Embedded Messages, Debating the Dream: Truth, Justice and the American Way

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Catalog authored and designed by Karen Gutfreund Cover Design by: Rozanne Hermelyn, Arc and Line Communication and Design

Rozanne Hermelyn DiSilvestro Arc & Line Communication and Design www.arcandline.com www.hermelyn.com 408.992.0903

Copyright 2015. The book author and each artist here, retains sole copyright to their contributions to this book. 2

Embedded Messages, Debating the Dream: Truth, Justice and the American Way


Embedded Messages, Debating the Dream: Truth, Justice and the American Way EXHIBITION SYNOPSIS/PROSPECTUS: Embedded Messages examines the current polarized political climate in regards to social justice — can we still identify the American dream and if so, who does the dream apply to? In today’s complicated sociopolitical climate, representing both positive and negative aspects of American cultural and economic influence, this exhibition casts a critical eye and is both a reflection and a statement about issues and events on domestic and international affairs focusing on racism, sexism, classicism, sexuality, gender identity, immigration, poverty, the environment, violence, and the ongoing wars. The work, unified by topic and with “embedded messages” running throughout, invites the viewer to look, learn and discuss the inherent meanings. All is not as it appears on the surface. The messages are delivered with irony, humor, pain, defiance and strength, to reflect not only the artist’s diverse personal views and opinions, but to raise critical consciousness to various issues while conveying an underlying philosophy of collective responsibility. To create solutions to problems, we as a collective society need to find common ground to discuss and then move on to solving issues that affects the population at large. To a multi-cultural, ideologically diverse, economically disparate population, truth, justice and the American way seem to be rapidly fading along with each individual citizen's notion of the American Dream. American Exceptionalism -- what makes America “great” is riddled with a lot of exceptions. Continued denial of past and current injustices, along with not embracing the diversity of all citizen ideals, keeps our nation in an unproductive state of angry upheaval in a battle of us versus them, creating a culture of “other”. As a people, as citizens, we must actively confront the barriers of injustice for many who feel disenfranchised. This multi-cultural group of eight female artists address a number of hot-button issues, particularly relevant to a divided nation. The subject matter of the works are artfully broached both directly and indirectly and provide historical reference, intellectual consideration on topics relevant to all. Many of the works give voice to the issues of people often "less heard" and address culture, race and gender issues, in addition to more generalized social-political issues such as gun violence and control, the culture of violence, woman's rights, economic disparity, institutionalization of food, and social issues including domestic violence, immigration, human trafficking, and LGBTQ rights as well as civil rights and social justice. With polarized political leaders and institutions, traditional news media conforming to an entertainment paradigm, social media as a biased information format with “fake news”, along with an economically divided nation -- these factors all contrive to drive this collection of art to addresses major concerns of theses individual artists that reflects the problems of the country and world at large. Embedded Messages has the privilege of showing this body of work to the area of Chicago, a city politically and culturally formed by a history awash with political activism, urban and community struggles. It is all the more relevant as the Chicago area embraces and faces challenges including but not limited to homelessness, racial marginalization, gentrification, income disparity and urban growth, crime, gun violence, police brutality, education and economic inequality, along with political disenfranchise. 4

The cohesive body of works in this exhibition speak volumes and question the traditional boundaries and hierarchies of culture as represented by those in power. Although each artist’s specific approach and goals are distinct, their works, especially experienced together will incite viewers to become participants as they explore the embedded messages that stimulate critical thinking and open their pathway to potential answers and solutions. Karen Gutfreund, Curator says: “Poetic, direct, conceptual and gripping–these artworks can say what words cannot and are the catalyst to empower social change and encourage empathy for others and respect for social justice, fostering important dialog stimulated by provocative works. Art is used as weapons in the fight for human rights to shine a light on the conditions of the working class, the disparities in global wealth, power inequities, education, shelter, access to food, water and health services, disabilities, immigration issues, criminal (in)justice, women’s rights, the subjugation of ethnic groups and the challenges of gender and identity in the modern world.”


The Art Center, Highland Park, IL. 3/3 – 3/30/17 University Art Gallery, University of the Redlands, Redlands, CA. 10/18– 11/13/16


“Art as activism” is the intersection of art and politics, where art is the entry point for civic engagement. Notes from the Curator: At the March in Washington on the day after the Trump inauguration, I heard it said “If you won't let us dream-We won't let you sleep”. This resonated with me deeply as I stood in the crowd with a half million of my closest friends. I raised my fist and vowed to do even more to fight for what I believe in for equality and social justice. But just as the March was not just “anti-Trump”, neither is our Embedded Messages exhibition. This diverse group of eight female artists including myself, have made “art as activism” the core of our artistic practice, to address issues such as racism, sexism, gender identity, immigration, poverty, the environment, violence, and the ongoing wars. What is the role of art in times of social and political turmoil and what can art do in the face of these issues and events? I believe that artists have a unique responsibility, if they choose to take it, to question, provoke, and hold a mirror up to society to encouraging reflection, dialog and thoughtful consideration to create positive change. The slogan “if you see something, say something” is very apropos; and we as a group have a lot to say. This exhibition concept began as I studied and assembled this powerful body of works that were a response to and rejection of policies and ideologies that threaten basic civil rights and social justice. I am a feminist curator and so it was natural for me to lean towards the narrative quality and stories with multi-dimensional and nuanced messages within the works. The art mediums within this show include collage, mixed media paintings, assemblage, encaustic, wood cut prints, photography, fiber arts, book arts, sculpture, and installation. So what is to be done and what comes next? Artists can help guide the conversation with the ability to make the viewer viscerally feel, as art can say so much more than words; artists have the ability to help the public see. I hope it will inspire action to shape a better future. We want the viewers to feel a positive message of hope that will help creating ideas and plans to unite our fractured society. We know that discrimination, racism and intolerance are not accepted by the majority of Americans. Now is the time to take it to the streets, or the gallery as it were—and to quote one of my favorite march chants: “This is what Democracy looks like!” Karen Gutfreund






ARTISTS Sally Edelstein Justyne Fischer Karen Gutfreund Penny Mateer Sinan Revell Debra Thompson Linda Vallejo Margi Weir


Sally Edelstein www.sallyedelsteincollage.com www.envisioningtheamericandream.com and www.retroarama.com

Biography: Sally Edelstein is an award winning collage artist and writer whose work has focused on examining social fictions. Curating and deconstructing the cultural clutter of mid-century America, her social commentaries are served up with a twist of today as assumptions are wryly shaken and stirred. Whether exhibiting her work nationally, author/illustrator of “This Years Girl” published by Doubleday, or lecturing on mid-century consumer culture, her narrations have taken many forms. Edelstein’s blog “Envisioning the American Dream” offering a collection of collage work, vintage ephemera and social commentaries has been selected by Wordpress as a recommended blog for culture. Along with other 20th century artists, her collage is included in “Conversations in American Literature, Language Rhetoric, Culture” an AP High School Literature Text Book published by Bedford/ St Martins, appearing besides stories by John Updike and Tom Wolfe. A multiple awards recipient from the Society of Three Dimensional Illustrators, The Art Directors Club of N.Y. and The Society of Illustrators, this New Yorker has served as a guest lecturer on post war American culture at Fordham University, The New School for Social Research and the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis. Trained at the College of Visual and Performing Arts, Syracuse University and The School of Visual Arts, she is a member of Women’s Caucus For the Arts. Statement: The primary focus of my work is to deconstruct myths and examine social fictions. Appropriating popular imagery from mid-century America - a time when the American dream was never more seductive or potent- I use collage as a means of expression as it promotes a collusion of realities. By dissociating the images from their intended use I can exploit the iconic effects of the imagery. The collages, filled with hundreds of vintage images from sources as varied as advertising, magazine illustration, schoolbooks and comic books give us a glimpse into a consumer culture that helped define the fairy tale American dream and the possibility of its attainment. This series of works examine a set of once cherished beliefs forged during the heady post war years when myths were churned out as rapidly as they did Chevrolets, offering a mirror to the once upon a time American dream presented by a media and a government calculated to sell the dream to us and to the world. American exceptionalism was hawked to us with a can-do optimism as we globetrotted around the world flexing our formidable global muscles. While our soaring confidence promised us a sugar coated world of possibilities it also coexisted with the very real fear of nuclear annihilation. In today’s age of diminishing expectations, as fears of terrorism haunt our dreams, as the middle class disappears like a faded Kodacolor print and the American dream itself has gone into foreclose, it is instructive to take a look back at a time when these myths that still inform our present were created. 11

There’s A Sucker Born Every Minute Trump supporters who have carelessly catapulted a charlatan into the White House serve only to prove PT Barnum’s famous line “There’s a sucker born every minute.” The brash NY businessman/reality star follows in the fantastical footsteps of PT Barnum that other great American showman who established himself as the worlds premiere purveyor of spectacle and hucksterism. Trump supporters voted for a huckster. They got conned. We got screwed The great fabricator, Trump promised the past as the future to the white working class who felt left behind by a changing economy and changing society. His fear based supporters were frustrated. Angry. Their familiar American way has shattered into a bewildering array of lifestyles and felt their white patriarchal ways are under attack. They bemoaned a fading America. He promised to take them back to that mythical time when America was great, when minorities were marginalized and women objectified. A happy carefree white America where neighbors could wish each other Merry Xmas with abandon, and immigrants hadn’t come to your town yet. And they thought they’d get their reward. They were conned. They are about to be betrayed. Promising to drain the swamp, he is forming a government of and by and for the very elites he campaigned against. His choice of pro corporate and anti labor figures for key positions in his cabinet only goes to show making America great again means making white prosperity again. While they were dreaming of how they’d have an advocate in the Oval Office he was dreaming of making himself richer. They got played.. Manufacturing jobs are not coming back…they were lost to technology and are gone for good. The dismantling of Obamacare, Social Security and Medicare privatization, make his supporters the biggest losers. Though fingers are often pointed at coastal elites for living in a bubble, it turns out it is the “Real Americans” those who live in fly over states who supported Trump who have been living in a bubble of their own. A bubble that ignored the lessons of history and common sense. The bubble that kept out all doubts about temperament, honesty and qualifications. Seduced and sadly soon to be betrayed, the white working class are suckers. And they are about to get sucker punched.


A Sucker is Born Every Minute. Collage of appropriated images. 24 x 34 inches. 2016 13

Americans are Free to Choose. Collage of appropriated images. 10 x 16 inches. 2015 14

Bedtime Stories Sweet Dreams. Collage of appropriated images. 35 x 46 inches. 2013 15

American Diversity—White Wash. Collage of appropriated images and paint chips. 32 x 46 inches. 2013 16

Oil The Way to the Bank. Collage of appropriated images. 28 x 38 inches. 2011 17

Accidents Will Happen By the Bomb’s Early Light. Collage of appropriated images. 32 x 40 inches. 2010 18

Fusion Culture. Collage of appropriated images. 32 x 40 inches. 2010 19

Ambassador of Peace: Open Sesame to Profit. Collage of appropriated images. 35 x 46 inches. 2009 20

Oil Well That Ends Well. Collage of appropriated images. 35 x 42 inches. 2009 21

Now I Know—Double Your Pleasure. Collage of appropriated images. 36 x 55 inches. 2008 22

Consuming Passions: Mutually Assured Consumption and Destruction. Collage of appropriated images. 21 x 25 inches. 2007 23

Ambassador of Peace—We Are Friends. Collage of appropriated images. 54 x 28 inches. 2006 24

Shell Shock & Awe: Good Luck in Future Endeavors. Collage of appropriated images. 49 x 60 inches. 2003 25

Justyne Fischer www.justynefischer.com Biography: Justyne Fischer is an award winning printmaker whose work focuses on Social Memorials. Meticulously carving and printing by hand, Fischer’s woodcuts depart from the usual associations we make with traditional printmaking processes. Without the aid of a press she burnishes and hand pulls compositions onto sheer fabric. As light passes through the image, the layered fabric creates intentional moirés, optical movement and illumination. Fischer currently teaches AP Studio Art full time to nationally recognized and award winning students at South County High School. Fischer’s students have been offered over four million dollars in art scholarship funds since 2012 and have earned National Scholastic Art Awards for the past four consecutive years. Fischer has served as a visiting artist at Drexel University, Michaelis School of Fine Art University of Cape Town, South Africa and the Fine Art Department of the University of Maryland. She has given printmaking demos at various venues including Shepherd College and the McLean Society for the Arts. Fischer maintains a printmaking studio at Blue Studios Art Underground in Arlington, Virginia and has worked as a printmaker and art educator in the Washington, D.C. area since 1996. She earned her BFA from The Kansas City Art Institute and MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan. Her works are featured in numerous private and public collections including the Boston Public Library, Detroit Public Library, Florida A&M University, Tulane University, and The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Statement: My recent explorations feature "Social Memorials" of unjust events involving unarmed Black men, women and boys. Sandra Bland, Laquan McDonald, Walter Scott, Freddy Gray, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Jordan Davis and Trayvon Martin and are all featured in these graphic social statements. Each piece is meant to highlight the absurdity of each event while respectfully memorializing the human being beyond a one day headline. Whether exhibiting my work locally or nationally, I have spread my message of social justice through features in The Washington Post, East City Art, Professional Artist Magazine, Wall Street International Magazine, The Huffington Post, and The Journal of Cultural Research in Art Education. Through the use of bold and simplified yet complex imagery, I use the medium of woodcut to illustrate specific unjust events involving unarmed Black men, women and boys. It is my hope that these works will memorialize these moments and create awareness that can possibly lead to resolution. Each piece tells a story revealing my interpretation of what occurred or what may have occurred specifically in veiled instances. Suspicious Suicide reveals the possible circumstances and unanswered questions surrounding Sandra Bland’s death while in Texas police custody. Traffic Target reveals the manner in which Walter Scott was targeted and shot in the back by a reckless South Carolina police officer for simply having a tail light out on his car. Rough Ride represents the unexplained, unjustified and deadly transport of Freddy Gray in a Baltimore police van. Loosie Law represents a wild west, cowboy mentality in New York State where Eric Garner was choked to death. Severe and irreversible punishment did not match the crime. Two Seconds is the amount of time it took for an erratic Cleveland cop to assess and kill a twelve year old boy with judgement. The banana in the boys hand is meant to highlight the innocence of Tamir Rice while referencing ingrained institutional racism. Walking While Black features William Wingate who was arrested and jailed by Officer Whitlatch for walking while Black. A golf club cane was viewed as a weapon in the skewed eyes of a biased beholder. The Sunshine State represents striking yet simplified imagery which 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. 26

Rough Ride. Ink on Voile over stretcher bars in floater frames. 50 x 34 inches. 2016 27

16 Shots, 13 Seconds. Woodcut on Voile. 34 x 50 inches. 2016 28

Suspicious Suicide. Ink on Voile over stretcher bars in floater frames. 34 x 50 inches. 2016 29

Traffic Target. Ink on Voile over stretcher bars in floater frames. 50 x 34 inches. 2016 30

Two Seconds. Ink on Voile over stretcher bars in floater frames. 50 x 34 inches. 2015 31

Loosie Law. Ink on Voile over stretcher bars in floater frames. 50 x 34 inches. 2015 32

Walking While Black. Ink on Voile over stretcher bars in floater frames. 50 x 34 inches. 2015 33

The Sunshine State. Ink on Voile over stretcher bars in floater frames. 50 x 52 inches. 2014 34

Karen Gutfreund www.KarenGutfreund.com www.GutfreundCornettArt.com

Biography: As a Curator/Artist, Gutfreund has lived in all four corners of the United States but has now settled in the Bay Area in California from New York City. She has worked in the Painting & Sculpture Department for MoMA, the Andre Emmerick Gallery, The Knoll Group, the John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco and the Pacific Art League, Palo Alto and was the National Exhibitions Director for the Women’s Caucus for Art, is a Member of ArtTable, the Northern California Representative for The Feminist Art Project, and Curator for UniteWomen.org. She is a co-partner in Gutfreund Cornett Art, an organization that creates art as activism exhibitions “changing the world through art” and actively promotes the work of women artists with national touring exhibitions exhibiting hundreds of women artists in shows and documents the work in catalogs. She is an art consultant – renting/selling artwork to corporations and individuals. Lastly, Karen is also an exhibiting artist with BA Art History and BFA Fine Arts from the University of Georgia and studies towards an MA in Arts Administration from New York University. Her focus is on “Art as Activism” to facilitate social change, exhibiting extensively across the United States.

Statement: My work is art as activism. This “War” series of work is my reaction to the ongoing wars over the control of oil and natural resources within our consumer-based culture. I examine the juxtaposition of religious mantras and the resulting consequences of war and perceptions of freedom to obtain power over these resources. The layers of images with mixed meanings and text, often biblical, are meant to provoke the viewer’s visceral senses to evoke change. Then using hot political issues, I mix it up with text, pop culture images, stencils, and symbols to create works that are a combination of personal commentary, religious and moral teachings, political outrage and social observation. These works reveal the layers and inner complexity of my dreams, nightmares and emotions and to confront who we are and where we are going in a culture of exile and alienation between race, religion and political dogma in our turbulent society.


Genesis. Mixed media on canvas. 40 x 40 inches. 2007 36

No God but God. Mixed media on canvas. 40 x 40 inches. 2007 37

Build the Wall. Mixed media on canvas. 30 x 48 inches. 2016 38

The Whole World is Blind. Mixed media on canvas. 36 x 48 inches. 2016 39

Our Pieta. Mixed media on canvas. 36 x 48 inches. 2011 40

Consume. Mixed media on canvas. 36 x 36 inches. 2011 41

Mission Accomplished. Mixed media on canvas. 36 x 36 inches. 2008 42

I Want My WMD’s. Mixed media on canvas. 36 x 36 inches. 2008 43

We Believe. Mixed media on canvas. 36 x 36 inches. 2008 44

Life Death. Mixed media on canvas. 36 x 36 inches. 2007 45

Penny Mateer www.PennyMateer.com

Biography: Penny Mateer is an award-winning artist whose work has exhibited widely including The Carnegie Museum of Art, The Andy Warhol Museum, the Society for Contemporary Crafts, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Woman Made Gallery and The Textile Museum. Penny’s work was selected for a solo exhibition in the prestigious World of Threads Festival Toronto, Ontario. She has received numerous awards including Best of Show, Fiberart International 2016. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Pittsburgh Public School system. Her public art experience includes co-director of Knit the Bridge a community-made fiber art installation on the Andy Warhol Bridge, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Currently she is a full-time studio artist in Pittsburgh. Mateer graduated with a M.S.W. from the University of Pittsburgh in 1988 after receiving a B.A. from Hampshire College in Amherst, MA.

Statement: I am inspired by the use of pattern in quilting and the decorative needle arts and honor the tradition of stitching often thought of as “women’s work.” Drawing from this rich and shared history of creating functional objects intended to provide warmth and comfort, I use the medium as a platform to present ideas about current events. Because I choose fabric as my primary material I can establish an immediate connection through shared experience, we all need to wear clothes we all need to stay warm. My challenge is to find graphic, commercial fabric and then use it in unexpected ways. By manipulating, pattern, color and texture using a universal material I create a safe space in which to challenge long held beliefs and assumptions. Moving from appliqué to collage I have started a series based on newspapers because I am greatly concerned by the gradual shift from handheld newspapers to the digital delivery of news and how that diminishes the impact of photojournalism. Unlike reading the news on a computer screen the act of holding a newspaper forces the reader to see an image even if just a glance. In contrast to the labor-intensive processes of quilt making and needlework the benefit of working with newspaper collage and large format and commercial printing, is the ability to respond to current events and convey my ideas immediately.


Everybody look what's goin' down #11 Protest Series. Installation Mixed 63 x 86 inches. 2012 47

You Better Think THINK Think about...#9 Protest Series. Fiber Installation. 56 x 72 inches. 2012 48

Stand! #8 Protest Series. Installation Mixed. Dimensions Variable. 2011 49

Mug Shots. Ceramic Installation. Dimensions Variable. 2014 50

Contemplating Other People’s Pain. Blanket. 36 x 49 inches. 2014 51

Three Types of Passion Made Flesh. Quilt. 50 x 37 inches. 2015 52

The Past as Road to Tomorrow. Quilt. 60 x 80 inches. 2015 53

Cutting Very Close to the Truth, NY. Blanket. 60 x 80 inches. 2014 54

Pondering How Lies Were Told. Blanket. 40 x 60 inches. 2014 55

For New Urban Trend, Look Back 50 Years. Blanket. 60 x 80 inches. 2014 56

Testimony of a Clear Eyed Witness. Blanket. 60 x 80 inches. 2014 57

Never Wear Your Stress on Your Sleeve. Blanket. 36 x 49 inches. 2014 58

The 180—Pound Gorilla in the Operating Room. Blanket. 58 x 80 inches. 2014 59

Every Extra Penny Counts. Blanket. 58 x 80 inches. 2017 60

First Came the Emergency, Then Came the Surprise. Blanket. 58 x 80 inches. 2016 61

Learning to Play with Fire. Blanket. 58 x 80 inches. 2017 62

More Political Than Ever Armed with Fresh Blood. Blanket. 58 x 80 inches. 2016 63

New Sound—Old School Feel. Blanket. 80 x 50 inches. 2017 64

So Close Yet So Out of Reach. Blanket. 58 x 80 inches. 2016 65

Pearls Before Swine #2. Quilt. 33 x 29 inches, 2016 66

THIS Revolution Will Not Be Televised, #13 Protest Series (a collaboration with Martha Wasik). Quilt. 94 x 77 inches, 2015 67

(For God’s Sake) We Got to Get More Power to the People #12 Protest Series. Quilt. 76 x 76 inches. 2014 68

It’s Curtains. Quilt. 52 x 48 inches. 2012 69

Mighty Grip. Quilt. 89 x 89 inches. 2012 70

What’s Goin’ on? #7 Protest Series. Quilt. 92 x 61 inches, 2010 71

Board Games. Quilt. 38 x 38 inches. 2010 72

Stop in the Name of... #6Protest Series. Quilt. 29 x 23 inches. 2010 73

Damn Good Whacking #5 Protest Series. Quilt. 73 x 59 inches. 2009 74

Make Me Gotta Holler #3Protest Series. Quilt. 40 x 40 inches. 2006 75

Sinan Revell www.sinanrevell.com Biography: Sinan Revell’s life and art intersected several different countries and cultures. Originally from China, then Australia, Great Britain and the USA, Sinan incorporated different disciplines and media in her work. In the fine arts, her focus is on photography and painting. In the performing arts, Revell was a core member of 80’s London industrial noise group-“S.P.K”-writing, recording and touring Europe, UK and USA. Butoh pieces include performances at the Pacific-Asia Museum with Diana Wong, Thaksin University (Thailand) & LAArtcore Union Center (Los Angeles). A graduate from Sydney University (B.A. Psych), Revell later studied at Julian Ashton Art School (Sydney.) Based in Los Angeles, she has had numerous solo and group shows in the last 20 years both nationally (Los Angeles, New York, New Mexico) and internationally (London, Sydney, Kyushu & Kyoto, Japan, Songkla, Thailand). Awards include- Jane Friend Award, Brand Gallery 2009.High Commendation from The Sculptors Society, Sydney. Honorable Mention: Korean Cultural Center, Los Angeles. Sinan is a member of LA Art Association (LAAA), Women’s Caucus for the Arts (WCA) and The Sculptors Society, (TSS). Currently, she is cocurating a Japan Australia Exchange show for 2017 with Vivienne Bambridge, vice president of TSS.

Statement: When I moved from Australia to the USA in the 90’s, I observed at first hand the cultural aspects I had seen mainly in American movies-the affluence, the color divide, the violence and the seductive consumerism. In my life experiences as a “woman of color” I have always straddled differing cultures from an outsider’s perspective. Following the events of 9/11, I could no longer ignore the constant media barrage on our minds, senses and desires. From this politicized perspective, I created the series “DoppelgANGER” and “Homeland Security Blankets” The series of self-portraits aims to express the idea that we cannot ignore our personal responsibility 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. Ultimately, we are capable of being both Good and Evil, given the right circumstances. By putting myself into the picture as all the characters, I erase the boundaries of the self. COLOR/BLIND series: Color blindness is a physical disability caused by the lack of color receptors in the eye. Drawing from my psychology background, the COLOR/BLIND works are inspired by the dot patterns in the wellknown Ishihara color vision test. The series of abstracted images depict disenfranchised people who have become invisible to society. The subjects in COLOR BLIND have become dehumanized objects. This form of being COLOR BLIND is an acquired disability: a choice to turn a blind eye to people we do not wish to see. These people on the edge of society, do not surface on the radar of public perception-for example, a refugee woman in Darfur, a prison inmate, a homeless woman. Viewed from a distance, the images are colors and dots. On closer examination, we can see the whole picture. 76

DoppelgANGER—Self as Saddam. Inkjet Photographic Print. 28 x 20 inches. 2007 77

DoppelgANGER—Self —End of the “Dreamtime”. Inkjet Photographic Print. 28 x 20 inches. 2007 78

DoppelgANGER—Self in World News. Inkjet Photographic Print. 28 x 20 inches. 2005 79

DoppelgANGER—Self in Abu Ghraib. Inkjet Photographic Print. 27 x 18 inches. 2005 80

DoppelgANGER—Self in Asylum. Inkjet Photographic Print. 27 x 19 inches. 2005 81

DoppelgANGER—Self in Bling Bling. Inkjet Photographic Print. 27 x 19 inches. 2005 82

DoppelgANGER—Self as Border Patrol. Inkjet Photographic Print. 27 x 18 inches. 2005 83

DoppelgANGER—Self in High School Shootout. Inkjet Photographic Print. 28 x 19 inches. 2005 84

DoppelgANGER—Self in LA Shooting. Inkjet Photographic Print. 27 x 19 inches. 2005 85

DoppelgANGER—Self in Pool Party. Inkjet Photographic Print. 27 x 19 inches. 2005 86

DoppelgANGER—Self as Rodney King. Inkjet Photographic Print. 28 x 29 inches. 2005 87

DoppelgANGER—Self as Los Desparecedos. Inkjet Photographic Print. 19 x 28 inches. 2005 88

COLOR/BLIND—Burqa. Archival inkjet print with vinyl dot screen in plexi box. 24 x 24 x 2 inches. 2008 89

COLOR/BLIND—Prisoner. Archival inkjet print with vinyl dot screen in plexi box. 24 x 24 x 2 inches. 2008 90

COLOR/BLIND—Homeless. Archival inkjet print with vinyl dot screen in plexi box. 24 x 24 x 2 inches. 2008 91

COLOR/BLIND—Darfur refugee. Archival inkjet print with vinyl dot screen in plexi box. 24 x 24 x 2 inches. 2008 92

COLOR/BLIND—Mexican. Archival inkjet print with vinyl dot screen in plexi box. 24 x 24 x 2 inches. 2008 93

HOMELAND SECURITY BLANKETS—Abu Ghraib. 100% Woven Cotton. Made in USA. 54 x 78 inches. 2007 94

HOMELAND SECURITY BLANKETS—Border Patrol. 100% Woven Cotton. Made in USA. 54 x 78 inches. 2007 95

HOMELAND SECURITY BLANKETS—Rodney King. 100% Woven Cotton. Made in USA. 54 x 78 inches. 2007 96

HOMELAND SECURITY BLANKETS—Los Desparecedos. 100% Woven Cotton. Made in USA. 78 x 54 inches. 2007 97

HOMELAND SECURITY BLANKETS—Saddam. 100% Woven Cotton. Made in USA. 78 x 54 inches. 2007 98

Debra Thompson www.visualdiscourse.com Biography: Debra Thompson’s socio-political based assemblage work is an integration of her critical thinking and creative expression, and belief that fine art can be used to evoke thought and encourage dialogue for sharing divergent points of view around frequently contentious topics.

Debra earned her MFA in Communication Arts and Design from Virginia Commonwealth University and her BS in Marine Biology from the University of West Florida. She has over twenty-five years of professional experience in marketing and communications and brand consulting as a sole proprietor. Debra retired from her professional career and began developing her creative voice in 2012 through a series of flags that address American cultural issues using assemblage and encaustic medium.

Her work has been shown in the Palm Springs Art Museum, Venus Gallery and University of Riverside, Palm Desert and is in private collections. She is a member of the Palm Springs Art Museum Artist Council. She has been honored with Best of Show 2015, Newtown 26.

Statement: Visual Discourse is a series of works based on the social and political issues that have challenged America within the current decade. Each individual piece of art reflects a dilemma that is expressed using assemblage of ordinary objects or messages on the underlying organizing structure, the American flag. The objects or words are selected because their juxtaposition signals a particular social or political point of view. Visual Discourse is an on-going series that currently addresses issues such as corporate influence on food and drugs, financial greed, gun violence and control, women's reproductive rights and religion, institutionalized pedophilia, and incarceration. Each work is designed to address multiple segments of American citizenry with the intent not to judge but create a platform for conversation for discovering common ground.


Big Pharma. Encaustic Assemblage. 26 x 48 x 5 inches. 2016 100

Last Text. Encaustic Assemblage. 26 x 48 x 5 inches. 2016 101

White Death. Encaustic Assemblage. 26 x 48 inches. 2015 102

Betrayal. Encaustic Assemblage. 26 x 48 inches. 2014 103

Newton 26. Encaustic Assemblage. 26 x 48 inches. 2014 104

Bank Owned. Encaustic Assemblage. 30 x 48 inches. 2013 105

Cartel. Encaustic Assemblage. 26 x 48 inches. 2013 106

Control. Encaustic Assemblage. 26 x 48 inches. 2013 107

Meltdown. Encaustic Assemblage. 26 x 48 inches. 2013 108

Spill. Encaustic Assemblage. 48 x 26 inches. 2012 109

Linda Vallejo www.lindavallejo.com Biography: Linda Vallejo consolidates multiple, international influences gained from a life of study and travel throughout Europe, the United States and Mexico to works that investigate contemporary cultural and political issues. Solo exhibitions of her newest work Make ‘Em All Mexican have been presented at the Lancaster Museum of Art and History in Lancaster, CA and the Soto Clemente Velez Cultural Center in New York in 2014, George Lawson Gallery in Los Angeles and the University Art Gallery of New Mexico State University in 2013, as well as Arte Americas in collaboration with the Fresno Art Museum and Central California Museum of Art Advisory Committee and California State University, San Bernardino, Fullerton Museum in 2012. Vallejo is represented by Salt Fine Art, Laguna Beach, CA and Bert Green Fine Art, Chicago, Ill. Vallejo was included in The California/International Arts Foundation’s L.A. Rising: SoCal Artists Before 1980 and the Getty Foundation’s Pacific Standard Time: Art in LA 1945-1980 in two exhibitions, Mapping Another LA: The Chicano Art Movement at the UCLA Fowler Museum, and Doin’ It in Public: Art and Feminism at the Woman’s Building at the Otis College of Art and Design Ben Maltz Gallery. She has exhibited her work at the National Museum of Mexican Art, MacNider Museum, Iowa, Los Angeles Craft and Folk Art Museum, Museum of Modern Art New York, San Antonio Museum, and Mexico City Modem Art Museum. Her work is in the permanent collections of The National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago, Ill, Carnegie Art Museum, Oxnard, CA, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Print Department, Los Angeles, CA, University of California, Santa Barbara, (CEMA), California Multicultural and Ethnic Archives, University of California, Los Angeles, (UCLA) Chicano Study Research Center, and Stanford University Chicana Art Multimedia Database.

Statement: It has taken my entire artistic career to fuse an image that defines my multicultural experience of the world and my place in it. Like most of my contemporaries I was taught the finer points of the Western classics, art and architecture, but later found myself living and creating in a milieu where symbols of beauty and culture were manifest in a decidedly alternate circumstance. Make ‘Em All Mexican leads you down an ironic path to find yourself confronted by some of the most difficult questions of our time, “Do race, color, and class define our status in the world?” “Is it possible to be a part of and earnestly contribute to multiple cultures simultaneously?” “Does color and class define our understanding and appreciation of culture?” I found myself ruminating, “I’m a person of the world. What would the world of contemporary images look like from my own personal Mexican-American, Chicano lens?” I found myself furiously painting directly on antique photographs and figurines to deconstruct iconic images to create an America that included me. The Make ‘Em All Mexican series carries a strong electric charge. I have re-created a familiar world to create a new unfamiliar image, one that is unfamiliar to everyone that’s not Mexican….


The Presidents. Repurposed postcards, oil, Wite-Out, original lithographic monotype, 16.5 x 48.75 inches ,2011 111

Feliz Navidad. Re-purposed magazines pages, oil, Wite-Out, and pigment print of image taken from Internet. 18 3/5 x 113 5/8 inches. 2011 112

I Am Mona Lisa Re-purposed posters, oil, and pigment print of original painting 94 1/4 x 13 1/8 inches. 2011


The Four Freedoms Re-purposed posters and postcards, gouache, oil, Wite-Out, pigment print of image taken from Internet. 14.5 x 78 inches. 2011 114

Victorian Beauties. Re-purposed posters and postcards, gouache, Wite-Out, and pigment print of image taken from Internet. 15 x 77 inches. 2011 115

Las Estrellas de la Television. Re-purposed book pages, oil, Wite-Out, pigment print of image taken from the Internet. 17 7/8 x 117.5 inches. 2011 116

Makes No Difference Who You Are. Re-purposed posters, oil, pigment print of original painting. 76.5 x 13 inches. 2011


The Rose Parade. Re-purposed book pages, oil, Wite-Out, pigment print of image taken from the Internet. 14.5 x 67 inches. 2011 118

Nor All Freed From Want. Re-purposed posters, gouache, Wite-Out and original silkscreen print. 14 x 28 inches. 2010


Justice. Repurposed composite plastic, acrylic, metal flake, 36 x 15 x 12 inches, 2016 120

Super Hombre. Re-purposed plastic, acrylic, metal flake. 26 x 26 x 16 inches. 2014 121

Marielena: La Fabulosa. Re-purposed porcelain figurine and acrylic. 8.5 x 5 x 4.5 inches. 2012 122

Fred and Barney. Re-purposed rubber figurine and acrylic F: 11.5 x 5 x 4.5 inches, B: 9.75 x 5 x 5 inches. 2012 123

The Father of Our Country. Acrylic, 14k gold leaf, repurposed porcelain, 16 x 4.5 x 4.5 each, 2011 124

Our Founders I. Acrylic, repurposed porcelain and clothe dolls with custom handmade clothing.,18 x 6 x 6 each, 2011 125

Our Founders II. Acrylic, repurposed porcelain and clothe dolls with custom handmade clothing.,18 x 6 x 6 each, 2011 126

The Three Graces. Re-purposed porcelain figurine, 14k gold leaf and acrylic. 5 x 1.25 x 1.25 inches each. 2011 127

Margi Weir http://margiweir.weebly.com

Biography: Margi Weir, an Associate Professor of Painting and Drawing at Wayne State University, calls upon figurative arrangements seen in Egyptian tombs and Grecian amphorae and presents them in a tapestry-like fashion; the juxtaposition of elements creates unique pleasing patterns, blurring—but not hiding—the sociopolitical and ecological themes in her pieces. Margi Weir earned her MFA in painting from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA); her MA in painting from New Mexico State University; her BFA in painting from San Francisco Art Institute; and her BA in art history from Wheaton College, Massachusetts. Weir has won numerous awards for her work, including a 2016 Best of Show award at the Las Vegas Contemporary Art Center, Las Vegas, NV; a 2015 Best of Show award in the Human Rights Exhibition, South Texas College, McAllen, TX; a 2015 First Place award in the Armstrong Annual 2-D Competition, Armstrong Atlantic University, Savannah, GA; and a 2015 First Place award in the Crossover and Composites: Hybrid Forms, Techniques and Media, The A.D. Gallery, University of North Carolina, Pembroke, NC. In addition, she has had many solo exhibitions, notably at Ivan Karp's OK Harris Gallery in New York and the Ruth Bachofner Gallery in Santa Monica, CA. She has completed installation pieces at Athens Institute of Contemporary Art (ATHICA), SCA Contemporary (Albuquerque NM), Lexington Art League (Lexington KY), the Elaine Jacob Gallery (Detroit, MI) ,the Las Cruces Museum of Art (Las Cruces, NM). She is currently having a solo show at Central Features Gallery in Albuquerque, NM. It runs from October 15, 2016 – November 20, 2016.

Statement: In my studio practice, 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. This references pre-Renaissance and/or non-western methods of pictorial organization, for storytelling purposes, that were used in textiles, ceramics, and architectural decoration. Through decorative patterning, the work of art draws the viewer into a slowly unfurling image that invites a discussion about ecology and/or sociopolitical realities of the contemporary world around us. Meaning is implied by the juxtaposition of images not stated in narrative fashion. Conclusions are left to the viewer in the hope that a continued questioning will be inspired by the work of art.


Justice in America: Part 1/Now. Multicolored vinyl on gallery wall, dimensions variable. 2016 129

White Privilege. Black and grey vinyl, 68 x 51 inches. 2016 130

Police Line 2.Multicolored vinyl, variable 2016 131

Home on the Range. Multicolored vinyl, installation, variable, 2016 132

Don’t Shoot. Multicolored vinyl on gallery wall, floor, dimensions variable. 2016 133

We are All Targets. Vinyl, dimensions variable. 2016 134

Fringe Fries. Painting on panel of acrylic, vinyl and resin. 44 x 48 inches. 2014 135

Heat Wave. Painting on panel of acrylic, vinyl and resin. 46 x 40 inches. 2014 136

Family Farm. Calendered Vinyl on black wall, acrylic and resin painting. 72 x 72 inches. 2014 137

Bang Bang. Vinyl on black wall, acrylic and resin painting. 84 x 93 inches. 2014 138

Detour Detroit. Painting on panel of acrylic, vinyl and resin. 74 x 48 inches. 2013 139

Fiscal Forecasting. Calendered Vinyl on black wall, acrylic and resin painting. 136 x 380 inches. 2013 140

Hot Water. Six color vinyl installation. 96 x 120 inches. 2013 141

Paper Tiger 3. Acrylic and vinyl on wall. 116 x 116 inches. 2013 142

Of the Garden. Vinyl on wall. 116 x 116 inches. 2009—2012 143

Antimacassar for the Gulf. Vinyl on wall. 88 x 88 inches. 2012 144

Antimacassar 2. Vinyl on floor. 84 x 88 inches. 2012 145

Antimacassar 3. Painting on panel of acrylic, vinyl and resin. 96 x 48 inches. 2012 146

In the Wind. Painting on panel of acrylic vinyl and resin or Vinyl on window. 84 x 44 inches. 2012 147

Screaming Wheel. Vinyl on wall or window. 72� diameter inches. 2006-2012 148

Under the Boardwalk. Painting on panel of acrylic, vinyl and resin. 84 x 44 inches. 2011 149

Home is Where. Painting on panel of acrylic, vinyl and resin. 80 x 48 inches. 2011 150

Liberation Square. Painting on panel of acrylic vinyl and resin or vinyl on window. 88 x 82 inches. 2011 151

Worker Bees. Painting on panel of acrylic vinyl and resin. 48 inches x 36 feet. 2008-2010 152

Good Fences Make. Painting on panel of acrylic, vinyl and resin. 68 x 48 inches. 2009 153

Tapestry of Flight. Vinyl on wall or window. Dimensions variable. 2007-2009 154

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