Visaural: Sight, Sound and Action

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Copyright 2015 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 Visaural: Sight, Sound and Action, an exhibition created by Gutfreund Cornett Art,, and shown at the Nave Gallery Annex in Somerville, Massachusetts, October 10-31, 2015. 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. ABOUT: 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 by Gutfreund Cornett Art Cover Design by: Priscilla Otani 2

Visaural: Sight, Sound and Action

Presented by Gutfreund Cornett Art at The Nave Gallery Somerville, MA In Conjunction with the Honk! Festival of Activist Street Bands October 10—31, 2015


Note from: Gutfreund Cornett Art To quote Gloria Steinem: “Just as there can be no deep social change without art and music, there can be none without words that create the dream of change in our heads”. We are very pleased to have collaborated with the Nave Gallery for this important exhibition and opportunity to exhibit the work of activist artists with Visaural: Sight, Sound and Action, with the best of show chosen by Susan Berstler, Mary Curtin and Cecily Miller. The works are showcased at Nave Gallery, with QR codes accessing the music which accompanies the artists’ work. This exhibition is in conjunction with the Honk! Festival of Activist Street Bands, a weekend of activist band performances in Davis Square, just north of the Nave Gallery Annex, and a parade of bands from Davis Square to Harvard Square — these live performances and street actions support of social justice issues, ranging from increasing the minimum wage to immigration reform. “Simply put, if Occupy! had a marching band, the HONK! Festival would be it!” to quote Honk for Social Change by Bill Lichtenstein in the Huffington Post. Gutfreund Cornett Art and Nave Gallery Annex present art from thirty-two artists with thirty-five works around themes of social, cultural, political and economic issues, human rights, women’s rights, and social justice activism that combine visual art with music in order to tell a compelling story and, by doing so, affirm the many bonds between sight and sound. Artists were asked to choose a song to which to pair their art – a song that was directly linked to the theme of the work, a song that inspired the work or that was played as part of the artistic process. The artists in the exhibition are Elaine Alibrandi, Lorraine Bonner, Tyrone Brown-Osborne, Bunny California, Michele Colburn, Debra Dobkin, Pamela Dodds, Sally Edelstein, Christine Giancola, Lidia Hasenauer, Heide Hatry, Maggy Hiltner, Cheryl Hirshman, Barry Jones, Karen Joy, Marky Kauffmann, Dante Kirkman, Beth LaKamp, Jacalyn Lopez Garcia, Elaine Luther, Penny Mateer, Lilianne Milgrom, Marie Noorani, Priscilla Otani, Trix Rosen, Irina Sheynfeld, Mary Shisler, Robin Shores, Marlene Siff, Karl Stephan, Jennifer Weigel and Moan Lisa, and Tina Ybarra. With each exhibition we partner with a non-profit and for Visaural we chose the Boston City Singers, founded in 1995 and headquartered in Dorchestester, MA. The Boston City Singers' mission is to provide the highest level of musical training and wide ranging performance opportunities to young people ages 4-18, inspire personal development, celebrate diversity and foster good will. Their vision is to transform the lives of inner city young people one voice at a time, inspiring and developing each heart to live with compassion in a world of differences. We asked the Cantare division of the Boston City Singers to make art for us based on how music makes them feel and the results were beautiful and inspiring. They will be in shown in the gallery (in a binder) and can also be seen online on our website at: Art can be a powerful, productive force instrumental in sparking change or critical thinking. Gutfreund Cornett Art is committed to supporting local, national, and global art activism to help us to understand what is happening in our society, who we are, where we come from and where we’re going. We specialize in creating exhibition opportunities for artists on themes of “art as activism” to stimulate dialog, raise consciousness and create social change. We would like to thank the Nave Gallery, Susan Berstler, Mary Curtin and Cecily Miller for their valuable contributions to this exhibition in choosing their top three choices and to the participating artists for sharing their work on these important subjects. Karen Gutfreund and Sherri Cornett 4

about ARTSomerville & the NAVE Since 2004 the Nave Gallery in Teele Square has been the public face of ARTSomerville, a nonprofit, loosely knit volunteer group of artists and arts enthusiasts with the mutual goal to create new space(s) to present art in Somerville. In 2013 we added a second exhibition space, the Nave Annex in Davis Square. In addition, we have created a number of public music, dance and art events including Project MUM (a dance party under McGrath Highway), 2012′s Yarnstorm Perry Park (part of our ongoing Wrap Around Project), and SqueezeBox Slam, an outdoor festival dedicated to accordion and concertina music.

about our exhibition spaces The Nave Gallery and the Nave Annex provide space for the collaboration and presentation of art of all media. Work of a collaborative, non-commercial nature is especially encouraged. The Nave Gallery opened 15 May 2004 with the exhibition 110. The Nave Annex opened 25 January 2013 with the exhibition PICNIC.

presenting music The Nave Gallery coordinates independent music performances in the sanctuary of the Clarendon Hill Presbyterian Church.

contact 53 Chester St. Somerville, MA 02144 5

Throughout the country and across the globe, a new type of street band movement is emerging — outrageous and inclusive, brass and brash, percussive and persuasive — reclaiming public space with a sound that is in your face and out of this world. Called everything from “avant-oompah!” to a “brassroots revolution,” these bands draw inspiration from sources as diverse as Klezmer, Balkan and Romani music, Brazilian Samba, Afrobeat and Highlife, Punk, Funk, and Hip Hop, as well as the New Orleans second line tradition, and deliver it with all the passion and spirit of Mardi Gras and Carnival. Acoustic and mobile, these bands play at street level, usually for free, with no stages to elevate them above the crowd and no sound systems or speaker columns to separate performers from participants. These bands don’t just play for the people; they play among the people and invite them to join the fun. They are active, activist, and deeply engaged in their communities, at times alongside unions and grassroots groups in outright political protest, or in some form of communitybuilding activity, routinely performing and conducting workshops for educational and social service organizations of all kinds. At full power, these bands create an irresistible spectacle of creative movement and sonic self-expression directed at making the world a better place. This is the movement we call HONK!


About: Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2015, Boston City Singers was founded as a Dorchester-based satellite division of Youth pro Musica to provide outstanding music training opportunities to low and moderate income inner-city youth in the communities in which they live. Boston City Singers became a separate non-profit agency in July 2003, with its own Board of Directors, Board of Advisors, staff, volunteers and budget. The organization has grown to serve over 500 singers of which the vast majority live in metro-Boston’s urban neighborhoods with nearly 70% requiring scholarships to participate.

Mission: Our mission is to provide the highest level of musical training and wide ranging performance opportunities to young people ages 4-18, inspire personal development, celebrate diversity and foster good will.

Vision: Our vision is to transform the lives of inner city young people one voice at a time, inspiring and developing each heart to live with compassion in a world of differences.

What We Do: As a nonprofit organization founded in 1995, Boston City Singers provides comprehensive sequential music instruction to over 500 young people annually in the inner-city neighborhood locations where they live and attend school. Our programs seek to make up for the lack of choral arts training provided during regular school hours thereby enhancing each singers’ educational capabilities and experiences. Weekly singing classes and chorus rehearsals are designed to provide singers with well-balanced sequential music instruction coupled with performance, youth development, cultural exploration, leadership training and community service components. Singers, grouped by age and level, develop progressive mastery of skills with children from backgrounds different than their own, engaging hearts and minds during the critical after-school hours. Emphasis is placed on personal discipline, teamwork and group cooperation. Through ongoing mentor relationships with older youth and teachers who share common interests, singers are connected to a strong and supportive community.

Goals: Young singers learn and perform a dynamic, distinctive and challenging repertoire, supporting the Boston community’s rich artistic diversity by performing in a variety of settings and for diverse audiences. We also foster new repertoire, commissioning, performing and publishing music of distinction. Through outstanding music education and vocal instruction, excellence in performance, and serving the community through song, chorus members experience the joys of singing, teamwork and leadership, musical skill and artistic expression, which foster self-growth and enhance their entire lives. Boston City Singers performs music from many ages and cultures, while learning music concepts (melody, rhythm, harmony, timbre, dynamics, form, style, and performance practice) and musical skills (theory & sight-reading). Vocal technique and musical literacy are taught using a variety of approaches, including Kodály methodology and music literacy homework. Contact: 7

Juror: Susan Berstler Susan Berstler is a visual artist and arts producer. Her main interest is in transformative media, especially in the realm of public art. She is the founder and director of the Nave galleries, two nonprofit art spaces in her hometown of Somerville, MA. She chose Everything:Nothing by Jennifer Weigel and Moan Lisa as her top pick. JUROR STATEMENT: The evocative lyrics and spare melody of Elliot Smith’s “Everything Means Nothing To Me” create a framework of spaces that entice the listener to fill in the blanks; in a similar manner artists Jennifer Weigel and Moan Lisa’s reused pill jars, labeled yet empty, use typography to invite the viewer to envision just what “everything” and “nothing” might be. The artwork is a strong physical interpretation of the song.

Jennifer Weigel and Moan Lisa Somerville, Massachusetts, Everything:Nothing. Pill bottles, labels, pill capsules with printed words. Variable: windowsill or mantle installation. 2015 8

Juror: Mary Curtin Mary Curtin has had a long-standing commitment to promoting and producing artistic endeavors that best affect positive change within the community where she lives. Her business motto 'dedicated to staging insightful entertainment, particularly in non-traditional venues' speaks to her enthusiasm in supporting local grass roots cultural activism, which can often cause a ripple effect in raising social awareness beyond the borders of her home town, currently Boston and vicinity. JUROR STATEMENT: AGUA … that recurring word that permeates the text of poet Darren de Léon, a word that, for me, haunts and heightens the experience of viewing the “Sueños del Norte” video created by Jacalyn Lopez Garcia. The accompanying visuals, along with the almost subliminal seductive music, are deceivingly pastoral in contrast to the desperation of the text … a desperation felt by anyone needing to migrate to seek out a better way to live their life. The migration of peoples is a universal theme. But what really speaks to me on a gut level is the universal need for AGUA, it’s what ties all humanities bloodlines together … and makes us desperate if we don’t have it to survive!

Jacalyn Lopez Garcia La Quinta, California, Sueños del Norte. Video. 3 minute video. 2015 9

Juror: Cecily Miller Cecily Miller is an independent arts consultant with a specialty in cultural programs and a personal mission to develop arts programming which strengthens a sense of community, provides new insight or understanding of issues, offers opportunities for self-expression, and creates experiences of hope and joy. Cecily has been a fan of the Honk Festival since its founding; although she has volunteered every year, she has yet to fulfill her longstanding dream to run away and join a Honk Band. JUROR STATEMENT: Scapegoat speaks directly – using a simplified color palette and somber representational style — to one of the tragedies of our times: black men are the daily targets of violence. From teenagers walking down the street assaulted by police to a congressman murdered in church by an unbalanced extremist, black men are not safe in public and private spaces. Bonner’s pairing of her work with Nina Simone’s chilling ballad highlights that this injustice has a long and terrible history in America. We would like to believe that we have left behind the atrocities of “strange fruit” – when the bodies of black men were left hanging in trees. Bonner reminds us that black men are still in danger. And the news has reminded us as well. But the string of high profile killings of unarmed men by police in the last year – by the very people who are supposed to protect the citizens of this nation – is only the most extreme expression of a judicial system which deals harsher sentences to black defendants and a prison system – including a significant for profit prison industry – which thrives on their long-term incarceration. These are more insidious forms of targeting, and it does not seem too extreme to suggest that people who will spend the rest of their lives in jail for 3 relatively minor offences are enduring a kind of martyrdom, marked by Bonner with a crown of barbed wire.

Lorraine Bonner Oakland, California, Scapegoat. Clay, barbed wire. 24 x 10 x 7 inches. 2010 10

Visaural: Sight, Sound and Action Artists


Elaine Alibrandi Concord, Massachusetts

An Afternoon in Somalia. . .or Kenya. . .or Sudan. . .or. . . . Floor piece: Wood shavings, Styrofoam head, oils, hijab, aluminum foil on wood panel 38 x 26 x 8 inches 2014 This piece was inspired by a video I saw of a woman being stoned to death. The sharp, angular shape of the platform is juxtaposed against the oval, organic shapes of the woman's head and the stones. I’ve paired it with Rapsody’s “People Rise” because that is what people need to do. Even though it is difficult to feel sustained outrage, we can't allow ourselves to be lulled into an easily sustained indifference.

Musician: Rapsody Song: People Rise



Lorraine Bonner Oakland, California

Scapegoat Clay, barbed wire 24 x 10 x 7 inches 2010 Slavery was replaced by Jim Crow, and Jim Crow by mass incarceration. If history repeats itself, a long and bloody struggle will end mass incarceration, and a new indignity will replace it. Who are these people who never tire of nooses and fires, who love to shoot us, who are so shameless? They heap their sins on us, will they never give up, grow up? An old song, old as America, new as Ferguson.

Musician: Nina Simone Song: Strange Fruit

Best of Show: Chosen by Juror Cecily Miller



Tyrone Brown-Osborne New York, New York

THE WONDER OF LILIES by Tyrone Brown-Osborne Video 5:03 2013 Experimental montage that rebukes stereotypical notions about beauty and power, resistance against oppression, and the human need for authenticity, incorporating photographs from Funky Black Angels (series), audio excepts from Oscar Brown Jr.'s poem The Children of Children (as read by Carl Dix); audio excepts from former Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton and playwright Lorraine Hansberry (as read by Ann Bancroft), punctuated by the melodic instrumental Soul Sista by Bila, Serve this Royalty Right by Cody Chestnutt and To be Young, Gifted and Black as song by Aretha Franklin.

Music: Musical collage created by the artist, Tyrone Brown-Osborne Song: The Wonder of Lilies



Bunny California San Francisco, California

Peace Piece Acrylic on Canvas 28 x 22 inches 2014 Since I'm pro-peace, I want to inspire people to consider the power of peace. The vibrant peace sign hand reaches with a perspective that encourages the viewer's eye to go beyond the canvas. I want to make a positive impact with this directness. Living in the United States, I'm aware of the role of the U.S. in supporting war and global inequality. If we want to survive financially, emotionally, spiritually, ecologically—if we want to live fully—we need to focus on the power of peaceful alternatives.

Musician: John Lennon Song: Bring on the Lucie (Freda Peeple): Outtake Version



Michele Colburn Washington DC

Zealot Fleece fabric with original design, stuffing, appliques, pin, glass display dome with wood base 12 inch diameter x 15 inches high 2015 I work with themes of violenc—that which is homegrown and that which we export in manufactured wars. My stuffed bears first appear as benign children’s toys, but often have originally designed fabrics that feature guns or military hardware. The teddy bear was actually ‘born’ out of violence and a public relations hunting stunt for President Theodore Roosevelt at the early part of the 20th Century. Zealot refers to the current gun debate and those who think that the Second Amendment is the right to flaunt arms, carry them wherever they wish including public schools, and the right to own military-grade weaponry on the home front.

Musician: Cheryl Wheeler Song: If It Were Up To Me



Debra Dobkin Studio City, California

He who holds the gold Rules Archival print on metal 11 x 14 inches 2015 This captured image accompanied by the music of “We Are The 99%” by Tom Morello, Serj Tankian and Tim McIlrath with video montage by Jeremiah Mayhew illustrates the frustration of regular working people who took to the streets in protest as the Occupy Movement in 2012. Our current democratic process is being bought and sold to the highest bidder. In 201516, He who holds the gold Rules could be the slogan for the Conservative right wing in their effort to buy the elections and feed their greed. It’s up to all of us to pull the covert curtain back and reveal the inequality and the corruption put upon many but benefiting the 1%.

Musician: Tom Morello, Serj Tankian & Tim McIlrath Sing Song: We Are The 99%



Pamela Dodds Toronto, Ontario

Memory's Witness Woodcut Print on Japanese Paper 26 x 17 inches 2010 The persistence of war affects our lives daily—for some, directly, devastatingly, for others, indirectly, imperceptibly. No matter how much we dream of peace, war persists. This leads me to conclude that war is a part of humanity, woven into the fabric our collective soul.

Musician: Trinh Cong Son, Sung by Khanh Ly Song: Hat Tren Nhung Xac Nguoi (I Sing the Dead)



Sally Edelstein South Huntington, New York

Better Living Through Chemistry Appropriated vintage images 12 x 18 inches 2012 Post war America’s romance with novelty blossomed as the world of plastics and chemicals was beginning to be revealed to the nation’s wondering eyes. Eager to live out the dreams depicted in the colorful ads that ran in all the magazines, each new miracle was highly anticipated. It was expected that as natural resources became depleted, a cornucopia of synthetics would be ready to take over. Concern for conservation was irrelevant to the promise of tomorrow. Our pride in technology extended to the kitchen and the food chemists were wizards of altering emulating and improving upon mother nature. We came to regard new products as the prime indicators of progress with little regard to consequences to our health or the environment. My silent spring childhood memories would be chemically infused.

Musician: commercial 1964 NY Worlds Fair Song: Dupont Commercial Better Living Through Chemistry



Christine Giancola Florissant, Missouri

No one is above the Law Digital photograph 16 x 20 inches 2014 In the summer of 2014 an unarmed black teen was shot and killed by a white police officer. I witnessed people from many races, religions, and social economic backgrounds join together in demanding an end to racial profiling and racist treatment of black men. In my work as a documentary photographer I strive to bring the viewer as close to the scene as possible so that they too can bear witness to this time in history. Fueled by years of discrimination, racial profiling and abuse, tensions were at a boiling point often erupting in street confrontations between the police and protestors.

Musician: Lauryn Hill Song: Black Rage



Christine Giancola Florissant, Missouri

All men are created Equal Digital photograph 16 x 20 inches 2014 During the summer of 2014 in Ferguson Missouri an unarmed black teen was shot and killed by a white policeman. As a documentary photographer who lives only five minutes away I felt obligated to cover as many of the protests as possible. As two white policemen stood guard, protestors carrying the American flag were forced to continue walking and not allowed to slow down or stop. The balance of power and privilege was evident and illuminated by the scale of the officers. I waited and watched while the crowd circled a number of times until just the right angle in the flag waved symbolically between the officers, reminding us that all men are created equal and deserving of the same protection and treatment under the law.

Musician: Lauryn Hill Song: Black Rage



Lidia Hasenauer Scotts Valley, California

The Seduction of War (Atomic) Archival digital inks on maple 20 x 16 inches 2015 My goal in creating this poster is to prompt discussion about why the U.S. invaded Iraq. Its theme song is “Atomic,” by Blondie. The disco beat and sexy lyrics: “Oh, your hair is beautiful... (drum roll) ... Atomic,” was the inspiration for the image of the blonde bombshell. Despite how dangerous she is, governments continue to be attracted to her.

Musician: Blondie Song: Atomic



Heide Hatry New York, New York

Branchiae Truttae Silver Halide Print (photograph of gills of trouts) 12 x 18 inches 2012 Amanda Palmer went to a trout farm to get fresh trout for dinner. The man at the farm clubbed the trout dead in front of her. Holding a little dark purple thing in his hand, he said: look, it’s still beating. And it kept beating for a minute, or longer. Still suffering over a relationship in which she felt as if her heart had been torn out of her, she embodied that image in a song. Later, she asked me to make an artwork that related to the song. I was making flowers out of animal parts for Not a Rose at the time, and I dedicated the present work to her, a subtle recognition of the pain that unites all the living.

Musician: Amanda Palmer Song: Trout: Heart Replica



Maggy Hiltner Red Lodge, Montana

Fourth Grade Patriot Hand-stitched cotton, framed 12 x 12 inches 2004 This hand-stitched vignette refers to an episode of extreme stage-fright during an elementary school performance. My work often depicts overt commentary and subtle meanings with the door left open for the viewer's interpretation.

Musician: Woody Guthrie-sung by Valley View Center first grade Song: This Land Is Your Land



Cheryl Hirshman Somerville, Massachusetts

Voice of the Yarn Acrylic yarn and sound 48 x 36 inches 2011 Voices of the Yarn is about time, memory and voice. For two years I explored knitting and knitting circles as performance, where the act of repetition, knitting row upon row, and the discussions that are exchanged between knitters, show how small details or moments gradually build up into something larger. I see this as synonymous with the development of the Women's Movements of the past century, with knitting—symbolically and historically—acting as an umbilical cord nurturing the evolution of women's consciousness.

Musician: Lady Gaga Parody Song: Bad Romance



Barry Jones Clarksville, Tennessee

For Neda Video 1 min 36 secs 2010 Neda Agha-Soltan was killed in Iran on June 20, 2009 during protests arising from the 2009 elections there. Her death was captured on video by bystanders and posted on the internet. Her death has been described as “probably the most widely witnessed death in human history”. My daughter was incredibly moved by a story she heard on NPR about Neda. We decided to sing Neda the most comforting song we could think of, “Three Birds” by Bob Marley. It is the same song that I sang to each of my children the first time I held them.

Musician: Bob Marley, sung by daughter of the artist Barry Jones Song: Three Little Birds



Karen Joy Long Beach, California

Oh Say Can You CD? Plastic 3 inch CDs, Peace Sign Jewelry Mounted on Plexiglass, Tassel, Acrylic Auto Airbrush Paint 24 x 36 inches 2015 My body of art examines the symbiotic relationship between culture and symbols and the ways in which they transform one another. This piece demonstrates the ideological clash which surrounded the Vietnam war through the two iconic symbols of the time; the peace sign and U.S. flag. In 1965, the year Arlo Guthrie wrote his famous anti-war song, the peace movement gained momentum and popular support. The true story of Alice's Restaurant is a humorous look at the absurdity of public policy, especially the controversial draft.

Musician: Arlo Guthrie Song: 'Alice's Restaurant Masacree' Live at Farm Aid



Marky Kauffmann Shirley, Massachusetts

Lost Beauty: Burns Acid Peel archival pigment print from scanned bleached silver print 24 x 16 inches 2012 In the West, age is the enemy, especially for women. We will succumb to the knife, the chemical, even the poison to change what is inevitable. As a woman, I am fascinated, but also revolted by the steps we take to reverse aging. There are myriad treatments, from Botox to liposuction. The question I am asking is, what is lost? I believe the media’s depiction of female physical beauty has a profound effect on a woman’s mind, body and soul. I believe what is lost is the story on every aging woman’s face of struggle, survival, triumph. My image began as a bleached silver print. I use the bleach symbolically. It is a metaphorical visualization of all we will do to prevent aging.

Musician: Pink Song: Perfect



Dante Kirkman Palo Alto, California

Clean Hands Photography on metal 8 x 12 inches 2015 Members of SFPD congregate on a sidewalk south of Market Street on MLK Day, 2015. It seems symbolic of the collective police presence historically and the question of clean hands, so I recast it in a sepia tone to suggest a historical record. This image is paired with the song Picture Me Rollin,’ where Tupac exclaims “Y’all supposed to be happy I’m free!” Here the deployed police survey the holiday scene, while cars drive by.

Musician: Tupac Song: Picture Me Rollin'



Beth LaKamp Fenton, Missouri

Have you heard the Good New about Mr Oppressor? Watercolor on panel 16 x 20 inches 2015 Rejoicing the death of an evil man may seem appalling and egregious; however, there is much veracity in this image. The man in the coffin is an embodiment of oppression and evil. His death is an end to the abuse of power. This particular painting is in my series on justice, good and evil. I am the lady in blue and serve as director of this burial.

Musician: Mitch Miller Song: Happy Days are Here Again



Jacalyn Lopez Garcia La Quinta, California

Sueños del Norte Video 3 minute video 2015 Sueños del Norte is one of six videos featured in a collection of short videos titled, “Cultural Crossings.” In a unique way, each video in this collection brings together some of the interviews, personal narratives, and photographic imagery taken from my documentary project “Life Cycles: Reflections of Change and A New Hope for Future Generations. “Sueños del Norte” is based on the movement north by an undocumented immigrant whose journey is filled with dangerous conditions, armed vigilantes, and death, all done in the name of work and survival. As the character moves north, water moves south and both converge at the intersections of survival, work, dreams of success, and memories of a life left behind. It was produced in collaboration with poet, Darren J. de Leon and with electronic music composer, djr3x , in an attempt to explore a poetic vision of the forgotten, but vital immigrant experiences of Mexican/Mexican-American/Chicano families and their unique, inspiring and difficult life-struggle to attain a better life. Photography and videography by Jacalyn Lopez Garcia.

Musician: djr3x Song: Original Composition

Best of Show: Chosen by Juror Mary Curtin



Jacalyn Lopez Garcia La Quinta, California

2 Hearts 1 Pain Video 45 second animation 2015

The impetus for my artistic vision is having a desire to push the boundaries that exist between politics and art. As a multimedia artist, my interests include challenging the audience to think in new and unconventional ways with regard to “what art is” and “what art can be about.” In this self-portrait, a mother and daughter reveal the truth about the complexities of their fears as they relate to identity issues presented from a “Mexican and Mexican-American” perspective. “2 Hearts 1 Pain” is part of the video collection, “Cultural Crossings” and was produced in collaboration with a musical composition by djr3x. Photography and videography by Jacalyn Lopez Garcia.

Musician: djr3x Song: Original Composition



Jacalyn Lopez Garcia La Quinta, California

River of Dreams Video 2 minute video 2015 Jose Alfredo Jimenez, a Mexican composer and singer, reminds us in one “ranchera” that in life's journey the purpose is not to finish first, it is to learn how to get there. “River of Dreams “ attempts to capture the spirit of the adolescent newcomer upon arriving at this strange, yet oddly familiar, new world with a poem “Finding Tomorrow” by Laura Araujo-Salinas. This collaboration is further intended to critically examine the courage, strength, and perseverance demanded of these teenagers on their way toward their dreams and includes an original composition by djr3x. Photography and videography by Jacalyn Lopez Garcia. Musician: djr3x Song: Original Composition



Elaine Luther Forest Park, Illinois

Our Lady of Perpetual Housework Handmade doll clothes, silver leafed saint and bathtub, clothesline on the back 16 x 10.5 x 8 inches 2011 For two years, my husband had a three hour commute, each way. Each way! I had to do all the housework for the first time. Sometimes I’d be in the basement, in front of the washing machine, with dirty laundry piled up to my knees, almost crying. This piece, Our Lady of Perpetual Housework, is about how the housework never ends until you die. It’s both a cry for help and a protest. Mostly a protest.

Musician: Mary Chapin Carpenter Song: He Thinks He’ll Keep Her



Penny Mateer Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Everybody look what's goin' down… #11 Protest Series Styrofoam heads commercial cotton fabric Variable 2012 Forty-nine years later “For What It's Worth,” a hit by Buffalo Springfield written by Stephen Stills, continues to resonate. “Nobody's right if everybody's wrong.” Decreasing civility, increasing polarization, income disparity and lack of transparency results in more isolationist and elite positions. “Paranoia strikes deep. Into your mind it will creep.”

Musician: Buffalo Springfield Song: For What It's Worth



Lilianne Milgrom Fairfax, Virginia

Encroach Collage/paintings on canvas board 8 x 10 inches (each panel) 2014 The impenetrable, pulsating vines that surrounded my studio at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts evoked conflicting feelings of calm and menace. The vines - kudzu originating from China and Japan - have overtaken native species in huge swaths of the US, causing ecological havoc. Their ominous encroachment mirrored my inability to keep news of global crises and conflicts at bay, even in the pastoral setting of an artist residency. Argentinean composer Juan Sebastian Vassallo created a sonic collage to add an auditory sense of encroachment.

Musician: Juan Sebastian Vassallo Song: Encroach sonic soundscape composition



Marie Noorani Richland, Washington

There Must Not Have Been a Prohibitor Handmade paper, ink, wax, dye 6.5 x 9 inches 2015 A 2014 FBI report found that mass killings in the United States tripled from 2007 to 2014, occurring a shocking average of every two weeks. Investigations have found that mass shooters share two recurring characteristics: depression and easy access to guns. But meaningful discussion of these factors is hampered by political agendas, public health interests, prejudice, and misinformation. As a result, instead of exploring the complex roots of this problem, society rushes toward easy predictive fixes and avoids tackling important contributors such as failed safety nets, family violence, ineffective gun legislation, and weak social connections. Mass killings are only a symptom of larger social diseases, ones that can't be cured by political rhetoric, simplistic explanations, or 30 second sounds bites.

Musician: ZILLIOX (Marie Noorani and Kurt Gustafson) Song: Felo de Se (Original Song)



Priscilla Otani San Francisco, California

Tomorrow Postcard, image lift, butterfly 12 x 7 inches 2006 A young immigrant hasn't changed much from Japanese farm girls caring for their mistresses' babies long ago. Today they care for children of professional women and dream of a future where their own children will be freed of servitude.

Musician: Alicia Morton singing, lyrics Martin Charnin Song: Annie/Tomorrow



Trix Rosen Jersey City , New Jersey

WHO DO YOU BELIEVE IN Pigment print on aluminum 12 x 18 inches 2014 I photographed the graffiti drawing, WHO DO YOU BELIEVE IN, on a cell wall of the Women’s Wing at the abandoned Essex County State Penitentiary, in North Caldwell, NJ. Both the text and the inmate’s haunting, hand-drawn portrait poignantly illustrate one of the fundamental questions we ask about life. I paired it with “Hallelujah,” written by Leonard Cohen and performed here by K.D. Lang, because the prayer-like music affirms a faith in life and love amidst doubts. Cohen has said the iconic song represents “absolute surrender in a situation you cannot fix or dominate.” Alone, within the steel bars of her cage-like cell, I can imagine the figure in the drawing listening to the repeated one-word chorus coming through the open ceiling above her. According to the song, even those of us for whom “it all went wrong” can experience transcendence. As Cohen writes: “There’s a blaze of light in every word; / it doesn’t matter which you heard, / the holy, or the broken Hallelujah!”

Musician: K.D. Lang Song: Hallelujah



Irina Sheynfeld New York, New York

Cold Morning Digital C-print, edition of 5 12 x 12 inches 2015 I created Cold Morning painting while listening to Russian Romances, particularly Misty Morning that were very popular and relevant during WW2. They reflect indomitable spirit and power of all women who played crucial role in winning the war and rebuilding the country from the rubble while staying in the shadows on their male counterparts. Theirs is the untold story that I want to bring out and celebrate. This project a very my personal tribute for me, because both of my grandmothers Vera and Maria were such women.

Musician: Ivan Turgenev song by Larisa Novoseltseva Song: Misty Morning



Mary Shisler Oakland, California

Approaching Rain Digital print on metal 24 x 16 inches 2015 In New Mexico I found theatrical rain clouds and mountains sent my thoughts to thinking of all the songs about rain. I found the ones with a dramatic narrative most stimulating. Ghost Riders paired with clouds that reminded me of a charging herd. Williams I joined with a cloud looking as though it will crash into a mountain. A Hard Rain partnered with rain clouds chasing down the sky. I feel they match the conflict between the earth, the abuse it has suffered, the fractures of our society and human concerns left unmet.

Musician: Bob Dylan Song: A Hard Rain's A- Gonna Fall



Robin Shores Wareham, Massachusetts

Sail away, Sail Away Mixed media, wood, sheet metal, oil paint 24 x 3 x 3 inches 2012 Sail Away, Sail Away: One in a series of small works focusing on the institution of slavery and the civil rights movement in the United States. The sculpture is based on a description of the manner in which slaves were “packed like sardines” in the holds of ships. The title is a direct reference to Randy Newman's song “Sail away, Sail away, (we will cross the mighty ocean into Charleston Bay)”, chosen to aid the observer in understanding the meaning of the piece.

Musician: Randy Newman Song: “Sail Away, Sail away, (We will cross the mighty ocean into Charleston Bay)”



Marlene Siff Westport, Connecticut

Survival Acrylic, white pencil on linen 25 3/4 x 52 x 10 1/4 inches 2011 Women are the caretakers of the world. It’s in our genes‌ compelling me to communicate a sense of harmony, balance, order and spirituality. Survival is part of a body of work entitled Elements of Peace. Color has been my muse forever but for this collection some of the works are painted in black or white. Conceptually the act of keeping a painting black or white became an exercise in self-restraint and sacrifice, indicative of my need to somehow respond to war and symbolically give something of my feminine self.

Musician: Lady Gaga Song: Born This Way



Karl Stephan Cambridge, Massachusetts

Dogpatch USA Charcoal, chalk, erasure and oil on panel 18 x 24 inches 2015 My work is inspired by the current political scene and the art of the street. Dogpatch USA mocks the insistently backwards state of American politics, and is paired with a cheerfully ironic number from the 1959 musical L’il Abner, with lyrics by the great Johnny Mercer. The original comic L'il Abner (set in the hillbilly hamlet of Dogpatch) was created by cartoonist Al Capp as a satire of political and social conditions of the mid-20th century.

Musician: “L'il Abner” Musical, 1959. Featuring: Peter Palmer (Li'l Abner) and Stubby Kaye (Marryin' Sam) Song: The Country's in the Very Best of Hands (Music: Gene dePaul, Lyrics: Johnny Mercer)



Jennifer Weigel and Moan Lisa Somerville, Massachusetts

Everything:Nothing Pill bottles, labels, pill capsules with printed words Variable: windowsill or mantle installation 2015 Mental health is crucial to our overall well-being but receives far too little attention. There are still many taboos associated with mental illness and too many people suffer through anxiety, depression, mania, paranoia and more without seeking or getting the help that they need. Stigma can cause those struggling to feel like there is something wrong with them, they are somehow at fault or they aren't strong enough and should be able to snap out of it.

Musician: Elliott Smith Song: Everything Means Nothing to Me

Best of Show: Chosen by Juror Susan Berstler



Tina Ybarra South Gate, California

Still Strange & Bitter Acrylic with photo transfer, fabric, ink, and string 18 x 24 inches 2015 Still Strange and Bitter draws a connection between the murder of Emmitt Till in the 1950s and the 2012 murder of Trayvon Martin. Martin--represented by a gray hoodie--hangs amid ghostly images of ‘strange fruit’ lynched from a Florida orange tree whose roots thread through images of Emmitt Till.

Musician: Billie Holiday Song: Strange Fruit