Pleiades Arts | Truth to Power 8

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Pleiades Arts | Truth to Power 8 August 6–30, 2020 hosted by the Power Plant Gallery

Š2020 Power Plant Gallery, a laboratory for the arts at Duke. Copyright for all work remains with the respective artist. Used here with permission.

Pleiades Arts presents its 8th annual Truth to Power visual arts exhibition from August 6-30, 2020. The juried exhibit, which includes video, mixed media, painting, sculpture, and photography, features 30 North Carolina artists from 8 counties who speak to pressing issues of social justice. The exhibit is being hosted by Duke University’s Power Plant Gallery at the American Tobacco Campus. The exhibit’s title comes from a 1955 Quaker pamphlet, “Speak Truth to Power,” and could hardly be more timely. At this time of listening, learning and unlearning, the exhibit gives voice to diverse truths and interrogates the systems and individuals shaping our society. The stunning and emotional works in the exhibit provide powerful commentary on our times, with a focus on structural racism’s impact on a personal and societal level. In this year of 2020, as we face viruses of many kinds, “Truth to Power” is a timely expression of frustration, anger, anxiety, and even hope. --Pleiades Arts

Selected Works for Sale 25% of sales will go to support exhibits and programming by Pleiades Art. Please contact with inquiries.

About Pleiades Arts Website • Instagram • Facebook • Twitter

Donate to Pleiades Arts Pleiades Arts creates arts experiences that address fundamental challenges to justice and inclusion, and co-create these experiences in full partnerships with communities and their members. Our vision is to provide an enduring connection to resources and community for people who want to tell stories through art; to engage with communities that are not in the mainstream arts spaces around issues of justice, inclusion, and lived experience by creating safe, welcoming spaces; and to challenge notions of who art is for, how it is created, why it’s important, and who gets to experience it. Pleiades Arts evolved from Pleiades Gallery which entered the Durham art scene April 2013 with contemporary art offerings from a group of talented local artists. The first Truth to Power exhibit was presented in 2013, and the exhibit has continued annually. In 2017, Pleiades Arts was formed as a non-profit, and in 2019 we gave up our brick and mortar space to present work throughout the community, including the October 2019 exhibition, Queer Lens: Queer Identity in Art, in collaboration with the LGBTQ Center of Durham, and now Truth to Power 8 at the Power Plant Gallery. For more information, or to get involved, visit the organizations website at

About the Power Plant Gallery Website • Instagram • Twitter A laboratory for documentary and experimental art practices at Duke University, the Power Plant Gallery provides ongoing opportunities for Duke students, faculty, staff, and Durham communities to explore and consider the essential role and transformative capacity of the arts in society. Through exhibitions, performances, screenings and other public events, the gallery creates and nurtures a thriving connection between the documentary arts, scholarship and our local community. The gallery is a project of the MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts in collaboration with the Archive of Documentary Arts at the Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library. It was founded by the MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts and the Center for Documentary Studies in 2013 and is located off-campus at American Tobacco Campus in downtown Durham. The Power Plant Gallery is determined to be a welcoming, responsible, and anti-racist member of the Duke and Durham communities. It is our commitment, along with our colleagues, to dismantle racism in the documentary arts and far beyond. We recognize this is a continuous process and we pledge to listen and work with intention and compassion, while always striving to make our processes equitable. We welcome feedback on our progress and goals. Reach us at 919-660-3622 or powerplantgallery@duke.

Jurors Angel Iset Dozier is an activist, creative, educator and founder of Be Connected Durham, a community initiative connecting audiences, addressing disparities, fostering equity, and bridging access gaps through the arts, culture, music, and politics. She is a hip hop film and music lover and has used yoga, dance, literature, and golden era hip hop, specifically, to drive her work as a world languages instructor and curriculum specialist within public, private and Montessori school systems. Through Be Connected Durham, Angel has emerged as an urban visionary, championing community initiatives that connect organizations like Duke Performances, Carolina Performing Arts, Airolina Young Aviators, SheaMoisture, and more, to their authentically diverse target audiences. Each of Be Connected Durham’s projects serve as campaigns to affect positive change for marginalized, yet highly capable and valuable contributors to our society.

Jurors Cornelio Campos is a MexicanAmerican artist based in Durham, N.C. He is a painter and community educator and has had numerous collaborations with NCMA, Duke, and UNC -Chapel Hill. His work has been exhibited throughout North Carolina and internationally. Mr. Campos immigrated to the United States from Cheran, in the state of Michoacan in Central Mexico—a journey and process that now influence many of his paintings. Vibrant colors, iconic American symbols, and intricate geometric patterns define Mr. Campos’s work. He believes his paintings are a tool for sharing his indigenous/Spanish background and offering and teaching lessons for the people in the United States. Through his paintings and murals, he illustrates some of the harsh realities of immigrating to America that are often overlooked.

Artists Claire Alexandre Gabriela Amaya-Baron Jamaal Anthony & Eric Raddatz Arielle Balkcom Bethany Bash Jenny Blazing Brenda Brokke Rox Campbell Katie Damien Bree L. Davis Leroi DeRubertis Sara Dobbs Malcolm Goff Nora Hartlaub Clarence Heyward Wiley Johnson Natalia Lopes Isaac Lund Tim McGloin Jermaine Powell Eliza Salmon Cara Smelter Whitney Stanley Linda Starr Suzie Stogner Karen Tarkulich Alissa Van Atta Georgia Welch Michael Williams Jr.

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Claire Alexandre Website • Instagram • Venmo: claire-alexandre-1 The piece Our Women Wear Crowns was painted as a response to the 2020 uprisings in defense of black lives against police brutality and systemic racism in our society. In this fight lets us remember who we are fighting for. Our women’s lives are sacred. Our queer women’s lives are sacred. Our trans women’s lives are sacred. There is NO Black life without us and it does not matter without US. Period. And as we are out here demanding justice on the front lines or at home, we deserve to be RESPECTED, LISTENED TO AND SAFE. In this painting I honor Breonna Taylor, all flowers featured are native to Kentucky; Aster, Goldenrod, Milkweed, Bloodroot and Spicebush. The first three are garden flowers that attract pollinators. So let us pollinate to disintegrate the racist systemic tools of oppression in our neighborhoods. Let us pollinate and spread justice to all 50 States and the rest of the world beyond. The fourth and fifth plants are used in herbal medicine, through them I recognize Breonna’s life as paramedic, a woman who healed others. The background is a collage on assembled pages of WOMEN RACE AND CLASS by Angela Davis.

Artist submitted video! Click here:

Claire Alexandre Our Women Wear Crowns, 35x45�, Acrylic on canvas/digital art, $1000

This piece is a tribute to my African heritage and the influence of African knowledge and identity across the Americas today through botanical legacies. On the right there is West African rice whose presence in parts of South America is documented to be due to African women weaving grains into their hair and that of their children before being taken by enslavers between the 16th and 18th century. Okra, another native West African plant brought to us during the Trans Atlantic slave trade is at the heart of cooking and food for many different communities of color throughout the Caribbean and the southern USA. I consider the act of eating a celebration of being, okra and rice are therefore reminders and sustainers of the cross continental nature of my identity. The red seeds in the boat are from the West African Palm oil, and the small brown ones are from the Castor bean plant. Enslavers used both these seeds as lubricant to “ready for sale� the bodies of captured Africans and to cure ailments during the passage. Enslaved communities as well as marooned ones remembered these properties and they were careful to propagate these seeds, symbols of a lost home across the ocean and re-appropriated their usage. These tight bonds with environmental beings allowed them to create a new place of belonging and celebration where we were never meant to be free or happy. Today Castor beans and Palm oil are at the heart of many culinary and cultural traditions in African descendant communities in South America. Through the story of these plants, I demonstrate the immense power and resilience of my ancestors. They shall not be forgotten.

Artist submitted video! Click here: Claire Alexandre Towards a home that is not yet built Acrylic on paper, NFS

Gabriela Amaya-Baron Website • Twitter • Paypal

Artist submitted video! Click here:

Connected Masses reflects the nature of contemporary social organizing. Electronic technologies and digital media are a newer dimension of organizing, heavily used during the Arab Spring uprisings and which continue to be important through to the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020, and beyond. Circuit pattern imagery in this artwork symbolizes technology and the ways people connect today. The circuitry pattern is overlaid colorful shapes that depict a large crowd. This illustrates how our collective voices can speak truth to power when people are engaged with each other and to social movements. Woven and stitched strips of fabric physically represent our social connectedness – which is a driving force to effect change– and reflects that our lives are continuously intertwined with those around us. Additionally, handcraft like sewing and inexpensive materials elevate and respect that which is often marginalized and are a way of connecting to history, traditions, audiences, and movements. Gabriela Amaya-Baron Connected Masses 24x57.5”, Acrylic, pastel, textiles, thread, bamboo, $1500

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Previous Page Jamaal Anthony & Eric Raddatz Sunrise on the Black Soul Photography & Poem, $300

Jamaal Anthony & Eric Raddatz Instagram • Facebook

Arielle Balkcom Compliance 16x20�, Acrylic on canvas, $125

Arielle Balkcom Incarceration, eliminating culture, and being silenced are ways minorities are forced to comply with society’s standards. These are only a few daily obstacles that contribute to declining mental health. This painting represents the pain a black woman has as a result of these experiences as well as her empathy for other minorities with similar obstacles.

Bethany Bash Website • Instagram When the video of Amy Cooper, a white woman, calling the police to falsely accuse a Black man of threatening her in Manhattan’s Central Park went viral, there was a range of reactions, especially among white women such as myself. Most of the reactions were aimed at separating one’s self from her, such as mocking her audacity, casting her off as “crazy”, or celebrating the consequences she faced afterwards. Through this painting, I submit that rather than working to separate ourselves from her, it would be most useful for us white women to ask ourselves: “How am I like Amy Cooper?” We need to interrogate our deeply-held, ubiquitously taught, white supremacist beliefs. We need to make the difficult dive into our own racism so that we can uncover what is lurking below our consciousness. This painting is a call to my fellow white women to acknowledge our internalized racism, so that we can then do the work of changing these false, and lethal beliefs.

Bethany Bash Self Portrait as Amy Cooper 24x30�, Oil on Canvas, NFS

Jenny Blazing, Trickle Down, 30x40�, Acrylic, charcoal and collage (hand painted o

original papers, stamping mono printing), on canvas, NFS

Jenny Blazing Website • Instagram Trickle Down speaks to the environmental hazards that disproportionately threaten Black and Brown communities. In April, the predominantly Black community of St. John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana endured the highest Covid-19 death rate in America. Pollutive industrialization has left residents with staggering rates of severe illness including heart disease, respiratory illnesses and diabetes—all highrisk conditions for Covid-19. Structural racism has focused the harmful impact of the climate crisis on people of color. To pursue climate justice, we must dismantle racist environmental policies and learn from the many Black voices informing our path forward. In the words of Mustafa Santiago Ali, V.P. of Environmental Justice at the National Wildlife Federation, “When we say, ‘I can’t breathe,’ we literally can’t breathe… At every turn the deck is stacked against us.” There can be no climate justice without racial justice, nor racial justice without climate justice.

Artist submitted video! Click here:

Brenda Brokke Illumination 68x50�, Electrified hanging sculpture made of pained Mylar, an umbrella, crystals, wire and bubble wrap, $200

Brenda Brokke Website • Instagram This lighted art piece is meant to be a beacon for prodemocracy activists. It represents the people of Hong Kong who are engrossed in a struggle to maintain the freedoms that they possess and gain universal suffrage. Their struggle has been named the Umbrella Revolution and has been taking place since 2014. They have used mobile street protests, occupations, sit-ins, civil disobedience, Internet activism, hunger strikes and hacking. Umbrellas are a common accessory during Hong Kong hot summers to provide shade. The umbrella has become a symbol of the protest since many of the demonstrators carry them and have used them to shield themselves from being sprayed with hoses, pepper spray and tear gas. Therefore, I built the sculpture around the frame of an umbrella. Moving out from the center of the piece are five white shapes that represent the five white orchid petals of the flag of Hong Kong.

Rox Campbell In this ongoing conceptual video project, I interpret then reinterpret the color bar, which has been defined both as a social system that denies equal rights to people of color and as an object used to make sure colors shown in print and on-screen are displayed correctly. In the project, Color Bar, I use the color bar as a frame in which the racialization and gendering of Black males in our society can be viewed and denounced. I figuratively reconstruct the color bar by visually rendering the stories, lived experiences, and subjectivity of Black men in a way that affords them the luxury of being tender, being men, being boys, and being human. Since the start of the project, I have conducted interviews in the U.S. South and in Cape Town, South Africa, collecting over 200 videos in the project archive.

Rox Campbell Color Bar: American South Video, 3:32 min. Watch online here

Rox Campbell Color Bar reinterpret -01 (image taken from installation interfacel) Video, 3:32 min.

Katie Damien Website Saving Jake is a short film about the true story of a hardworking orphan, the events in his life that lead him into homelessness and the friend who convinces him to find housing and hope. Jake remembers his life before he was homeless, before he was crippled by an accident, a time when he had a wife, a home and good job. After years of living on the streets and camping in tents, Jake finally takes the advice of a friend and finds the courage to ask for help.

Katie Damien Saving Jake Short film, 9 min. 18 sec., NFS Watch online here

Bree L. Davis Queen of the Niggerati: Zora Neale Hurston’s Conjuring in Durham, NC, a Bree L. Davis joint Movie trailer, 2 min. 54 sec. Watch online here.

Bree L. Davis Instagram

Artist submitted video! Click here:

“Life is tricky baby. Stay in your Magick” Bree L. Davis Hi Score: You Play Too Much Mixed media, $777.77

Leroi DeRubertis Periphery 5 is my latest piece from a series of 3D hanging sculptures addressing redlining and our flawed social construct. I think about the struggle of oppressed, marginalized communities and the fight for equality and justice. I intertwine fine wires together in a chaotic web. I consider movement as they branch out into hands and feet that float free from one another.

Artist submitted video! Click here: Leroi DeRubertis Periphery 5 38x14x9�, Black 26g wire. $750

Sara Dobbs Instagram A fossil unburied becomes a fossil behind glass. Then a fossil in a box, on a shelf, carefully labeled. Museums curate our histories. They lend an aura of importance to what they choose to categorize and preserve. They say: “look at this” “I decided this was worth keeping forever” “Remember it.” But within their collections, they discriminate. Do paintings hang beside the bones of dinosaurs? Steel sculptures sit on different pedestals than gemstones. Okay. But what about paintings without names? And carvings made by people who didn’t speak English? Anthropology. Ethnology. Natural history. A different museum. Different worth? Contemporary Art owes a debt to non-western tradition. Picasso’s paintings of African masks hang in Art Museums. Yet, the masks of inspiration hang in another; separate but not equal. If institutions curate our history and appraise our art with obsolete standards they become fossils: to be put in a box, onto a shelf, with a flawed label.

Sara Dobbs Fossils Belong in Museums 8x11”, Acrylic on wood, $175

Malcolm Goff Instagram

Time travel through Black protest through the music of J

Malcolm Goff Along The Watchtower 24x36�, Mixed Media, $1,000


Artist submitted video! Click here:

Artist submitted video! Click here:

Following page: Durham artist lyrics about violence set to visual rhythm. Malcolm Goff Violence 18x24�, Mixed media, $250

Nora Hartlaub Website In 2018 I was traversing miles of rural highways in eastern North Carolina, sometimes almost to the Virginia state line on a weekly basis. There are often printed and homemade political signs and flags along this roadway containing confederate imagery, political slogans, or other messages having to do with southern pride. The Road To Virginia, an installation of 46 spray paint stencil prints documented from dawn to dusk in one day along these roadways, is a response to the horrific events that took place in Charlottesville, VA, in 2017. The political impetus to detach historical meaning from representation in effort to reify long-held systems of oppression is addressed through iconographic abstraction aimed at revealing this separation, its’ long reaching influences over time and space, and the reflection of privately held beliefs exhibited in public spaces.

Nora Hartlaub The Road to Virginia, 2018 Video Installation, 7 min 55 sec, $4,500 each (three videos) Watch online here

Clarence Heyward Website • Instagram Patreon Covered is a self portrait in which I examine the complex nature of being Black in America. Is the draping flag a representation of being covered in national pride or am I baring the weight of oppression on my shoulders? As a black American I have pride in the fact that my ancestors built this country yet must recognize that it was done through the institution of slavery. The American Flag is both a symbol of pride and oppression. The idea of “Covered” is truly a conundrum.

Clarence Heyward Covered 18x18”, Acrylic and gold leaf on canvas, $1,100

Clarence Heyward Stars and Bars 20x20�, Acrylic, silver leaf and photo transfer on canvas, $1,300

Stars and Bars is my visual representation of being Black and raised into a system of white supremacy. Painted is a young Black boy looking through a set of jail bars with a copy of thirteenth amendment on his shirt. The thirteen amendment made slavery illegal in America except as a punishment for a crime. As a result, it became a crime to be Black in America. The thirteenth amendment has lead to the mass incarceration of Black Americans. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics one in three Black men can expect to go to prison in their lifetime. Clarence Heyward

Wiley Johnson Website I have autism spectrum disorder and don’t drive. I began painting more in 2009 after I moved into my townhouse. I was happy to have my own place, but I needed more to do. I found myself painting when I was happy, and painting made me happier. I was ecstatic when the Brushes with Life Gallery at NC Memorial Hospital invited me to display some of my paintings. I paint with acrylic on canvas but sometimes I paint birdhouses and other small wooden crafts. I don’t like the smell of oil paint, but I like the way that acrylic paint flows off my brushes. Use your imagination when you look at my paintings. My only sibling Zach, was killed in a motorcycle accident in 2011. I love Zach and losing him was the most difficult thing of my life. Painting helped me find peace and get to a happier place in my life.

Artist submitted video! Click here:

Wiley Johnson Inferno Coming 48x36x1.5�, Acrylic on canvas, $1,036

Natalia Lopes Website • Instagram • Patreon • Venmo: mystodraws • Paypal: In Forget Me Not, I was taken by the color of the flowers of the same name (Latin name myosotis sylvatica), as they reminded me of the blue of surgical face masks. I felt compelled by their unassuming smallness, and wished to use them as a means to shed light on an important vulnerability. Our healthcare workers and all those on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19 are in desperate need of protective and life-saving equipment that is in woefully short supply. They also need us to protect ourselves through social distancing, proper hygiene and wearing protective masks of our own. Forget them not when you leave the house. Forget them not when you social distance from essential workers, neighbors, friends, family, and loved ones. Forget them not as you do your part to prevent further lives from being lost. Forget me not.

Artist submitted video! Click here:

Natalia Lopes Forget Me Not 8x10”, Digital Illustration, $110

Isaac Lund This work portrays a tragic scene of familial separation at the Mexican-American border to minimize immigration into the United States. Depicted from a ground angle, it stresses the helplessness that the separating family feels. Emphasized in the foreground, the American flag refracted through a single tear of the child symbolizes the dread induced as a result of American policy. Although my art is a good step for bringing awareness to the border issue, the road to stopping the commonplace separation of families involves far more work. I want my audience to be aware of the atrocities that my work depicts, and I hope that one day we live in a country that does not strip families of social justice as a dreadful defense of nationalism.

Previous page Isaac Lund The Dreadful Defense of Nationalism 8.5x11�, Graphite on paper, NFS

Artist submitted video! Click here:

Tim McGloin This photo was taken during a Black Lives Matter Demonstration in front of the Wake County Court House in Raleigh NC on May 30, 2020, shortly after the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. It started out very peaceful and spirited and for most of the afternoon remained so, but sadly did not end that way. Nevertheless, I thought it very important to document the extent to which this movement is youth led, and in the case of this photo, the presence of children spoke very loudly. After all, those most victimized by racism, inequality, and social injustices are always the youth, and especially children. I hope this photograph is a statement of truth and hope, a recognition by children of the challenges we face as a city, a state, and the nation as we try to transform our society to one of equality, justice, and a livable planet. The children in this photo represent a crossroad: in one direction is a future of escalating brutality, the threat of a failed state and ecological collapse, the other is Mother Earth that survives in a more just and loving world.

Tim McGloin Children Speak for Justice Photograph, NFS

Jermaine Powell Baby Bullets (Self Defense 101) 24x24�, Mixed media, acrylic, resin, metal paper currency, $1,600

Jermaine Powell Website • Instagram How did you learn how to fight as an American? Physically? Spiritually? Financially? I am teaching my sons about weapons and how people have used them throughout history. Growing up in Cleveland, Ohio in the 1990’s, I was taught to fear weapons; now I’m not. We study how people use weapons in real life now. Weapons can be used to save lives. Weapons can be used to end lives. Weapons can bring freedom and take it away just as quickly. Words are weapons. Dreams are weapons. Now they know.

Artist submitted video! Click here:

Artist submitted video! Click here:

Previous Page Eliza Salmon What Would The World Be Like If Men Could Get Pregnant? 12x19�, Acrylic on Canvas, NFS

Eliza Salmon Website • Instagram As an artist and policy researcher, Eliza uses her painting to express contemporary ideas and to challenge assumptions. She sees painting as a medium to exploring the self, society, and truth. Born in California, raised in Vermont, and now a proud Durham resident, she’s early on in her art career as a painter: this is her first official public art showing.

Cara Smelter Website • Instagram This linocut is a quote from historian and public scholar, Dr. Blair L.M. Kelley. Kelley was among the first generation of historians active on twitter and this quote was a tweet first posted on 11-24-2015 as historical and social commentary of the blatant political, judicial, and social disregard of the murder of Black bodies. This quote has been reposted by Kelley and others time and again as Black Americans continue to be killed with no recourse. In 2017, Kelley posted, “When did I first say that black death as white noise? I can’t remember which death of which unarmed person made me say it. #PhilandoCastile” Again the tweet has spread across social media, this year as justice is demanded for the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. This quote is particularly pertinent amidst our current movement of mass protest and resistance - during this continuation of the contemporary Black freedom struggle.

Cara Smelter 11-24-2015 9x12�, Linoleum cut and ink on 100% cotton fiber paaper, $150

Whitney Stanley This collage is meant to evoke a feeling of an old school graffiti ad for something vague but desirable. Doors are symbols of opportunity and peacocks are symbols of joy; this ‘brand name’ hovers over a happy baby that looks to the audience while blissfully oblivious and naïve to the missing laces on the available presented scuffed shoes - pulling oneself up by the bootstraps requires the right resources that’s not always evenly distributed and can be generationally distorted.

Whitney Stanley Doors & Peacocks 48x48”, Mixed media, enamel, acrylic, assorted paper, oil pastels, pencil on stretched canvas, NFS

Linda Starr Website • Instagram • Facebook This portrait of Malala Yousafzai is part of my “Strong Women” series. I felt compelled to include her in this series as she has inspired me and countless others by her determination, bravery, and dedication to improving women’s rights. Her story is one of immense courage. She has continued to fight for what she knows to be right in the face of adversity that many could scarcely imagine. She stands up time and time again against fear, threats and violence. It can sometimes be easy to take the freedom to raise my voice, and especially the freedom to do so in safety for granted. Malala reminds us that there are millions of girls and women without that luxury. If we can do so, we must use our voices to make sure that those who are silenced can be heard.

Linda Starr “I Raise My Voice Not So That I Can Shout, But So That Those Without A Voice Can Be Heard” - Malala Yousafzai 21x27.5”, Mixed media, hand made papers, dried and pressed leaves, watercolor, acrylic, and goald leaf, $1,800

Suzie Stogner Eye See You 16x20”, Oil on canvas, NFS

Suzie Stogner Facebook • Paypal: My name is Suzie Stogner. I’m an artist working in oils, photography, and collage. My mother was an artist. My sister is a writer. Speaking truth to power is who I am. I’ve been through training with Not for Sale; I’m committed to fighting modern day slavery. I’m a feminist. I’ve lived in Munich, and I enjoy traveling. I find rest in nature. I’m also involved with a racial equity group: The Social Justice Exchange. This group has become my community. I want to see people come together, but I recognize, often, we cannot do so until we face hard truths. The Black Live Matters movement is important to me. It is important to fight systemic injustice and police brutality. I want to say these names through my life and my art—to let people know that I see them and we see them.

Artist submitted video! Click here:

Karen Tarkulich Website This piece is about the constant, never-ending process of unlearning all the internalized white supremacy that’s been built up inside me--but that there’s beauty and hope in that necessary process towards progress. The nested boxes represent the literal layers of my internalized white supremacy, except, unlike nested boxes, there is never a final layer--there’s always another to uncover. As a white woman, I’ve been socialized to believe there’s always an answer, which makes it so easy to be frustrated by this never-ending process that can never be fully completed or “solved.” Instead of letting this frustration paralyze me or become an excuse for inaction, I’m trying to be more consciously grateful for each layer I peel away inside myself because each one helps me to more effectively and less harmfully do my part in dismantling oppressive systems. Like the boxes themselves, each layer I uncover is beautiful.

Karen Tarkulich Nesting Boxes of My Internalized White Surpemacy 8x8x6�, Beads, vinyl, metal, $1,050

Alissa Van Atta Website • Instagram • Facebook • Paypal Venmo: @Alissa-VanAtta The soul, fortunately, has an interpreter - often an unconscious but still a faithful interpreter - in the eye.” -Charlotte Bronte Trump’s eyes are empty of empathy, consciousness, caring... Covid-19 has laid bare to all that choose to take notice, the inequality of class, race, and numerous other subsets in America.

Alissa Van Atta Wishful Authoritarian 20x16”, Silkscreen print, $400

Georgia Welch Website This digital and screen printed work is my adaptation of Adrian Piper’s 1979 autobiographical piece Political Self-Portrait #1. I place personal imagery and experiences in the framework of Piper’s language and design in order to chronicle my relationship to work, creativity, and productivity. Like in Piper’s piece, this exercise yields not only self-understanding, but ultimately arrives at a political analysis of the conditions that shape identity.

Georgia Welch Political Self Portrait 12.5x19”, Digital screenprint, $250

Michael Williams, Jr. Instagram I am Michael Williams Jr, a visual arts graduate of College of the Albemarle Elizabeth City and future graphic design student at Elizabeth City State University. My work to conveys a message or a story within itself. Major influences other than my teachers in my artwork is Jean-Michel Basquiat, Kehinde Wiley, Keith Haring and Kara Walker. My artwork is based on personal reflection or social injustices in the black community.

Michael Williams, Jr. NOMORE 30x22.5�, Graphite, NFS

More installation shots will be made available online at, and for artists included in Truth to Power 8 to download.

a laboratory for the arts at Duke University 919-660-3622 • 320 Blackwell Street, Durham, NC 27701