her art to struggle. The power of art, the art of power can decolonize our minds . . . “6 I have seen this power of art. As the Chair of the International Caucus of the Women’s Caucus for Art, I attended United Nations conferences where art was embraced as a way to present and create an entry point for difficult issues in ways that circumvent language and cultural barriers. Women artists in northern China, while participating in an exhibition and presentations of socially-engaged art projects that I directed with a team of U.S.-based women artists in 2014, shared, in interviews, how seemingly simple actions and reactions, by Western standards, to these events became powerful motivators to think more broadly about issues of identity, equality, domestic violence and rape and encouraged them to speak up and out in the future.

“Myths and Facts of Rape” Call and Response during Half the Sky: Intersections in Social Practice Art Luxun Academy of Fine Arts Shenyang, China, 2014


WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? Reach out. Overcome that urge to hide and retreat. Seek out community. Visit museums. Bring school children to these kind of politically amplified exhibitions. Listen to their reactions. Create a space for children to be curious, where they can be understood and learn to understand others. Don’t assume every public official will ignore you. Call them, write them, email them with your thoughts and concerns and your art. Create art that channels your reactions, emotions and concerns. Create art that motivates viewers to make changes in their lives and communities, to do an act of kindness, to volunteer, to step up politically and create their own events. Recognize the transformative power of your experiences channeled through art. Take small steps. Or even magnificent ones.

Sherri Cornett Partner, Gutfreund Cornett Art

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Angela Davis, Keynote speech, Open Engagement Conference, Oakland, California, May 1, 2016. Denis McDonough, “Back to Work: What Comes After the President’s Final State of the Union Address,” blog, January 12, 2016, https://, accessed July 28, 2016. 3 R. G. Collingwood, “The Principles of Art.” In The Nature of Art: An Anthology, ed. Thomas E. Wartenberg, (Thomson Wadsworth, 2007), 133. Originally published in R. G. Collingwood, The Principles of Art, (Oxford University Press, 1938 4 Peggy Phelan, “Survey,” in Art and Feminism, ed. Helena Reckitt, (Phaidon Press, 2002), 34. 5 Jen Delos Reyes, April 23, 2016, blog post “The Power of Love”, 6 Angela Davis, Keynote speech, Open Engagement Conference, Oakland, California, May 1, 2016. 2


SOCIAL JUSTICE: IT HAPPENS TO ONE, IT HAPPENS TO ALL Social Justice, I feel we need it now more than ever! Every time I look at my iPhone, read the paper or listen to NPR, there is one heartbreaking, disturbing or enraging story after another. When injustice happens to one, it does happen to all. How can we turn our heads and harden our hearts to the cacophony of human tragedy and suffering in the world? The words from American Pie by Don McLean keep running through my head “with every paper I'd deliver, bad news on the doorstep, I couldn't take one more step.” With Power to the People by Leo Volcy and Brad Wong, one thinks that if we start screaming about injustice we may never stop. But rather than giving into despair, we need to collectively raise our voices for social justice and a peaceful world. What can we do and say to increase empathy for those around us and more importantly for those that are different from us? I recently heard someone say— there are no races—no black, brown, red, yellow, white race, there is just one—the human race and we are all a part of it. Still shot from Power to the People

So in this race (a pun as I’m a runner) that is a marathon rather than a sprint, we have to keep moving and cannot let ourselves become paralyzed into inaction—we can make a difference. This is my calling, to help change the world through art. The visual can often say so much more than words and be a catalyst to social change. Think of the lasting effect of iconic works that document war and suffering such as the The Disasters of War/Los Desastres de la Guerra prints by Francisco Goya or Picasso’s Guernica.

South Vietnamese Gen. Nguyen Ngoc Loan, chief of the national police, shoots Vietcong officer Nguyen Van Lem, also known as Bay Lop, on a Saigon street on 2/1/1968, by Eddie Adams.

“Still photographs are the most powerful weapons in the world. ”1 Eddie Adams, the AP photojournalist who took this image, once wrote. This photograph went a long way toward souring Americans’ attitudes about the Vietnam War. Have we as a society become hardened to imagery of this sort? I think of the heartbreaking image of the drowned little Syrian boy 13

boy washed up on the beach. Since 2014 over 4,600 Syrian refugees have died by drowning trying to reach Europe with an account of 470,000 having died as a result of the war. Is this not preventable, can we not do more in assisting these refugees? Americans have created a NIMBY (not in my backyard) response to these poor peoples. After WWII there was a huge distrust of the Jewish people let out of the concentration camps and many had to remain there for almost five years afterwards due to a media induced of a fear of the Jew. Are we not creating another hysteria over the Muslims?

Flight by Maru Hoeber Source : Reuters/Handout

Flight, 2015 by Maru Hoeber perfectly captures the plight of the refugees and she says “This boat is inspired by my concern for current events, as displaced people from all over the world continue thousands of years of migration to escape violence, poverty, persecution, and natural disasters, in search of survival and a better life.” page 58. These works have the power to move people to reflect on the horrors of war. Now with digital media we can instantly see atrocities occurring in real time. I am hopeful that in viewing in real time what is happening with police violence towards people of color, terrorism and wars that we collectively will rise up and demand justice. Social Justice: It Happens to One, It Happens to All—I came up with this title and idea for this exhibition a number of years ago after hearing a story of Tanya McDowell who used the address of her babysitter in order to be able to enroll her son in a better school for him to attend kindergarten in Connecticut. She was sentenced to 12 years in prison, although it was cut back to 5 and must pay back up to $6,200 to the city of Norwalk for “stealing” her son's education. Her lawyer said “She used an address to give a five-year-old boy access to good crayons and books and you arrest her for that?” Then the Housing Authority then evicted the babysitter for fraud for her involvement in the case, her two young children were removed from her custody by the Department of Children and Family Services and the family was then left homeless. All McDowell wanted was for her son to go to a better school, to give him a leg up in life and instead more lives are destroyed. With the Social Justice exhibition we asked artists for work in all media that speaks to and illuminates the ongoing conversation around race, conditions of the working class, disparities in global wealth, power, education, shelter, access to food, water and health services, immigration issues, criminal (in)justice, women’s rights, subjugating ethnic groups and the gender queer in the modern world. We have 43 artists in the Museum galleries and an addition 46 in a slideshow that will be played on a monitor in the gallery and all is available online. 14

Sherri Cornett and I look to employ artwork as weapons in the fight for human rights against violence and the ongoing wars. Human rights can no longer be thought of as separate and belonging to a privileged few, but rather that these rights are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible for all. We believe the artist’s voice will help to foster these important dialogues worldwide and invite artists to add their voice. Art can inspire change and bring people together, crossing the borders of cultures and languages. Artists challenge the norm, imagine the potential and inspire social change. For some, the United States is a true manifestation of the “American Dream”, yet, for many individuals both nationally and globally, basic human and civil rights are abridged and jeopardized with a judicial system that has eroded confidence and trust, and with racism propagated through groups that have systemic power to institutionalize prejudice in the forms of laws, policies, and ideologies that exclude and oppress others. The art we received was phenomenal and it was a difficult task to narrow down the works, there were so many timely, powerful works that showed the artists perceptions and experiences related to injustice, freedom, rights and privileges in America. I have a special affinity for narrative artwork that tells a story, and I am sure, you the viewer will agree upon viewing the work in this exhibition is powerful indeed. To write about them all would create a book, so I’d like to highlight a few. Joanne Beaule Ruggles, The Wages of Sin, 1995, speaks to our actions or lack of action and the consequences. Beautifully rendered with her unique painterly style with many hands together, the piece reflects that the reality of the world that is shared by us--all humans have a hand in either making things better or making them worse. We have blood on our hands if we standby and do nothing. Can You Hear Me Now by Gary Aagaard, 2009, could not be more relevant. With everyone on their smart phones and more interested in Pokemon Go, a host of world tragedies are unfolding around us. Are we desensitized to world hunger, violence and wars? PRICE OF FREEDOM Jenny E. Balisle in American Red, White and Blue, 2016, with paper peppered with bullet holes questions what it means to be American at home and globally. At what price do we secure freedom? BORDERS & BOUNDARIES Eric Almanza, In Search of a New Home, 2012, witnesses the harsh reality of families trying to cross the border to create a better world and a better life for their families. I wonder, if I were in the same situation, what would I do to protect and help my family have a better life? The larger issue concerns racism. With the xenophobic culture in the US and abroad, I would like to pose the question that is, were we not all immigrants at one point, unless you're a Native American that is. These borders and boundaries both physical and metaphorical--who belongs where and who belongs to what “group” is a highly contested question worldwide. CULTURE OF VIOLENCE With the seemingly epidemic of police shootings of people of color, the work by Justine Fisher is extremely timely. Her piece The Sunshine State, 2014, is from the series of “Social Memorials” that “represent unjust events involving unarmed Black men and boys. The Sunshine State highlights Florida’s backward practice of “strange fruit” or modern day lynching’s through gun violence against Jordan Davis and Trayvon Martin. White men stand their ground, Black boys get gunned down.” 15

I saw The Girl Who Fell From the Sky/La Niña Que se Cayo del Cielo, 2009, by Veronica Cardoso at the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago in an exhibition about the women of Juarez. The image of the young child girl dismembered into pieces on the desert floor has haunted me for years. The violence perpetrated towards women around the world is astounding. Are these women not your mothers, sisters, wives? So many women are left without a voice and no one to protect them. MARGINALIZED PEOPLE AND SOCITIES Rhonda Brown, JustUs is not 4all, 2015, in a clever lenticular print, expresses the disparity between affluent white college graduates and the lock up of the young people of color, into our federal prisons. Leaving the question, is this another form of Jim Crowe in trying to keep down the black race? Xian Mei Qlu, The Birdcage, 2013, and Priscilla Otani, Pleasure Quarters, 2010-2013, raises questions on selfimprisonment, self-empowerment and on violence against women and sex trafficking. Otani’s installation "represents the world of women who ply their flesh for a living and survive in the lowest rounds of society.” Sinan Revell, COLOR/BLIND–Prisoner, 2008 revels the tendency to not see and ignore unpleasant things around us like the homeless a prisoner a refugee. Sinan says "When we turn a blind eye, to injustice, we are complicit.” HOPE FOR THE FUTURE Sibylle Peretti, in this dreamy and delicate work, Making Birds, 2014, communicates freedom, unity and seeking release from self-imposed restrictions and from societal and cultural expectations. Sibylle says “The two girls in this piece are obsessively knitting and creating birds in their on-going search to abolish their limitations and thus achieve a unity with the birds. It’s about equality, despair, and our longing for individual freedoms.” Sarah Friedlander with Stonewalled in Jerusalem, 2012, develops a narrative of thought provoking images from both sides of the Palestinian Israeli conflict. It illustrates the need to build bridges to create peace. Now is the time for us all to reflect on what we can do to make a difference in the world and help create a peaceful and just world. It took a community to realize this project through the collective work of the artists, the museum staff, the college, our friends in social media, those who believe in this kind of work. The registrar, volunteers, students, staff supported this exhibition and programming that, in other institutions, might have been left to educational outreach, but, here, begins within the gallery spaces. We’d like to say a big THANK YOU to the participating artists, our Special Recognitions Juror, Sandra Fluke. The staff at the Museum, Kyla, Robin, John and Patrick, have been fabulous to work with and we are deeply appreciative for the opportunity to showcase this important body of work at Saint Mary’s College Museum of Art. Thank you to Rona Spears with administrative assistance in helping with the details of the exhibition. And lastly—thank you, the greater public for being interested in social justice and social change.

Karen Gutfreund Partner, Gutfreund Cornett Art 1

Eddie Adams (1998-07-27). "Eulogy: GENERAL NGUYEN NGOC LOAN". Time Magazine.


Artists Exhibited at Saint Mary’s College Museum of Art Gary Aagaard, Algie Abrams, Eric Almanza, Jenny E. Balisle, Joanne Beaule Ruggles, Leo Volcy and Brad Wong, Ronda Brown, Marie Cameron, Jane Hickey Caminos, Veronica Cardoso, Gerardo Castro, Jennifer Cawley, James Davis, Miholyn Soon and Ellie Jones, Justyne Fischer, Sara Friedlander, Linda Friedman Schmidt, Emily Greenberg, Vicki Gunter, Maru Hoeber, Beth Krensky, Dave Kube, Jihae Kwon, Scott Leahing, Dawn Nakashima, Nancy Ohanian, Priscilla Otani, Sibylle Peretti, Xian Mei QIu, Sinan Revell, Timo Saarelma, Nick Hugh Schmidt, Jaime Shafer, Amy Siqveland, Elka Stevens, Dan Tague, Rebekah Tarin, Joseph Tipay, Jane Venis, Eike Waltz, Frank Wang, Margi Weir, and Elena Wyatt .


Gary Aagaard Tucson, Arizona

Can You Hear Me now? Print on paper 38 x 28 inches 2009

Can You Hear Me Now? This piece is my response to the proliferation of cell phones and handheld devices which in many instances seem to plague the users with tunnel vision, leaving them blind to many of the realities of the world around them (not to mention, fellow pedestrians/drivers). As this theme relates to “Social Justice�, when we focus on our own little universe via the plethora of electronic devices and related diversions, a general sense of apathy and lack of involvement in the bigger picture are often the byproduct. What war? Which famine?...... OMG, I just got unfriended on Facebook!



Algie Abrams Nevada City, California

Even the dying must work Velvet paper 24 X 65 inches 2014

It’s embarrassing to admit that I started taking pictures of street people 40 years ago, because it took a long time to set up my camera and they do not move around a lot. But in looking at the prints, I felt a sense of “seeing� something for the first time and it changed the way I think. I hope these images assist in your seeing as well.



Algie Abrams Nevada City, California

Beggar Woman Velvet paper 24 x 36 inches 2014

It’s embarrassing to admit that I started taking pictures of street people 40 years ago, because it took a long time to set up my camera and they do not move around a lot. But in looking at the prints, I felt a sense of “seeing� something for the first time and it changed the way I think. I hope these images assist in your seeing as well.



Eric Almanza Long Beach, California

In Search of a New Home Oil on canvas 48 x 60 inches 2012

My piece entitled In Search of a New Home is a retelling of an old Aztec myth. It is layered with symbolism drawn from both the Aztec culture and our modern day society. I painted the piece in 2012 and at the time the issue of immigration reform was highly contested. Back then I could not have imagined how more important the issue of immigration would become with Donald Trump running for president. Therefore, it was vital to make a piece that conveyed the struggles that many migrant families face when coming to a new country.



Jenny E. Balisle Richmond, California

America Red, White and Blue Colorplan paper and a Mossberg 500 shotgun 39 x 36 inches each 2016

The America series investigates diverse cultures and relationships between manmade and natural environments. Using a Mossberg 500 shotgun as a vehicle of mark making, Colorplan sheets of cover stock were placed on a target at a gun range. The artwork records how patterns of power and inequality can be spread through distance and speed. The paper represents life’s fragility and has been turned to face the viewer, confronting and asking by what means and price do we secure freedom. A weapon is repurposed into artistic commentary by reclaiming social justice and questioning what it means to be American at home and globally.



Joanne Beaule Ruggles San Luis Obispo, California

The Wages of Sin Acrylic on canvas 28 x 32 inches 1995

Man’s actions have consequence. Evil and immoral deeds are not easily washed away. The lesson to be learned is that wrongdoing will inevitably lead to your own destruction, as well as to the destruction of others.



Leo Volcy and Brad Wong Los Angeles, California

Power to the People Video 4:48 minutes 2013

This was never about what we had to say. It was about giving a voice to those who felt they didn't have one. The people.



Ronda Brown Los Angeles, California

JustUs is not 4all Lenticular print, mixed media 34 x 36 inches 2015

Research shows that arts education encourages children to think originally, independently and creatively—completing ideas, taking risks and synthesizing ideas. These are the skills our children need in order to thrive in a modern, innovative and technologically advanced society. Unfortunately in todays “Just Society� all children do not experience this, thus thru the lack of arts, inequity begins.



Marie Cameron Los Gatos, California

La Niña Oil on canvas 48 x 48 inches 2016

La Niña was an image that came to me, burning a hole in my brain as I began to follow the continuing crisis of minors from Central America fleeing gang violence (and those still in the middle of it). I couldn't not paint it. It was risky though, I wondered how it would be received, concerned about questions of cultural appropriation and authenticity but the world is an increasingly small place, our fates are deeply tied and the question about the kind of world we want our children living in is a very authentic one. La Niña is a reaction to the increasingly perilous circumstances too many of our children are born into, one where lines are drawn and territory marked out on skin.



Jane Hickey Caminos Watchung, New Jersey

Warning Oil on linen 28 x 34 inches 2012

During wartime, women become an endangered species, vulnerable to enemy soldiers who use rape, mutilation, baby killing, and destruction of home life and food sources as weapons. Pregnant women are ostracized by their neighbors and even families as being “tainted with the seeds� of the enemy. Some never recover from this social exclusion and the deprivation of war and commit infanticide or suicide, believing there is no other way out.



Veronica Cardoso Oceanside, California

The Girl Who Fell from the Sky / La NiĂąa que se Cayo del Cielo Digitally modified digital image on aluminum 16 x 24 inches 2009

When we come into earth to live the woman experience there is so much baggage that comes with it. There is no question from the spirit world on the feminine qualities we bring into planet earth. Our power of creation and knowledge, in all levels has no limits; yet human history makes us deconstruct in our landing, like a Luciferic impulse. So much guilt and stigma is sowed upon the feminine that society plants a seed of fear, the feminine is taught to manipulate and be manipulated with and through her genitalia instead of honoring our gender and empower from it. The feminine is given to the world as tool and not as the godly being she is. Social injustice starts here, in education, in the way we hold our young girls. To be educated empower and loved is the right of the feminine.



Gerardo Castro Newburgh, New York

Haiti & Dominican Republic: One Island - Two Worlds Fire-burning on Arches oil paper 24 x 36 inches 2015

169-14 references the Naturalization Law passed in 2013, that stripped nationality from individuals born in the Dominican Republic to undocumented immigrants, who are predominantly black and of Haitian origin, ruling that they are not Dominican citizens and instructed the government to apply the ruling retroactively, going back to 1929. International human rights groups strongly condemned the decision as racist and xenophobic and argued it would render hundreds of thousands of people stateless. This law creates a “race-based statelessness� which is clearly prohibited under interAmerican and international law.



Jennifer Cawley Somerset, Massachusetts

For Darfur, for Sudan Pigment print wallpaper 24 x 24 inches 2012

During the conflict in Darfur, Sudan, displaced persons living in refugee camps risked attack—possible death for men, rape for women—if they left a camp to gather scarce, necessary resources, such as wood. Individuals and families whose homes and villages had been pillaged and razed by Janjaweed militia supported by the northern Khartoum regime suffered further humiliation and brutalization. Violent conflict has continued since Sudan’s formal division into South Sudan, which holds rich oil resources, and Sudan, which lies north of it and houses the pipeline through which the South’s oil is transported for export and on which both depend. The future of those displaced during the genocide in Darfur and those affected by more recent conflicts within and between Sudan and South Sudan remains extremely precarious.



James Davis Los Angeles, California

See Me Video 2:35 minutes 2013

I often hate watching this video. At the time of filming, I was at one of the lowest points of my life; I lost my place to Hurricane Sandy three months before and I needed a job to get back on my feet, but it was painfully tough. The multiple voices in the film was only a small chunk of the voices I've heard on a daily basis. I often hate watching this video because it reminds me of the mountain of struggles I had to overcome, and the self doubt, the voices, the anger, the tears. However, with all of those painful memories, what I've gone through is probably nothing compared to the crap that others in similar positions are going through, and that is sickening to even imagine.



Miholyn Soon and Ellie Jones London, UK

The Sculpted Video 4:42 minutes 2015

Female genital mutilation is a brutal reality we as a society struggle accept. We remove ourselves from the discomfort of questioning the practice of cultures different to our own, and acknowledging it as the violent result of ancient social conditioning. FGM is the ultimate oppression of women. It is misogyny so deeply rooted, it convinces mothers to mutilate their own children to satisfy a social standard. The Sculpted aims to plunge viewers into the horrific world of a girl facing the merciless knife of “womanhood�, and the rite of passage with a lifetime of trauma.



Justyne Fischer Washington, DC

The Sunshine State Ink, Voile, stretcher bars, floater frame 50 x 50 inches 2014

This woodcut is from a series of “Social Memorials” that represent unjust events involving unarmed Black men and boys. The Sunshine State highlights Florida’s backward practice of “strange fruit” or modern day lynching’s through gun violence against Jordan Davis and Trayvon Martin. White men stand their ground, Black boys get gunned down.



Sara Friedlander Santa Cruz, California

Stonewalled in Jerusalem MDF panels, digital collages, original and archival photos, paint 45 x 120 x 5 inches 2012

The untenable situation in Israel-Palestine today exemplifies the difficult task of bringing social justice to two peoples sharing the same land, who have each known devastating trauma, yet haven’t found a bridge for recognizing their mutual humanity. By depicting the competing narratives and allowing the viewer to move through Jerusalem, recognize the “ghosts� which inhabit and haunt the Old City, the mission of this interactive mixed media installation is to elicit empathy, encourage compassionate dialogue, and give each of us a way to share our grief as well as our ideas, as a means of healing our collective human nature. The events in the Middle East today profoundly affect all our lives. Let us become active participants in forging a more equitable, lasting and peaceful solution.



Linda Friedman Schmidt Franklin Lakes, New Jersey

WEEDING Discarded clothing 26 x 26 inches 2016

I use discarded clothing to create artwork about human beings who are unwanted, devalued, and considered disposable in our society. My medium and process speak of rejection and renewal, decay and regeneration, while the subject confronts prejudice, social injustice, and indifference. Originally intended to conceal, these clothes reveal suffering and discrimination on the basis of race, gender, ethnicity, and religion. In emotional portraits of those not deemed worthy of dignity, freedom, justice, and equality, I call attention to our common humanity, our lives and roots tangled and intertwined. I reassemble, combine, and bring together diverse fragments in hopes that we can unite, and live in peace. My goal is to move viewers toward empathy with their fellow human beings, toward a greater appreciation and tolerance of human diversity.



Emily Greenberg Brooklyn, New York

The Trial (Rachel Jeantel) Video/sound, Video still by Emily Greenberg Original footage from Axiom Amnesia 3:26 minutes 2014

Appropriating found footage from both legal dramas and Rachel Jeantel’s testimony during George Zimmerman's trial for the murder of Trayvon Martin, The Trial (Rachel Jeantel) is part of an ongoing series exploring violence and mass media narratives within the cinematic courtroom. Re-imagining the Zimmerman trial through a racial lens, my video highlights the ways in which predominantly white, male courtrooms silence black men and women by speaking over them, insisting on “colorblind� narratives, and pathologizing the black body and black subject. Alluding to the histories of other marginalized communities, the work illustrates the distance between everyday justice and the mediated or illusory sense of justice engendered through mass media.



Vicki Gunter Oakland, California

It's Not One Thing...It's Everything - Loss Series 8 Clay Photo Lithographs, Slips, Stains, Glazes, Lusters, Wood Mount Decoupaged with Altered Copies of $1 Bills. 16 x 28 x 6 inches 2012

The American flag as experienced by the 99%. All 13 tattered stripes are lithographed & fired with researched headlines and mastheads of social and eco-justice losses: jobs, homes, healthcare, public education, lives through war and suicides, democracy, water, clean air, retirements, free press, privacy, social services, sanity and the pursuit of happiness. The title references an image I saw of an unemployed journalist from Detroit Free Press holding his sign during the Occupy movement. The image, printed on the flag’s back, is blowing toward us, and peaking through, are $1 bills, reminding us that profit from OUR tax dollars are behind these injustices. My work generally involves stories, personal and social and reflect the urgent need for a Great Turning to (d)emocracy.



Maru Hoeber Berkeley, California

FLIGHT Porcelain and wood veneer 7.5 x 24.5 x 7.5 inches 2015

This boat is inspired by my concern for current events, as displaced people from all over the world continue thousands of years of migration to escape violence, poverty, persecution, and natural disasters, in search of survival and a better life.



Beth Krensky Salt Lake City, Utah

Bridge III Bronze 1 x 12 x .25 inches each 2007-15

The piece is about crossing and bridging divides. It is about “re-membering,� or putting something back together. The sticks can represent fragments of something disparate, or fragments that can be connected in some way to create a bridge. Wood is used to symbolize kindling for a fire, which represents renewal. Although the sticks reference wood, they are of bronze, a medium I chose as a way to memorialize. Each stick is inscribed with a name of a Palestinian or Israeli child who was killed during the Al-Aqsa Intifada (September 2000-February 2005).



Dave Kube Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania

Just a Phase Enhanced Matte Paper 15 x 1 feet 2014

Just a Phase reflects on visibility and hiding, assimilation and otherness, discrimination and acceptance, as well as many other notions of social justice. The fading in and out of the disco ball reveals the ever-changing phases in which these notions of social justice take hold within marginalized communities and mainstream culture. The aim of this work is to show the constant cycles in which the fight for social justice changes in response to the previous cycles that came before it.



Jihae Kwon Alexandria, Virginia

you are with me Paper, book board, book cloth and leather 9.75 x 14 x 1 (closed), 60 x 14 x 2 (opened) inches 2014

Extreme choices produce dire consequences that can subsequently influence future generations and an entire nation. In South Korea between 1945 and 1953, many radical choices and extreme measures were used to stabilize the political situation. Estimates as high as 300,000 people were falsely accused, imprisoned, and executed, including two of my grand uncles. The purpose of my book through expressive and forceful lithographic images is to document the past so that the deaths of not only my relatives, but also the hundreds of thousands of others will be meaningful to their descendants.



Scott Leahing Astoria, Oregon

Internment 2016 Encaustic 9.25 x 9.25 x 2 inches 2016

I regard myself as an educated, intelligent and hopefully thoughtful person who works hard, pays my taxes and generally try to behave in a civic minded way. I say this, not out of smugness or self satisfaction, but rather out of great anxiety and a general dread as I watch the direction of our country playing out in the daily 24 hour news cycle. I am a gay man, born in the Caribbean of Asian descent who was educated in an English based system, run by Jesuit priests in Jamaica, went to college in Canada and the USA and who has also lived in Guam and traveled worldwide. Never, more than now, have I ever felt that somehow we as a country have lost our way and may never return. My piece, Internment 2016, speaks to this anxiety. Shrouded in the background, is a Muslim woman sadly overlooking the American Japanese Internment in 1940's. It is a reminder that our current rhetoric affects everyone, worldwide, and it doesn't take much for history to repeat an ugly chapter in our history.



Dawn Nakashima Berkeley, California

Untitled (wire) Mixed media 8.5 x 8.5 x 8.5 inches 1996

This piece is from a series of works entitled Cages & Enclosures. It was inspired by my parents’ experience of being imprisoned in Concentration Camps during WWII because of their Japanese ancestry. Why was the US government able to use racial stereotyping and mass hysteria to take away the rights of American citizens? How do we keep it from happening in the future?



Nancy Ohanian Mantua, New Jersey

EPA REGULATION Digital print on aluminum 20 x 30 inches 2016

EPA Regulation represents the Environmental Protection Agency’s failure to enforce safe limits on toxic waste, most recently in Flint, Michigan. Like most political art, its impact relies upon the simple juxtaposition of opposing imagery, and fine discriminations between realism and symbolism, where a single mark or space influences meaning.



Priscilla Otani San Francisco, California

Pleasure Quarters Wax paper, photo, paper-covered cages, ink drawings 36 inches diameter 2010-2013

The Pleasure Quarters installation consists of a cluster of paper-covered structures surrounded by waxed paper shoes. The work represents the world of women who ply their flesh for a living, women who survive in the lowest rungs of society. The shoes left outside the structure express their vulnerability and their shadows from inside the structure remind us of their isolation and courage.



Sibylle Peretti New Orleans, Louisiana

Making Birds Carved, engraved, silvered and painted plexiglass, feathers, paper 15 x 36 inches 2014

In creating Making Birds, I speak to the idea of how desperately we're seeking liberation and release from our own created restrictions with the ongoing longing for hope, and the dream to be unshackled from societal and cultural expectations. Birds are seen as symbols for freedom and independence in their ability to take wing and soar high into the sky. Their proximity and ease with the skies makes them desirable for humans. The two girls in this piece are obsessively knitting and creating birds in their on-going search to abolish their limitations and thus achieve a unity with the birds. It’s about equality, despair, and our longing for individual freedoms.



Xian Mei QIu Los Angeles, California

The Bird Cage Photograph on Plexiglass 20 x 26 inches 2013

My work always has an underlying pinning of the feminine—how it is viewed and how it views itself. In The Bird Cage, a woman sits with a serene expression inside a birdcage. Someone is holding the handle of the cage, and the bird sits happily on top of the cage. There is a skinned fox, a traditional enemy of the bird, hanging nearby. Several questions are raised regarding predation, imprisonment, self imprisonment, and self empowerment.



Sinan Revell Northridge, California

COLOR/BLIND - Prisoner Archival inkjet print with vinyl dot screen in plexi box 24 x 24 x 2 inches 2008

The COLOR BLIND test series I have created using my own image, reveals the self deception we employ when we choose to “not-see” and ignore unpleasant things around us—e.g. the homeless, a prisoner, a refugee. We choose to become COLOR BLIND to what makes us uncomfortable in the world around us. When we turn a blind eye, to injustice, we are complicit.



Timo Saarelma Los Angeles, California

Struggle: L.A. C-print 22 x 15 inches 2015

Mass evictions sweeping across Los Angeles, 12% increase in homelessness—just in one year. Abuse and harassment by landlords. Loss of rent controlled apartments through the Ellis Act. Displacement and dislocation. Anger and grief. Lost homes, disconnections from neighborhoods and communities left behind. People across the city from black, Latino, white and Asian neighborhoods have come together to fight back. Political and media strategies and campaigns have been launched. Protests have been organized in various locations throughout the city and others join in solidarity. Boyle Heights, Highland Park, Frogtown, Los Feliz, Mid-City, Downtown, Echo Park, Hollywood, Venice, MacArthur Park. People have had enough. A union for tenants has been born. A movement is growing. In the Struggle: L.A. series of photographs I have documented moments in the rise of this housing justice movement in Los Angeles.



Nick Hugh Schmidt Brooklyn, New York

143 unwilling participants Discarded Chase ATM receipts, scotch tape, nails 60 x 36 inches 2016

143 unwilling participants is made up of 144 discarded ATM receipts from various Chase locations just in Manhattan. They're organized by account balance starting with the lowest balances then gradating down becoming larger representing one American life span in the classic rags to riches story.



Jaime Shafer Reno, Nevada

1 in 3 Stonehenge paper, Epson paper, ink, photographs 9 x 6 x .5 inches 2015

1 in 3 was inspired by recent media attention focusing on domestic violence. Creating this piece proved more difficult than I expected. It forced me to reflect on my own experiences with domestic abuse. Those who have never been in an abusive relationship usually ask , “Why did s/he stay?� Unless you have experienced it, it is hard to understand. This is not an allinclusive representation of domestic abuse. However, I hope that the content of this book helps the viewer to better understand the victim's point of view and the lack of resources that often hinder a victim's ability to escape the situation.



Amy Siqveland Minneapolis, Minnesota

Closed School Print 15 x 20 inches 2014

I have been photographing the changes in Detroit since the city declared bankruptcy, with special attention to various social structures (workplaces, schools, churches, theaters, jails etc.) All of these institutions have been greatly affected over the years by racial discrimination, unfair economic policies, tax cuts and the closure and relocation of the auto factories in the 1950s onward. At this point there are over 88,000 “abandoned structures� and this number is still growing. Almost all open Detroit schools were shut down recently with teachers protesting crumbling buildings, inadequate funding, missed paychecks, safety hazards and public education policies they felt would further disenfranchise residents. Locals continue to offer various perspectives on how investment and advocacy are vital to changing the job market, community organization efforts and city services offered for future generations.



Elka Stevens Randallstown, Maryland

Pipeline Paper 18 x 27 inches 2015

Inspired by the 2015 death of Freddie Gray and the subsequent riots in Baltimore City, I created a series of images printed on paper, metal, acrylic, and cloth that speak to an overarching theme of injustice. Each piece explores the ways in which intersectionality shapes our perceptions of and experiences related to our freedoms, rights, and privileges in America. Pipeline reminds us that young African American men are being criminalized from a very young age. Our men are strategically transitioned from educational to penal systems in efforts to maintain, increase, and falsely idolize an undereducated, under-socialized, and an inaccessible populous. This criminalization of young black males also demonstrates a calculated divestment in black human capital, in black male agency, and in black communities— a divestment that minimally promotes silence, invisibility, and subjugation. I want this body of graphic work to serve as a catalyst for conversations about institutional disparities that contribute to some of the frustrations many black people feel and the resulting circumstances in which too many black people exist in America and beyond. I hope my images will specifically inspire our citizenry to question the structural nature of institutional frameworks which ideally should protect and serve vulnerable populations and to act responsibly to bring about justice for all.



Dan Tague New Orleans, Louisiana

Justice Will Prevail Ultrachrome print on photo luster paper 42 x 42 inches 2015

Social injustice stems from fear, power, and greed. More often than not money is at the root. I created Justice Will Prevail out of the very monetary engravings that serve as the flagship for this greed. This battle cry serves as a slither of hope in a fight against tyranny.



Rebekah Tarin Penasco, New Mexico

LIBRE: Children Do Not Belong In Cages Acrylic on Wood 30 x 20 inches 2015

In the summer of 2014 women and children from Central America arrived in the U.S seeking asylum from domestic violence, gang violence, sexual violence and fear of imminent death only to be warehoused in a for-profit detention center operated by The GEO Group located in the isolated town of Artesia, New Mexico. Mothers were denied phone communications, legal counsel, adequate translation, medical care, childcare, food, and warmth. The children whose average age was 6, were denied access to food, healthcare, education and counseling. They witnessed their mothers being humiliated, harassed and systematically disempowered. Family detention is illegal under international human rights law yet the U.S. has the largest immigration detention infrastructure in the world.



Joseph Tipay Fresno, California

Freedom Letters (left) Prison Letters (right) Woodcut, and monotype hand printed on kozo paper 60 x 36 inches each 2014

My work deals with the effects felt by those with a parent or parents in prison. I draw from personal experience and this has allowed me to connect to those who have gone through similar struggles. Over time they have shared intimate details of the events that have shaped their lives. Along with this deep-rooted knowledge, I conduct informal interviews as well as research to create and support this social narrative. I'm commenting on mass incarceration, and the prison industrial complex which impacts our lives and future.



Jane Venis Dunedin, New Zealand

Shiner Vblack wet-look vinyl, 400 spikes, chrome chains 28 x 14 x 14 inches 2013

The work Shiner opens a conversation about family violence. Shiner (a slang term for a black eye), is a physical metaphor for the way the cycle of violence is perpetrated. Implicit in the work is the notion that when striking the victim the abuser also harms themselves. It is also a reminder that in striking those who are weaker the abuser’s own pain from past violence can resurface. Violence is complex and often inter-generational and interventions to stop the cycle need a great deal more funding from governments worldwide.



Eike Waltz Aptos, California

The Graduate in Mourning Maquette of painted wood to be bronze cast 27.5 x 4.5 x 4.5 inches 2015

Education is a civil rights issue of any generation. Student loan debt surpasses $1 trillion this year. Education should not be a debt sentence. Time heals wounds, but no one can tell me how I can repay my student loan. In college I was considered a genius and now I flip burgers at $ 7.50 an hour.



Frank Wang Vancouver, British Columbia

Whiteface Video 1:10 minutes 2016

Whiteface engages a contemporary issue that has grown to become a focal point of racial discussion in the United States. Instances of police violence are shocking collective moment of societal cognitive dissonance. Who protects us? Who is protected? Satire and ridiculousness is used to highlight everyday fears for many people.



Margi Weir Detroit, Michigan

Justice in America: Part One/Now Multicolored vinyl on plexi 36 x 30 inches 2016

After friends of mine were killed in a shoot-out on Detroit's West side in 2014, I began to explore gun violence in my work. My research into gun violence lead me into a study of the institutional racism in our prison system. I use a computer to repeat images that I stitch together visually in order to make an appealing pattern, often resulting in tapestry-like, spatially flattened compositions. Meaning is implied by the juxtaposition of images. Conclusions are left to the viewer in the hope that a continued questioning will be inspired by the work of art.



Elena Wyatt Johnson City, Tennessee

This Will Not Affect Your Application Mixed media 72 x 12 inches 2015

Addressing the social injustices in employment is often overlooked, perhaps this is due to laws against discrimination. However, systematic racism continues to affect many lives across the nation. In America today, a white man with a felony is more likely to receive to a call for an interview than a black man with a clean record even if they have the same exact qualifications for the job. Oversized white boxes imply the daunting question for minorities, which box do you fit in?* Each box is made of the same materials with differing compositions to create an implication of our humanness and varying cultures. Although, let's not forget, assimilation to white culture is expected regardless of which box is checked. *Don't worry, this doesn't really concern us. It's illegal to discriminate, remember?




Artist Slideshow at Saint Mary’s College Museum of Art

Nic Abramson, Kamal Al Mansour, Marcia Annenberg, Anne Bascove, Nancy Calef, Jane Hickey Caminos, LaShawnda Crowe Storm, Alex Curtiss, Myra Eastman, Rachel Beth Egenhoefer, Beth Fein, Joanna Fulginiti, Patricio Guillamon, Maggy Hiltner, Barbara Horiuchi, Catherine Johnson, Simone Kestelman, Pat Kumicich, Beth Lakamp, Sharon Lange, Monika Malewska, Penny Mateer, Melissa McCutcheon, Beverly Mills, Robbin Milne, Traci Mims, Christopher Owen Nelson, John Nieman, Annamarie Pabst, Annamarie Pabst, Sara Petitt, Roxanne Phillips, IlaSahai Prouty, Remedios Rapoport, Sinan Revell, Trix Rosen, Bridget Rountree, Timo Saarelma, Charles Seaton, Zahava Sherez, Kathryn Shinko, Bonnie J. Smith, Debra Thompson, Doerte Weber, Thomas Whalen, and Aaron Wilder.

Curator note: In order to accommodate as many viewpoints as possible and expand the conversation beyond the physical limitations of the museum, additional works were selected to be shown in a looped slideshow in the gallery.


Nic Abramson Memorial. Mixed media, 120 x 62 x 6 inches, 2015. Memorial is a work that stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter and Say Her Name movements in remembering those innocent, unarmed, black civilians murdered by members of the same police forces whose very job description is to serve and protect them. These 108 names are only a small sample of the lives lost to police violence. This work raises questions about the verisimilitude of white concern for those lost lives and how this lack of real white concern seeds the atmosphere that allows for the oppression of people of color. 108

Kamal Al Mansour American Profile #3: Prison-Industrial Complex. Pastel, fabric, wood, digital, mixed media assemblage on paper, 26 x 48 x 7 inches, 2014. As an artist and digerati, I seek to evolve traditional art forms with a digital collaboration by creating compositions that challenge perceptions and inspire a visual discourse. I often base my work on social and political themes, like in American Profile #3: Prison-Industrial Complex. This is the third piece in my American Profile series, which focuses on the rapid and massive expansion of the U.S. inmate population, as well as the political and economic influence of private prison companies and businesses that contract prison labor. This piece raises the argument that the “prison-industrial complex� actually began as, or was part and parcel to the Atlantic Slave Holocaust—shackled, imprisoned and free labor that industrialized a nation. American Profile #3: Prison-Industrial Complex directly challenges the notion of social justice, pastto-present. 109

Marcia Annenberg Oh Say, Can You See? TV set, veil, photographs, 63 x 23 x 15 inches, 2009. Can the American people trust their news media? At the time of the Iraq War, generals promoting the war on TV, were found to have undisclosed ties to military manufacturing companies. Another question—should companies that manufacture weapon systems also own media companies? 110

Anne Bascove Women in the Military. Pigment print, photographs, drawing, and collage, 31 x 43 inches, 2015. In World War II the insignias on warplanes, known as “Nose Art” transformed into images of young women naked, or nearly so, with captions like “Come and Get It” and “Easy Maid”. They were only gradually phased out after Vietnam. The idea of sex being a reward for the dangers of warfare is brutally pervasive. Statistics of current military assaults have been integrated into these images. 111

Nancy Calef I'm Just Saying. Oil, sculpture, fabric, paper, found objects on canvas, 48 x 120 inches (3 panels), 2010-2012. I create “Peoplescapes�—oil, sculptured characters and applied objects on canvas, addressing political, religious and cultural issues facing society. In this protest scene on the Capitol lawn, the unrepresented come together in the fight for social justice against all odds. The 3D policeman with his dog, and the children exaggerate both the aggressor and victim mentalities. Barack Obama's inauguration invited hope against the backdrop of Bush's departure via helicopter, as prejudices boil over among the impatient citizenry 112

Jane Hickey Caminos Up on the Roofie. Oil and colored pencil on linen, 24 x 30 inches, 2015. In the USA, one in five college women will be raped by males they know. The use of date rape drugs is commonplace. Women who report being assaulted are encouraged to remain silent by school officials who fear enrollment by women will decline should the statistics be exposed. Instead, victims are belittled for drunken behavior and loose morals while the rapists often go unpunished. 113

LaShawnda Crowe Storm Memoria: In Progress. Foam core, bird cage, book and markers, Variable installation, 2010-2016. LaShawnda Crowe Storm is a mixed media artist, activist, community builder and occasionally an urban farmer. Whether she is making artwork or sowing seeds, Crowe Storm uses her creative power as a vehicle for dialogue, social change and healing. At the core of Crowe Storm’s creative practice is a desire to create a community in which the process of making art creates a space and place for difficult conversations. The first step in any form of healing begins first with remembering the fallen and taking ownership of what has happened. This is the purpose of Memoria: In Progress. 114

Alex Curtiss Injury. Watercolor, ink, 4 x 6 inches, 2015. This piece is made up of transphobic things that have been said to or about people like me. Surprisingly, these words come not just from conservatives, but also fellow people within the gay and feminist communities. While it's often assumed that the LBGTQIA community is united, in truth, there is a huge amount of transphobia and transmisogyny that is going unaddressed. With the increasing wave of transphobic legislation spreading across the country, it is important to remember that transgender people are still greatly at risk of harm, and we do need the support of the rest of our community. 115

Myra Eastman Middle East Occupation Series. Ink on paper, 18 x 24 inches, 2008. This series was ignited by the successive wars in the Middle East. Using the simplest of materials, black ink on paper and working quickly I created fifty small paintings of people living under occupation. My goal was to reframe headline news, tightly compose the humans within the action and create lines that carry an urgency and intensity that a more belabored work would not. 116

Rachel Beth Egenhoefer Paper Trail. Installation (jeans, thread, handmade receipts), Variable installation, 2015. Paper Trail attempts to visualize the complex realities behind cheap fashion. Despite only costing the average American $9.99 to purchase a pair of jeans, the true cost of labor, environmental impact, mental and emotional health, and ethical concern suggests a far greater cost. This installation uses thread to map the convoluted relationships between these costs on handwritten receipts. 117

Beth Fein Tres Hermanos (9-11-1973). Lithograph with chine colle, 19.5 x 13.5 inches, 2013. Tres Hermanos 9-11-1973 is a hand pulled print from a series of prints En RincĂłn de mi Memoria, printed and exhibited at ‘ace Proyecto in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I combined personal memories of my family in Argentina during the dictatorship with those who had the strength and bravery to protest against the military junta. This work shows my father-in-law standing in the field in Mendoza with his two brothers as the planes flew overhead to bomb President Allende in Chile. 118

Joanna Fulginiti The Ragdoll Project. Mixed media rag dolls, Variable installation, 2011-2016. The Ragdoll Project is an ongoing community art project created in 2011 that educates the public on sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation and supports local survivors in Philadelphia, PA. Artists, friends and supporters made over 200 handmade ragdolls to symbolize the numbers impacted by sex trafficking. The project has been exhibited across the US and in China. Installations of connected dolls were created to represent the web that connects all of us to this issue. This project is a call to the public to use our collective power to end this crime against women and children. 119

Patricio Guillamon Decadent Ben. Gel ballpoint pens and markers on archival paper, 100 x 56.7 inches, 2015. Decadent Ben is a representation of the post-modernism era in which we live in. Money represents different levels of power, and power represents, in many cases, the dehumanization of societies in relation with each other and the surrounding environment. So Decadent Ben is a symbol of the struggle of social justice, because it happens to all of us, from our individual interaction, to the global repercussions. 120

Maggy Hiltner Red and White Quilt with Racist Embroidery. Found cotton quilt top, found embroidery, cotton, 70 x 42 inches, 2014. No racial or ethnic group has been caricatured as often or in as many ways as Africans and their American descendants. The mammy, the buffoon, the brute—these stereotypes were created in the Jim Crow era of the United States to degrade blacks and justify prejudice and discrimination against them. These images both shaped and reflected attitudes toward blacks, creating limited and limiting characterizations. African-American quilts are often celebrated for characteristics of improvisation, flexible patterning, strip construction and percussive color. I patched and embellished a tattered quilt top that evoked these characteristics with damnable yet highly-collectable racist embroidery. I hope to provoke contemplation and conversation about race issues and their place in Art, collectibles and seemingly innocuous household goods. 121

Barbara Horiuchi With Liberty and Justice for Some. Tar paper, 12 frames, audio unit, 48 x 65 inches, 2009. “With Liberty and Justice for All”…at one time in my young life I believed those words from the Pledge of Allegiance. But then I found out about the WWII experience of my parents, grandparents, other family members along with 120,000 west coast Americans of Japanese ancestry who were forcibly incarcerated in U.S. relocation camps. Two-thirds of those incarcerated were American citizens. The U.S. government gathered data on them and they were assigned prisoner numbers. Given the current prejudicial rhetoric leveled against groups of people based on their religion, orientation, ethnicity, or gender, this type of injustice must never happen again in our “land of the free.” 122

Catherine Johnson Cuba Libre? Acrylic on board, 40 x 30 x 3 inches, 2015. Before working as a full-time artist, I worked for the US Federal Government in the area of international trade. I saw how trade agreements and sanctions affect all levels of society. I often revisit my frustration over punitive trade law in my art. The American society is currently too passive about domestic and foreign policy. I feel it is a duty to use art to prompt a discussion. 123

Simone Kestelman Marching Soldiers. Ceramic, 8 x 1 x 5 feet, 2013. I am a sculptor and multi-media artist, working primarily in glass, ceramics and photography. For the past 10 years I’ve focused my artwork on two issues: disabilities and violence against women and children. Growing up in one of the largest developing nations, I became acutely aware of Brazil’s social issues. All my life I’ve seen Brazil’s beauty as well as its dark side. I see marvelous landscapes, architecture, soulful music, and delicious food in the shadow of violence and extreme socio-economic inequality, which still plague Brazilian society. The socio-economic dimension at the heart of Brazil’s problems informed my developing art, which I infused with an immediate and human understanding of the impact of injustice, inequality and abuse. 124

Pat Kumicich Stop the Madness. Mixed fibers (cotton, organza, silk, newsprint), 38 x 48 inches, 2014. I do not understand why there is so much madness and violence directed toward women throughout our world. It must stop! 125

Beth Lakamp Protesting the Pink Collar Work Uniform. Watercolor on panel, 16 x 20 inches, 2015. The pink collar is the subjugated working women restricted by societal stereotypes. Corporate culture continues to do define the women's role. The collars asphyxiate the potential. 126

Sharon Lange FREEDOM - Liberty Lighting Our Way. Oil on Belgian linen, 93 x 74 inches, 2015. In this allegorical scene, I created a personified Lady Liberty, her torch ablaze, lighting our way through the darkness (evil); the ethereal quality of her edges, symbolizing the Ideal of FREEDOM, that we all look up to and hold dear. Gathering before her, are all of us‌ a diverse group of hopeful Americans, representing many Faiths and Ethnicities. And in the foreground, an American Soldier, the only one not looking up at Liberty‌ gazing out into her light, protecting the Freedoms we are blessed to enjoy here. The First Amendment of our Constitution is the foundation of our freedoms, and all 5 freedoms guaranteed under that amendment are represented in the painting. 127

Monika Malewska What Happened to Sandy? Water based paints on paper, 22 x 18 inches, 2016. The piece titled What Happened to Sandy? was inspired by the mysterious circumstances of a tragic death (and possible murder) of Sandra Bland, a 28-year-old African American woman who was brutally arrested by a Texas state trooper for allegedly failing to use her turn signal and later found dead in the Waller County jail on July 13, 2015. The circumstances of Sandy’s death are still unknown, raising more questions than providing answers. However, Bland’s death points to a much larger picture of widespread racial bias and police brutality in our country. These images call attention to the process of their construction, but in doing so they also engender a deconstruction of the image—one which ultimately illustrates how shocking and disturbing imagery can be made to seem normal or banal. While looking at the paint by numbers paintings it is impossible not to be immediately aware of the actual numbers that map out the color-coded fields of each image. Yet, the patchwork of colors employed in the paint by numbers format requires the viewer to spend more time, or step away from the painting, to process the entire image visually. This slowing of the act of perception stands in marked contrast to the way we respond to the countless visual images we are bombarded with on an everyday basis through the mainstream media. Thus, my paintings reference how the ubiquity of images in the modern world contributes to the way we become inured to monstrosities and how we are often unable or unwilling to see the bigger picture, so to speak. 128

Penny Mateer Listen to Sly...Isn't it About Everybody? #1 Celebration Series Cotton commercial fabric, beads, sequins, found objects applique, beaded and machine quilted, 26 x 23.5 inches, 2011. President Obama ends the legal defense of the Defense of Marriage Act. “Every single American—gay, straight, lesbian, bisexual, transgender—every single American deserves to be treated equally in the eyes of the law and in the eyes of our society. It's a pretty simple proposition.” October 1, 2011 129

Melissa McCutcheon And Then There Were None. Oil on canvas, 22 x 18 inches, 2015. Trauma leads to a sense of displacement; being a member of a specific tribe and no tribe at all—a native of the dispossessed. The desire to investigate this experience within a cultural context so different from my own serves to alleviate, in a universal sense, my own unresolved feelings of isolation and loss by allowing me to “bear witness” to the suffering of others in a way I could not for myself, in the past. I complete the process of “bearing witness” through artistic documentation—a permanent monument to survival. 130

Beverly Mills Out of Dreams...60. Found paper and photographs, 25 x 20 inches, 2015. When you decide to go to war, we women and children will be raped, murdered and starved in greater numbers than the soldiers you have in the field. 131

Robbin Milne I Know, We Will Be OK. Acrylic on canvas, framed, 18 x 24 inches, 2016. This piece, I Know, We Will Be OK, is part of a body of work I began this year, in response to the Refugee Crisis. The work came from my sadness of seeing Syrian Refugees fleeing their war torn country, and knowing how horrific it must be for the children. The fallout of war is more than crumbling buildings and dead bodies, it’s the lasting long term affects of fear as you scramble to survive and fight for your basic needs. Painting abstractions and bringing light to the subject of our humanity and the plight of surviving children in war and migration is the premise for this work. 132

Traci Mims Have you seen what i've seen?#Amerikkkan landscape. Graphite on paper, 2 x 18 feet, 2016. Have you seen what i’ve seen?#Amerikkkan landscape chronicles the social injustices endured, overlooked, and overcome by African American people in the United States. A lot of the circumstances I have portrayed are some of the extreme injustices but there were so many I could not obviously include them all. It was important for me to also include the individuals who have used their talents and intellect to overcome those barriers and injustices as well. 133

Christopher Owen Nelson There Famished Young Worker. Carved and painted cast acrylic, 18 x 18 inches, 2014. In my recent work I have focused primarily on the incorporation of the human element into landscapes to draw a deeper association between people and their place of being, where they come from, and how they contribute to it. Casting torn up love letters, print, papers and fabrics, into relief carved resin, serves as a vehicle for the viewer to develop a fundamental connection with the work, then to move towards establishing a relationship with the space created by the associative elements. My goal is for the viewer to be transported to a deeply grounded place, and to be able to subconsciously respond to the love that is physically suspended in the work. 134

John Nieman Red Tape. Watercolor on paper, 18 x 28 inches, 2010. At a certain point, justice delayed is justice denied. With all the red tape we much endure from government and bureaucracy, it's enough to make committed individuals give up. This painting in words and images, illustrates the problem. 135

Annamarie Pabst S21 Prisoner #3. Framed charcoal on board, 18 x 24 inches, 2015. The portraits are rendered from mugshots taken inside S-21 Prison during the 1970's Khmer Rouge genocide. There were 12 known survivors out of the 17,000 people that were imprisoned there. The drawings are meant to emit a strength of will to survive despite imminent suffering, death, and disappearance. 136

Annamarie Pabst S21 Prisoner #4. Framed charcoal on board, 18 x 24 inches, 2015. The portraits are rendered from mugshots taken inside S-21 Prison during the 1970's Khmer Rouge genocide. There were 12 known survivors out of the 17,000 people that were imprisoned there. The drawings are meant to emit a strength of will to survive despite imminent suffering, death, and disappearance. 137

Sara Petitt Afghan Raped Women. Collage on acid free paper , 13 x 19 inches, 2015. The piece represented in this show is part of a series of digital and mixed media collages that deal with women's issues in different countries. Using my love of textiles and background as a textile designer I have tried to make the “message� about social injustice embedded in an aesthetically pleasing work of art. 138

Roxanne Phillips Medical. Etching, 13 x 11 inches, 2016. The Money series is about everything one must afford in order to “get by�. There is a large percentage of people who work, and work, and work, and still cant make ends meet. 139

IlaSahai Prouty Paper Bag Test. Screen-printed paper bags, 17 x 36 inches each, 2016. The Paper Bag Test was (and is) used to separate black people into two categories: those lighter that a paper bag, and those darker. I remember thinking, “Which paper bag are we using?� when I first heard about the test. This version of Paper Bag Test attempts to develop a complex dialog about skin tone and stereotypes in contrast with what is often a shallow and reductive conversation in our culture. It also offers the possibility of reclaiming and redefining the language we use to construct the categories of race. My goals with this piece are to engage people in thinking about how we use words to describe, imply and evaluate race, to ask them to reflect on how they see their own skin tone and the skin tones of others, and to present race as a social, as opposed to scientific, construction. 140

Remedios Rapoport Power to the People II. Oil alkyd painted sculpture on wood with gilding, mirror, and collage behind antique slumped glass, 58 x 48 x 4 inches, 2010. Honoring the power of people as heroes, with a collage of historic figures and people active in non-violent protests or community actions throughout time. As a mirror puts the viewer into the action of this piece, I aim to empower them for actions of positive change. Together we can rebuild our social justice system, protect our civil and human rights, reduce harm to the under-privileged, and stop the privileged few from perpetuating war and earthly harm. 141

Sinan Revell DoppelgANGER/Sex Slaves. Archival inkjet print, 18 X 24 X 2 inches, 2006. This series of self-portraits was conceived to express the idea that we can no longer be innocent or ignorant of our personal and global connectedness. I selected locations and staged dioramas, often of famous images—not to glamourize or mythologize our alter egos, but to hold a mirror up to our darker sides. Fame or Infamy are both equally desired. Victim/Aggressor, Judge/Jury—we are surrounded by these dichotomies. Ultimately, we are capable of being both, given the right circumstances. By putting myself into the picture as all the characters, I erase the Power of the ego and postulate the notion of chance. 142

Trix Rosen AUTHENTIC GENDER QUEER. Fine art exhibition inkjet paper with archival pigmented ink, 29.5 x 20 inches, 2013. From the earliest days of my career in art and photography I have depicted social justice issues by photographing strong and defiant women who bravely break taboos and re-define their cultural and sexual representation. Many of my images embrace the fluidity of gender identity and the possibility that we each hold a myriad of alternative selves within us. Dean, the photojournalist and visual artist depicted in AUTHENTIC GENDER QUEER, self-identifies as “they,” and says: “There is nothing more courageous than being yourself in a world that tries to render you invisible in mundane and violent ways.” 143

Bridget Rountree Titled/Untitled. Found images, paper, glue, 8 x 10.5 inches, 2014. This work juxtaposes social, political, and art historical imagery as a way to question perceived value and generate discussions of content within a visual language. By challenging dualistic representations of the savior and saved, winner and loser, victim and rescuer, the artist seeks to query the ideas and philosophies that lead to hierarchical structures of thought. Exploring found imagery becomes a way to revitalize, reorganize and reveal the possibility of new relationships among previously defined histories. 144

Timo Saarelma Struggle: L.A. C-print, 20 x 13 inches, 2015. Mass evictions sweeping across Los Angeles.12% increase in homelessness—just in one year. Abuse and harassment by landlords. Loss of rent controlled apartments through the Ellis Act. Displacement and dislocation. Anger and grief. Lost homes, disconnections from neighborhoods and communities left behind. People across the city from black, Latino, white and Asian neighborhoods have come together to fight back. Political and media strategies and campaigns have been launched. Protests have been organized in various locations throughout the city and others join in solidarity. Boyle Heights, Highland Park, Frogtown, Los Feliz, Mid-City, Downtown, Echo Park, Hollywood, Venice, MacArthur Park. People have had enough. A union for tenants has been born. A movement is growing. In the Struggle: L.A. series of photographs I have documented moments in the rise of this housing justice movement in Los Angeles. 145

Charles Seaton The Wall Series (Reagan). Digital art, 20 x 20 inches, 2016. The Reagan Chapter of The Wall Series represents how the Republican party, once the liberators of oppression, are now the oppressors of human rights and other social justice issues. It is our duty as rational, sensible people to remain vigilant during times that may diminish our freedoms. 146

Zahava Sherez Those People Are Us. Clay, 144 x 72 x 42 inches, 2006-2015. Human race’s history is filled with nomads, migrants, and refugees. In our bloodlines we can find the strong and courageous ones who fled persecutions to ensure our survival, and the ones who fought for our rights to be, as equals. Let’s remember, respect each other, and pledge justice for all. 147

Kathryn Shinko Bastards. Cotton, ink, paper, thread, Dimensions variable, 2013. Bastards is a series presenting six international cases of gruesome abuse against women that range from the promotion of rape culture, to sexual abuse, to gang rape and fatal sexual assault. The names of the perpetrators have been printed onto handmade pairs of pink panties that represent female vulnerability. But the fact that the perpetrators' names are on the backs–not the fronts–diminishes their power by associating them with a part of the body that elicits disrespect. Below each pair of panties is a document describing the incidents of abuse. The title was not chosen for provocation; there is simply no other way to describe the perpetrators of these crimes. 148

Bonnie J. Smith Racism Raises Its Ugly Head. Cotton fabrics, batting, fabric ink pen, transferred photos, 32 x 41 inches, 2012. What is fair about the world viewing people from just one side? If history has taught us nothing we know this concept of thinking is wrong and never works. 149

Debra Thompson Meltdown. Encaustic assemblage, 26 x 48 inches, 2013. Consumer over exuberance and institutional greed fed the collective delusion that security and wealth could be built on mounds of debt. Financial institutions and consumer lines of credit crashed leaving many homeowners in a slow meltdown. Consumers would ultimately bail out corporations deemed “too big to fail� as they themselves struggled to recover. The disparity in institutional and personal responsibility underscores how unchecked power and money can create a massive social injustice. 150

Doerte Weber Checkpoint Carlos (Installation). Structural weaving with bags from newspapers, 8 x 4 feet each, 11 panels, 2014. When the border wall between the US and Mexico was built, memories of my home country’s border division (Germany 1961-89) surfaced. Checkpoint Carlos forms 10 passageways—woven plastic bags from newspaper given to me by a vast number of people in San Antonio TX. They symbolized our common humanity, support for human rights and immigration reform. 151

Thomas Whalen Milkweed Babies. Oil on canvas, 38 x 38 inches, 2015. Milkweed Babies examines the various perspectives surrounding the subject of genetic engineering. While genetic engineering has existed in some form or another since the early 70s it has recently become more of a household term as a hotly debated social issue as the subject of Genetically Modified Organisms or GMOs Many argue that genetically modified organisms that we encounter can significantly damage health and wellbeing, others argue for convenience and inexpensive, immediate solutions to global hunger. While genetic engineering was once limited to experimentation within organisms of the same species, contemporary practices engineer varied species so that they share identical genetic material. 152

Aaron Wilder Valuing Diversity. Cut vinyl lettering surrounding a framed 16 x 20 inch archival photo print, 66 x 110 inches, 2015. I am an interdisciplinary artist who mixes painting, collage, photography, graphic design, writing, and installation to blur boundaries between the analog and the digital, the public and the private, and the unassuming and the instigative. My work explores the introspective and social processes of contemporary culture in the way an anthropologist would analyze fragments of an ancient civilization. Valuing Diversity is one of six large wall installations from Core Values, one of my concept-driven projects incorporating my core belief that art can and should be used as a social justice tool generating critical thinking, dialogue, knowledge sharing, and understanding between individuals with divergent world perspectives. Core Values interrogates the space between the marketing-centric ways an employer communicates to employees and the daily interactions in the workplace where interpersonal communication can contradict an employer’s aspirational core values statement. Which communications are most foundational in building a sense of reality for employees? 153


Artist Directory for Slideshow


Nic Abramson Shady, New York

Patricio Guillamon San Francisco, California

Kamal Al Mansour San Jose, California

Maggy Hiltner Red Lodge, Montana

Marcia Annenberg New York, New York

Barbara Horiuchi Saratoga, California

Anne Bascove New York, New York

Catherine Johnson Redmond, Washington

Nancy Calef San Francisco, California

Simone Kestelman White Plains, New York

Jane Hickey Caminos Watchung, New Jersey

Pat Kumicich Naples, Florida

LaShawnda Crowe Storm Indianapolis, Indiana

Beth Lakamp Fenton, Missouri

Alex Curtiss New Orleans, Louisiana

Sharon Lange Spring Lake, Michigan

Myra Eastman Santa Cruz, California

Monika Malewska Huntingdon, Pennsylvania

Rachel Beth Egenhoefer California

Penny Mateer Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Beth Fein Berkeley, California

Melissa McCutcheon Baltimore, Maryland Beverly Mills San Francisco, California

Joanna Fulginiti Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 156

Robbin Milne Concord, California

Bridget Rountree San Diego, California

Traci Mims Jacksonville, Florida

Timo Saarelma Los Angeles, California

Christopher Owen Nelson Santa Fe, New Mexico

Charles Seaton San Diego, California

John Nieman Dobbs Ferry, New York www,

Zahava Sherez Oakland, California

Annamarie Pabst San Francisco, California

Kathryn Shinko Akron, Ohio

Annamarie Pabst San Francisco, California

Bonnie J. Smith San Jose, California

Sara Petitt New York, New York

Debra Thompson Palm Springs, California

Roxanne Phillips St. Louis, Missouri

Doerte Weber San Antonio, Texas

IlaSahai Prouty Bakersville, North Carolina

Thomas Whalen Chatham, Illinois

Remedios Rapoport Portland, Oregon

Aaron Wilder San Francisco, California

Sinan Revell Pacific Palisades, California Trix Rosen Jersey City, New Jersey 157


Artist Essays


NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS M. Annenberg It is not an overstatement to say that American journalism is endangered. In the 1990’s it was simply a question of the insertion of entertainment news into the news hour. By 2012, the news hour has shrunk—on some stations—to 80 seconds around the world. Does market research really find that the average American citizen can maintain interest in world news for only 80 seconds? With media consolidation, came the closing of news bureaus overseas, to increase profit margins. What if Osama Bin Laden’s articles, published in London, were publicized in 1998, instead of Monica Lewinsky’s blue dress stains? Would our national security apparatus been more focused? Probably. Where is the news that informs, instead of titillates? More recently, it is the under reporting of domestic news that should concern us. My artwork, No News Is Good News grew out of an inadvertent discovery of the omission of a critically important news story that was omitted from national news— namely, the signing of the NDAA, on New Year’s Eve, by the president in 2012. I was startled to discover on the internet, a week after the signing, that it had in fact taken place the prior week. Why does this matter? A bill that even FBI Director, Robert Mueller objected to—gave the army the same power as the police—to arrest terrorism suspects. Since when did the army become an adjunct police force? This news caused barely a ripple in the national press. I couldn’t believe that I had missed this news, so I started to send away for national newspapers, for example, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Philadelphia Enquirer, the Los Angeles Times, the Dallas Free Press, the Detroit Free Press and the Tampa Bay Times. What I found was that it simply wasn’t reported—except for page 22 in the New York Times and the front page of the Dallas Free Press. How did it come to this? As our fourth amendment protections slip away, against unreasonable search and seizure, under the cover of the war on terror…with warrantless access to our

No New is Good News by M. Annenberg

email and phone calls—allowing the gathering of data without encryption—we have to wonder why the press has acquiesced, without protest. As investigative journalism moves into the web of the internet, the American people are left in a state of unknowing. Not only do we not know what the government is doing on our behalf in the fight against terrorism—due to the absence of reporting, we don’t know that we don’t know what it is that we are missing. 160

In this bubble of mostly entertainment and crime news the public is fed on a daily basis, how can we make critical judgments on policy without any background in world affairs? Political contests become sound bites. Photogenic leaders are given scripts that play to designated interest groups. Perhaps the greatest deceit of our time is the obfuscation of the science behind global warming. As the level of greenhouse gas rises above 400 parts per million, will any politician take to the floor of Congress to demand action? How many newspapers and how many newscasts reported the implications of that number? When the greatest threat to our future has been suppressed for years—can we still say that America has a free press? From: Seven Stories Press , Project Censored 2014 Essay – page 421


AMERICAN DREAM Jenny E. Balisle The “American Dream” concept and national identity reflects a bias and perspective eager for an honesty alarm. The beneficiaries of this utopia conquered and enslaved to protect a narrative of compliancy. Artists have the responsibility to encourage dialogue for positive change. A dream for some is difficult to imagine and art has the power to activate. Social justice seems to ebb and flow like a river of common sense and distortion. For example, the Second Amendment allows citizens to keep and bear arms. Even if an American is on a terrorist watch list, it is no obstacle to purchase a firearm. This “freedom” offers no apologies and reason. In a political climate of virtually no agreement, 86% of Americans support this law but politicians stand in perpetual inaction (Jordan 2016). America by Jenny E. Balisle

On June 12th 2016, 49 people lost their lives in Orlando to what the media repeatedly declared as the deadliest mass shooting in history (Lizette Alvarez 2016). An inconceivable tragedy positioned on a long list deeply rooted in our culture and history. In East St. Louis in 1917, 100 African Americans were killed by violence (Gross 2016). In 1890, 250 Native Americans were massacred at Wounded Knee in South Dakota (Wishart 2011). Injustice continues to happen to not just one, but to us all. Understanding the past strengthens the future platform for meaningful change. Art has the ability to rebuild the framework of trust and justice. Artists must guide and reclaim the “American Dream” at home and globally. The pursuit to happiness includes freedom without prejudice and oppression. This is the ethos man must strive for.

Bibliography Gross, Ariela. Orlando Mass Shooting Not Deadliest in American History. June 14, 2016. (accessed June 21, 2016). Jordan, William. 86% of Americans support law banning gun sales to people on terror watch list. June 16, 2016. news/2016/06/16/86-percent-americans-support-law-banning-gun-sale/ (accessed June 21, 2016). Lizette Alvarez, Richard Perez-Pena and Christine Hauser. Orlando Gunman Was ‘Cool and Calm’ After Massacre, Police Say. June 13, 2016. http:// (accessed June 21, 2016). Wishart, David J. Encyclopedia of the Great Plains. January 1, 2011. (accessed June 21, 2016).



A disproportionate number of our children are being lost in our education system. As an artist, art educator and advocate, I have actively been involved in informing the community about the injustices occurring within the school system serving our children. Despite Federal mandates, arts, music and other enrichment programs are systematically being deleted from our schools. Enrichment programs in schools help our children thrive, and research shows these programs positively affect the population of students that are at risk for dropping out of school. When the programs are absent at the middle school level, the students become disengaged. These at risk students are the students I teach. Why is it so important that we stop the removal of these programs? Students who would be identified gifted in the arts are not identified. Students who are talented in the arts and who would seek arts degrees and need to compete with portfolios or bodies of work are grossly unprepared to compete in the academic arts realm. Students who would have lucrative art careers are not identified and nurtured. The removal of Arts programs, like the removal of occupational programs, threatens to leave our students with even fewer alternatives to college and seek tangible career goals. I want to close with a personal story. Three years ago, I identified a female student who was gifted in the arts in the 7th grade. She was removed from my art class because she tested below basic in math. I went to the Assistant Principal (AP) to advocate for this student. I told him that the student was not testing below basic because of her intelligence. At the time, I also coordinated the IMPACT program and the young lady was one of my students in the program. She was dealing with an abusive and neglectful home environment. She wasn't testing well because she didn’t care. I watched her in homeroom make a brilliant Pac Man design on the standardized test. The AP agreed that if she tested well the next time, she could be placed back into my art class. Her 8th grade year, she was placed in Advance Art. Six weeks into class she was ripped out of Advanced Art. This time I contacted the student's drug addicted abusive mother and convinced her that her child had a chance to make a difference in 163

difference in her future if only she would come and advocate for her child. All she had to do is insist she be given art. Reluctantly she did. The AP in the first 5 minutes coldly looked at the mother. (More upset at me for attempting to undermine his decision, and said, “Let me get this straight. As a mother, you want your daughter to draw when she can't even count?” The mother looked at me and the daughter and said, “I know I shouldn’t have come up here for this bitch.” Needless to say that student and I didn’t remain close, but I kept tabs on her, and of course, she didn’t graduate 8th grade from Bret Harte. I often thought about her and 3 years later the day before Christmas break this past December she walked through my door. She told me how important art was to her and how devastated she was when they took her out of art. I asked her how she was and what she was up to. She told me she was homeless. Her mother abandoned her and her brother. She had dropped out of school early 9th grade and had been on the run avoiding DCFS. She told me the little she was able to learn, while briefly in my class, still encourages her to draw and create when she can. She said to me, “Ms. Brown, that’s my only sanity with all this madness.” I fought back tears as she told me some of her street tales. I cannot allow the removal of Arts programs in our schools to continue. My student was gifted in the arts. The education system has failed her. Please join me in making a change and fighting for our youth so they can have the options they deserve and the education mandated by Federal Law!



No racial or ethnic group has been caricatured as often or in as many ways as Africans and their American descendants. The mammy, the buffoon, the brute—these stereotypes were created in the Jim Crow era of the United States to degrade blacks and justify prejudice and discrimination against them. These images, which were products of white imagination, both shaped and reflected attitudes toward blacks, creating limited and limiting characterizations. New Black caricatures continue to be created; ideas about the “Plain Brown Rapper”, the doped Rastafarian, the thug, the crack baby and the welfare queen continue to degrade and pigeonhole Black Americans.

Red and White Quilt with Racist Embroidery (detail) by Maggy Hiltner

References: Pilgrim, David, Dr. “New Racist Forms.” New Racist Forms. January 2001. Accessed June 22, 2016.



Requiem for Flight by Beth Krensky

“Art has the power to mold and shape the world in which we live.” --Joseph Beuys, artist The arts offer the possibility of transformation on both an individual and societal level. According to Gloria Anzaldua, individuals and society are inextricably linked such that transformation on an individual level alters the larger context. She believes that the arts hold the power to transform the individual creator of the work as well as the larger social context within which the art exists (Anzaldua, 1987). Educational philosopher Maxine Greene asserts that “the arts offer opportunities for perspective, for perceiving alternative ways of transcending and of being in the world” (Greene, 1991, p. 8). She believes that art creates a free space where anything is possible (1995). It is this free space or possible world that breaks down social barriers and allows people to name themselves, envision a different reality, and engage in the remaking of their world (Freire, 1970/1993). This capacity is at once empowering and revolutionary. “[T]he radical qualities of art, that is to say, its indictment of the established reality and its invocation of the beautiful image (schoner Schein) of liberation are grounded precisely in the dimensions where art transcends its social determination and emancipates itself from the given universe of discourse and behavior while preserving its overwhelming presence” (Marcuse, 1977, p. 522). It is not surprising that artists are often the first people to be exiled or tortured when oppressive regimes come to power. Artists have both the capacity to indict society and the ability to offer the possibility of change. 166

John Dewey asserted that change in the imagination is the precursor to changes in society. He believed that “[o]nly imaginative vision elicits the possibilities that are interwoven within the texture of the actual…The first stirrings of dissatisfaction and the first intimations of a better future are always found in works of art” (Dewey, 1934, pp. 345-346). For this reason, he believed that art as experience needed to be a central component of education. Its ability to touch imagination, desire, emotion, and possibility made it the “incomparable organ of instruction” (Dewey, 1934, p. 347). The arts have the ability to create a free space where one can envision something outside the realm of what already exists for oneself, one’s community, or the world. Within this so-called free space, people can try on new identities. “The arts provide ways for individuals to give voice to or depict their experiences, to try on new identities or perspectives, and even to visualize, articulate, or act out the impossible” (Holloway and LeCompte, 2001, p. 394).

Bibliography: Anzaldua, G. (1987). Borderlands/la frontera: The new mestiza. San Francisco: Aunt Lute Books. Dewey, J. (1934). Art as experience. New York : Minton, Balch & Company. Freire, P. (1970, 1993). Pedagogoy of the oppressed. New York : Continuum. Greene, M. (1991). Texts and margins, Harvard Educational Review, 61(1), 1-18. Greene, M. (1995). Releasing the imagination: Essays on education, the arts, and social change. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Holloway, D. L. and LeCompte, M. D. (2001). Becoming somebody!: How arts programs support positive identity for middle school girls. Education and Urban Society, 33 (4), 388-408. Marcuse, H. (1977). The aesthetic dimension. Boston: Beacon Press.



The visual arts provides a format for expression that can be powerful in both describing and eliciting intellectual and visceral responses to the images presented. In thinking about social issues and social justice it is hard to escape the toxic and chaotic nature of politics in our country and around the world. As conflicting issues collide with one another the resulting flashpoints threaten to create an uncontrollable burn. A burn that threatens to destroy life as we know it today. To quench some of the anger and seek resolution and healing we must proactively seek out the humanity in these situations and move away from viewing life in abstract terms. We can do that by looking at others, different from ourselves, and try to understand their worldviews and their life through their eyes. Naturally, my own worldview has been formed by my life experience. I am a gay man, born in the Caribbean of Asian descent who was educated in an English based system run by Jesuit priests in Jamaica, went to college in Canada and the USA and who has also lived in Guam and traveled worldwide and now live in the Pacific Northwest. Using my art I seeks to engage the viewer by having them look at people from other parts of the world, to gaze into their faces and to imagine what they might be experiencing. It is a small step in the scope of world healing but at the same time a very large personal step forward. When we experience empathy for others then we grow as individuals and as a nation.

Top: Weary Isolation Bottom: I Ask My Fellow Countryman by Scott Leahing



Talk to people. Get the conversation started. Plant the seed. All it takes is becoming informed on an issue: child abuse, prison reform, voting rights, etc. Then begin the conversation with as many people as you can, casually over dinner, over coffee. No pressure on them, more of an “I just learned the most interesting things about…” Make them curious, give them some info they’ve never thought about. People have had enough conversations about finding the best restaurants. Give them a new perspective on a serious issue, get the ball rolling. A little conversation can go a long way.

Haunted Sanctuaries 27 by Beverly Mills



Socially conscious art motivates change around the world by providing to its audience insight that explores in-depth where mainstream media ends. Nothing is hidden. The power of its symbolic imagery speaks in an instant on behalf of a diverse ethnological audience. Whether the art is traditionally of digitally designed, whether it harbors a beautiful or caustic aesthetic—or even a non-aesthetic—its message in an increasingly visual culture offers a perspective on society independent of political rhetoric and political agendas. James Baldwin said it best, “The purpose of art is to lay bare the questions which have been hidden by the answers.”

Gun Lobby by Nancy Ohanian


REMEDIOS RAPOPORT Seeing the extreme abuses of the privileged few—and their supporters—destroying the health of our natural environment while destroying the fairness of our social and justice systems around the world—I wrote the following piece with the goal of empowering people into actions of healthy change. With these words I mean to inspire lifestyle changes and actions that protect our human rights, civil rights, and democratic processes, for the benefit of all people and all life on Earth. I believe we are all one and interconnected, so what happens to one affects the quality of life on Earth for all. I am inspired by the thought that; if each person on Earth, would manifest these ideas at every moment they could, then the world would change for the better quite quickly. THE GENTLE REVOLUTION MANIFESTO PEOPLE, inspiring PEOPLE, to get involved, with positive change. PEOPLE, protecting our natural earth, and our cultures, from destructive practices. PEOPLE, thinking about positive ideas, and making positive actions happen. PEOPLE, supporting a peaceful, non-violent, and gentle revolution of change, an evolution of humans, marked by changed behavior. PEOPLE, working together, and solving problems. PEOPLE, being PEOPLE, as we heal ourselves, and heal the world. PEOPLE, learning to live with more love and tolerance. PEOPLE, living simply, comfortably, and with less greed. PEOPLE, protecting justice and democracy. PEOPLE, being gentle and respectful to all life.

Power to the People (detail) by Remedios Rapoport



On the 4th of July weekend I turned on the radio and heard an unfamiliar Frank Sinatra song “The House I Live In (What is America to Me?).�1 Although not a Sinatra fan, the song brought tears to my eyes. Written in 1943 and previously recorded by Paul Robeson, it was featured and sung by Sinatra in the 1945 film of the same name. Both song and movie were created to combat racial prejudice and anti-Semitism at the end of World War II.2 Growing up as an immigrant child of Holocaust survivors, America to me was defined by the faces I saw at school and in the street, people of all races, ethnicities, and religions living and working together free and in harmony. America was a country of diversity and tolerance, mutual respect and coexistence. The America we live in today is not the same. There is rising anti-immigrant sentiment, bigotry, racism, homophobia, violence, too many guns in the hands of wrong people, mass shootings by deranged fanatics. Fear mongering has too many convinced it is impossible to differentiate between immigrant, refugee, and terrorist. Home should be a place of comfort and peace, not a war zone. We must not remain silent. Inaction can have dire consequences. Artists must add their voices to a call for change.

The Power of the Pied Piper by Linda Friedman Schmidt

1. (accessed July 4, 2016) 2. (accessed July 4, 2016)


DUST AND ECHOES Charles Andrew Seaton

You can kill a person but you cannot kill an idea it graces mountains permeates our skin squeezes our guts echoes through walls of days past it is inevitable these ephemeral truths cannot be grasped no tool of man can uncover them yet they shine through the dark in sweeping gazes shaking these facades man has wrought ashes and dust are all that remain life’s music roars through these spaces leaving behind archaic masks that faintly glow of a saints ideals who fell from grace toward the sobering world that lay below it could not run it could not hide nor could it return to its place up above no matter how much it yearned and swore these gates were bound shut nonetheless by his own word consumed with despair it grew weary in its last gasps for only then did it know and so it faded towards the edge leaving behind winds soft touch

Top: Skins, Bottom: Center13, by Charles Andrew Seaton



What to say? What to do? What has changed? What if nothing has changed? What do we do? Another place another time, really! What do we do! What can we do? What should we do? Do we do nothing? Have we done nothing? What I see is nothing has changed! What should we do? What can we do? Just do nothing! Do not just stand there! Do something! Do right the wrong! Do something. Do make people see the wrong! Do just do! Do create art! What can I do? Make them see the wrong! Please just don’t stand man! Just do! Do what is right! What if I can’t? Just do man! Don’t stand and do nothing! Do what is right. Do what is right. Will the man listen? Will man do right? Respect your fellow man! Don’t do what man has done before! Celebrate what is right! Let’s just do right! Respect your fellow man! Just do right! That is easy! Yes, just respect your fellow man! WHAT TO DO? JUST DO IT! RESPECT YOUR FELLOWMAN!

Beauty Shop by Bonnie J. Smith

Bonnie J. Smith©


EIKE WALTZ Alan Ginsberg on my Bagel So…I took that sharp kitchen knife and schmear Alan Ginsberg* all over my stale toasted bagel: An incomplete breath of Freedom in no particular order Freedom to let the National Freedom Day… in silence… slide by… Why? Freedom of speech—equals Freedom to silence speech—equals Freedom of complacency. Freedom for America to kick plenty ass* Freedom to be macho, to be number one* Freedom to out-source and shut off the live-line of dreams Freedom to protect politicians health and retirement needs Freedom to deny care and entitlements for the everyone else Freedom to peddle pills for all the illnesses they want us to have Freedom to buy judges!* Freedom for war! A fight for what peace Freedom to turn collateral damage into profit Freedom for overt…covert…war sleaze* Freedom to carpet bomb evil empires into the oblivious Freedom to call the “are you with me—or—are you against me” bluff Freedom to whitewash hypocrisy Freedom to claim that only adversaries are corrupt Freedom to claim democracy…even we are not Freedom to education with a price tag to ruin Freedom for the police and guys with guns* to shoot what is not white the target…always the center of the heart Freedom to squirt mace in little boy’s face* Freedom to influence network news Freedom to revive imperialism…Hail the fascists Camelot Freedom to abandon Latin Human Rights* Freedom to break human right agreements Freedom to create the international court…but not comply Freedom to burn the Koran by the fanatical Christian right Freedom to claim that god wrote the constitution Freedom to commingle church with state Freedom to demand: “tear down that Berlin Wall” Freedom to build that Mexican Wall…extra tall Freedom for big banks not to fail Freedom to screw…you…and never go to jail Freedom to dwell in that tax free offshore stash 175

Freedom to hide inside the Panama Papers wash Freedom to go to jail…if you…forgot to declare your dime Freedom to steal your home…from that corrupted government loan Freedom to commit a little (loophole) perjury* Freedom to profit from your misery Freedom to leak to the press what’s good for the 1% America, Freedom not to check what’s not true and who really said it Freedom to the notion that democracy means: …ignorance is just as good as your knowledge Freedom to suppress and character assassinate the whistleblower Freedom to jail without charge in jails without jurisdiction Freedom to bust you for grass if you please* Freedom to be the #1 profitable incarcerated nation Freedom to use a skate board, paddle board, surf board and water board torture Freedom to buy elections, or by decision of the partisan Supreme Court Freedom to overturn the peoples vote Freedom to prevent the people to vote Freedom to turn an election into a national freak show Freedom to make state of the union promises… Freedom to suffocate in political and small print morass Freedom to put GMO, hormones and antibiotics into our food Freedom to poison entitlements such as clean air and water Freedom to take our country back…back to what?…slavery…women can’t vote?? Let me tell you: Freedom… is you…the precious one…of the few…. Freedom is my poem of deep rooted fears Freedom to withdraw… in soggy tears Yes…Only thoughts are free…as nobody can guess what they see Ok: Shut the fuck up…dude…get it…we are the only country on this planet with such an abundance of Freedom ….Get it!....Got it!!!!


Sequence 01 (0-00-48-00) by Aaron Wilder

YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT Aaron Wilder You have the right to remain silent. Do words such as those always retain their power? I may be white, but I refuse to be blinded by the myth that we live in a post-racial society. Given the countless examples of racial tension in national media, the contemporary moment is clearly not colorblind. Maybe it is an example of what Dr. King referred to as the “tranquilizing drug of gradualism” back in August 1963. You have the right to remain silent. What authority figure’s face is truly behind the racial turmoil of our present? We have the tendency to be insatiable when it comes to pointing the finger at anyone but ourselves. We must pay attention to see the truth at our national core, to unmask the ugly face beneath the residue of racism, to reveal what is concealed, to continue dramatizing this shameful condition. It is still racism. Many would point to the Confederate Flag as ground zero. There continues to be neither rest nor tranquility in the South or elsewhere as we can see from 2014 and 2015 alone:




The prison industrial complex and other structural apparatuses continued from the slave plantation; Prioritization of militant nationalism over equality and unity among human beings and between humanity and the planet; Sexism, homophobia, and transphobia further disempowering any possible unity of the colonized masses; 179

   

An institutionalized concept of Christianity damning that which is contrary to the power majority; An education system focusing on tuition and graduation metrics over critical thinking skills; Our short-sighted mentality and focus on instant gratification; and The economics of insatiable consumption otherwise referred to as the “American Dream”.

You have the right to remain silent. It may seem paradoxical for a white man to remind white America of ever-present racism, but I do not want to continue being an accomplice to complicity. You and I own this reality. We may both appreciate the feeling of safety that comes with the familiarity of our comfort zone, but there is the inevitable enunciation of truth that there is something wrong with our self-delusion of significant progress since 1963. We cannot be satisfied as long as fellow human beings continue to be staggered by the winds of police brutality. There is more to the South than just racism. There is more to racism that just the South. You have the right to remain silent.




I have lived in Texas since 1986. My husband is from McAllen in the Rio Grande Valley and through the years I have come to know that area. I enjoy the breezes, palm trees and the flatness of the land. I have also witnessed the change from an agricultural region with citrus orchards and fields of vegetables to an urban complex with vast residential subdivisions and typical chain stores and restaurants. This evolution began when NAFTA was approved 20 years ago. Then 9/11 happened. And with that, immigrants who lived in the U.S. with a green card or illegally had to be afraid of being scrutinized for illegal activity—even possibly terrorism. I lived in Texas with a green card from 1988 to 2012, at which time I became a U.S. citizen. I grew up in what was then West Germany. Its border with Eastern Germany was highly protected and most obvious when one had to travel through eastern Germany to visit Berlin. The Berlin Wall completely cut off West Berlin from East Berlin and surrounding East Germany. The wall which ran through the city from 1961 - 1989 had graffiti art all over it. “Pieces of the fallen wall became precious mementos as art to buy and possess. The border wall which divides the U.S. and Mexico varies from a 15-foot-high corrugated steel and concrete fence to a chain-link fence with railroad ties. Presently, it “covers only 700 miles of the proposed 2,000 miles border. When the partial border wall was built, memories of my home country's border division surfaced, a barrier which divided a former united country where people spoke the same language. I had to go down to the Valley to see what was done and how it impacted life on both sides of the border. 181

We were accustomed to going over to the Mexican town of Reynosa to shop or eat. That is now a security risk and not being done easily anymore. This hurts the economy in those border towns which rely on the heavy traffic by tourists. Conversely, people from northern Mexico would come across the border into the U.S. to work. People who have lived for generations in this flow of coming and going are now afraid to do so. My installation, Checkpoint Carlos consist of 11 panels standing vertically in close proximity to the border wall. They form 10 passageways, 8 feet tall and 4 feet wide. Each panel is made of handwoven material. The warp consist of colorful cotton thread. The weft is made up of densely beaten plastic bags, recycled from the plastic wrappers of various newspapers. These bags come in many colors, from very soft neutral to strong orange and turquoise colors with some writing on them. They will last well through many years outside and can withstand sun, rain and wind without fading or ripping. The pattern woven into the pieces will be old traditional overshot weaving, providing a nice texture to flat surfaces. Plastic bags from newspapers symbolize what newspapers give us: a connection to global events as much as to local happenings in our community. These bags are given to me by a vast variety of people of whom I know only a few. Even though the people who will see the installation will never meet the people who provided the materials, they are creating a community. One part would not be possible without the other. I am using old traditional overshot patterns which give an assurance of familiarity and a connection to our history. All who will see this installation will respond in their own way. But I hope that people will connect emotionally to the pieces and believe in our continued humanity which shows that we have more in common than what separates us.




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