Stella J. Brown

stellajbrown.tumblr.com

Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) and Regal Fritillary (Speyeria idalia), for  Hogback Prairie Portfolio, Gouache on paper, 2014

Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) and Regal Fritillary (Speyeria idalia), for
Hogback Prairie Portfolio, Gouache on paper, 2014

Chicago-based artist Stella Brown received a BA with a concentration in Collection and Display of the Cultural Object, from the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University in 2009. Originally from Chicago, she returned from New York in 2010 and currently works in set decoration on television shows, while working on her own visual art and occasionally teaching children’s art classes. This past spring she taught an ArtLAB painting workshop at the Better Boys Foundation in Lawndale, and organized Urban Landscape: The Highwaymen at the Better Boys Foundation, a show of paintings from the Highwaymen school and student artists, hosted by Adventureland Gallery.

Photo of sandstone rocks collected at Hogback Prairie near Steuben, WI

Photo of sandstone rocks collected at Hogback Prairie near Steuben, WI

Through museum-style displays and collection practices and methodologies, Stella visually represents an event, idea, or place, often drawn from a text, by using artistic, anthropological, historic, religious, and scientific objects, images, and text. Her research heavy process begins with analyzing texts and other visual information, such as illustrations and maps. Then, continues with a sharp focus on a specific subject, where she concentrated on collecting and seeking out objects associated with that particular topic.

“I’m not just interested in a static display of objects and texts, I want to problematize the idea of displaying information behind a piece of glass, for example, and question the authority that museums and other institutions bring to their exhibitions. I am interested in exploring different ways of representing a moment in time, an action, or a place through visual display, and while much of my work is inspired by a 19th and 20th century style of anthropological and art museums, I try to question its authority and effectiveness.”

This past summer, Etta and I met and hung out with Stella Brown. We talked to her about the processes she’s exploring in her work as well as the exciting new research she was conducting at ACRE. We decided to expand our introductory feature for the ACRE artists we conducted studio visits with and ask additional questions about what they are working on, their process, and their experience at ACRE. You can read about our visit here – Part 1 & Part 2.

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Theo Mullen

theomullen.net

photo from Truth or Consequences series, Archival Inkjet prints 24”x36”

photo from Truth or Consequences series, Archival Inkjet prints 24”x36”

Theo Mullen grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana and Denver, Colorado. He received an MFA in interdisciplinary art from the University of Pennsylvania with a certificate in time-based media in 2014 and is currently an instructor of photography at the University of Virginia. He has exhibited in New York, Vienna, Austin, Denver and Charlottesville.

photo from Truth or Consequences series, Archival Inkjet prints 24”x36”

photo from Truth or Consequences series, Archival Inkjet prints 36”x24”

Rag, Archival Inkjet print on fabric 44”x60”, 2014

Theo Mullen’s work articulates a conversation between object and image. Inspiration for his sculpture and photographs range from constructed rock formations to residential settings. The work explores contrasts between nature and urbanity in contemporary life. Mullen’s installations investigate the analogical relationship between photography and sculpture through various forms of image making.

Installation view of An Ocean in Between The Waves, Plaster, foamboard, basketball, acrylic paint, archival inkjet prints, wood, sound with various speakers, 2014

Jupiter, Regualtion size basketball, acrylic paint, 2014

Upcoming, Theo will have a solo exhibition at Vox Populi in Philadelphia on March 2015.

Ann Gaziano

anngaziano.com

Corner Triangle

Ann Gaziano is a Chicago-based artist – born in Chicago, IL and grew up in Santa Fe, NM. In 2005, she graduated from the College of Santa Fe with a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in Sculpture and went on to receive her Masters of Fine Arts degree in Sculpture from Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan in 2010. Her work was most recently presented in a solo exhibition at Generator in Albuquerque NM. She has been part of numerous group exhibitions including Into the Woods at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, representation by Launch Projects at Art Santa Fe, 2009 and Hair of The Dog at The Center for Contemporary Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She has also participated in residencies at the Vermont Studio center, I-Park, and ACRE. She now lives and works in Chicago.

ACRE Sculpture with objects

Ann makes sculptures, installations, and drawings that use cultural constructs and signifiers to explore the emotional experience of materials and objects through the lens of spiritualism, minimalism, and modernist design of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. This Fall, Ann and her husband moved into a storefront space with an attached studio in Pilsen, where she set-up her studio. In her studio, you’ll find her mother’s four harness loom, sent to her from New Mexico. Ann investigated the weaving process while at ACRE this summer and is excited to investigate how it will influence her sculptures and drawings.

“I am fascinated by the way historical, intellectual, and aesthetic movements are reused and transformed by contemporary culture. Through my observations and research I collect materials and concepts and mix them together. Ultimately portraying exaggerated caricatures that create an experience based in kitsch and personal sentimentality.”

We hung out with Ann at ACRE and talked to her about her sculptural experiments and her fascination with pattern. We decided to expand our introductory feature for the ACRE artists we conducted studio visits with and ask additional questions about what they are working on, their process, and their experience at ACRE. You can read about our visit here – Part 1 & Part 2.

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Boyang Hou

boyanghou.com // fernwey.com

fernweystreeyIMG_1300

Boyang Hou is a Chicago-based artist, originally from the East Coast. He graduated with an MFA from the Painting and Drawing department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2014. Boyang and his collaborators have been working on fernway, a storefront contemporary art gallery that opened in early Fall 2014.

We did a studio visit with Boyang at ACRE in the Chalet, where we chatted about the processes and concepts he’s been grappling with. We decided to expand our introductory feature for the ACRE artists we conducted studio visits with and ask additional questions about what they are working on, their process, and their experience at ACRE. You can read about our visit here – Part 1 & Part 2

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Sarah Hotchkiss

sarahhotchkiss.com // stairwells.org // sahotchkiss.tumblr.com

ForFutureChildren

AffineTransformation

Sarah Hotchkiss is a San-Francisco based artist, arts writers, and one half of the itinerant curatorial project Stairwell’s. She has participated in a number of group exhibitions in the Bay Area and New York, and was a resident at the Vermont Studio Center, Skowhegan, Esalen, the Lunar Artists’ Residency, and ACRE. In early December, she made an installation for West Coast Craft, and now she is preparing for a solo show in January at Goodnight Projects in San Francisco. Sarah makes sculptures and installations inspired by science fiction, which in film and literature is filled with strange objects – their source and function unknown, their power indisputable.

“Playing with color, pattern, illusion, 2D and 3D elements, I make objects that encourage examination and inspire consideration of potential futures. The more I make, the more the future I wish to inhabit manifests around me: one filled with invigorating patterns, brushy applications of paint and stimulating graphic elements.”

Etta and I met Sarah Hotchkiss at ACRE this summer, where we spoke to her (and Sam Hertz) about Sci-fi, sound, systems, and experiences before she had to run to go to the County Fair Demolition Derby. We decided to expand our introductory feature for the ACRE artists we conducted studio visits with and ask additional questions about what they are working on, their process, and their experience at ACRE. You can read about our visit here – Part 1 & Part 2.

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Studio Visit: Anthony Bowers

anthonybowers.com

Fools Gold, 2013

Fool’s Gold, 2013

I first experienced Anthony’s work through his website and approached him about featuring Fools Gold. As we corresponded via email, he clarified for me that what I perceived to be separate pieces in a room was an entire installation with many components: “I think of each object in an installation as semi-autonomous, each piece having a life of it’s own that is relevant and honest but the interaction between the objects gives them more to say. They inform on each other, they tattle and tell. Creating a space where those interactions make the room hum at a certain tenor is what I am really searching for.”

Fool's Gold, 2013

Fool’s Gold, 2013

“Humor and its opposite, maybe melancholy or mourning, both deal with loss but in different ways. They are a form of comfort found through distancing oneself. They are contrasting ways of finding relief in a larger perspective. On its own, each is easily understood but held together both forms of distance start to negate each other in interesting ways, creating contradictions and ambiguities.

Like any good religion, art should be full of ambiguities. Opposing propositions ought to be true at the same time, placing the onus of meaning on context as well as content; viewer as well as maker. As I oscillate between between humor and melancholy, gritty and sublime, painting and sculpture, work and play, I am search for ambiguities like a boy looking for toads in window wells, keeping in mind that the art is in the searching and not the toads.”

Fool's Gold, 2013

Fool’s Gold, 2013

A few weeks later, I met Anthony for the first time at his opening at Fjord gallery where amidst the bustle of the first Friday art crowd we chatted for a bit about the Philly art scene, time spent in Chicago, and the work in the group show. Anthony graciously invited me over for a studio visit very recently where we got to spend some more quiet moments in contrast to our first encounter.

photo of Anthony's studio

photo of Anthony’s studio

His studio is located in the Crane Arts building in the Northern Liberties/Fishtown area of Philadelphia, which houses many artist studios as well as gallery and art/design production spaces. As I arrived, the sun started setting and we were able to catch the end of it from his studio window and then upstairs on the roof. Anthony spoke for a bit while staring at the new, boxy condos which have become a familiar sight in that area of town. We could see a couple walking around through their contemporary floor to ceiling windows, just doing what anyone would expect regular young adults to do on a Sunday night relaxing at home.

It turns out this was the perfect segue into looking at his current work: a series of paintings he has been working in which he goes to areas within walking distance of his studio and paints the forms of these new condo constructions from observation. In conversation, we touched upon the visibility and aesthetics of gentrification in Philadelphia and beyond, and the reality of looking for a different studio space within the city as he is expecting to get priced out of his current space.

Installation view of Blind Handshake exhibition, courtesy of FJORD

Anthony often works with the medium of painting but approaches it with different methods depending on what he’s working towards and thinking about. One of the pieces that he showed at Fjord, a more sculptural painting with images projected onto it (seen on the right in photo), brought attention to the illusion and division of space, an idea often revisited in various works. He mentioned that some children who were at the opening were super engrossed with walking in front of the projection and interacting with the piece.

He also spoke about how he incorporates found materials in his work, including most recently, a large approximately 5’x5’ mirror that someone in the city was throwing out and electric blue tulle. Lately, he has been thinking about what he sees as a midwest sensibility, a divide in knowledge where the women from his life in that region seemed to know so much about handicrafts such as sewing and different types of fabrics. He connects this gendered history to the materials that he finds and then manipulates in his work.

“What really draws me to those materials is not their gendered nature but their cultural authenticity… I’m not even sure that I believe in authenticity as a concept, but found materials and textiles used in handicrafts from my childhood offer some hope for an un-ironic take on white middle class life in an art environment that is in many ways still defined by gender and racial identity on one hand or rehashed, warmed-over modernist abstraction on the other.”

aplace

A place to live, a place to work, 2014

He shared with me a book he made recently, A place to live, a place to work. All of the pages were screen printed at the Fabric Workshop and Museum, where he recently completed his apprenticeship. For me, it is always interesting to see how an artist’s sensibility and choices translate and fluctuate as they work with different mediums. Anthony’s choices in color and form transitions seamlessly between his observational paintings and more object-based works, creating a recognizable language from his point of view. Anthony’s practice definitely draws upon his everyday: each moment relative to the next, with the present and the past constantly bumping up against each other.

At the end of our visit, he showed me another book, full of scans of notes and drawings from his personal sketchbooks. I was excited to see how Anthony played around with the idea of archiving by mimicking the actual design of a recognizable composition notebook. The book achieved formal qualities as close to the real thing as possible while juxtaposing pages that were scanned at different points in time, so that the bleeds from the marker drawings and notes through the pages didn’t always contain quite the same information on both sides.

FullSizeRender

a spread from Fool’s Gold, 2014

“I scanned the book all at one time and then edited out information digitally as a means of editing but also to make the action of turning the page feel like a transition in time. The drawings in that book are from one sketchbook, each page relating to the last in some way as a time-based, performative drawing… Like improv but using my last drawing as a prompt instead of someone else.”

We ended our night by wandering into the studio of a friend of his in the same building. Then all three of us walked over to grab a couple of drinks and chat at a bar nearby.

Upcoming, Anthony will continue to teach drawing at Drexel University, making art in a new studio at the Queen Building in Grays Ferry and is excited to attend the Golden Foundation Residency.

Top 10 Features of 2014

Since starting this project four years ago (December 25th) we have worked with amazing collaborators, artists, organizers, and just really great people. Our community has expanded and over the years genuine friendships have formed, yet our goal is still the same – to support awesome people doing awesome things. This year, we organized two shows are ACRE Projects – ROUNDS (Michael Milano, Alyssa Moxley, and Milad Mozari) and Futile Divide (Cory Imig and Wolfie E. Rawk). We also visited many studios across the country, connected with new artists and cultural producers, and enjoyed thoughtful dialogues along the way.

This coming year, we aim to strengthen these friendships and connections through new programming and writing, as well as collaborations with artist-organizers from across the country. Our priority is working and collaborating with artists in meaningful ways and we are excited to see what this new year brings. Thank you for your support and Happy New Year!

Lynnette Miranda


1. Studio Visit: Mike Taylor

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

2. Other Investigations: Ginevra Shay

findnotwosuns

3. Other Investigations: Heeran Lee

Blow it!!, 2012 Documentation of Performance Installation

Blow it!!, 2012
Documentation of Performance Installation

4. Matt Austin

"From Downtown (We Got This)" installtion by Matt Austin and Jeff Austin at MCA Chicago

“From Downtown (We Got This)” installtion by Matt Austin and Jeff Austin at MCA Chicago

5. Noël Morical

Eidolon III (Pink Maroon Forest), 2014

Eidolon III (Pink Maroon Forest), 2014

6. Studio Visit: Sarah and Joseph Belknap

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7. Studio Visit: Liz Ensz

thank you bag

8. Artists on Ferguson and Social Responsibility

Artists Social Responsibility

9. Megan Taylor Noe

Meg Noe

10. Lauren Taylor

Tonight Only! - ink on paper, blue tape. 12”x 18” (2014)

Tonight Only! – ink on paper, blue tape. 12”x 18” (2014)

Victoria Martinez

victoria-martinez.com

'Labyrinth Field,' 2014, site-specific intervention Photo by Gilberto Gutierrez

‘Labyrinth Field,’ 2014, site-specific intervention
Photo by Gilberto Gutierrez

Based in Chicago, Victoria Martinez is an interdisciplinary artist who explores materials through installation, site-specific interventions, collage, fibers, and printmaking. Make Space featured her work back in 2012, and then a few months later highlighted her studio process. This past summer while visiting ACRE residency, Etta and I caught up with Victoria and spoke with her about what she had been making and the processes she was experimenting with. For this post, we asked her about the new things happening in her practice and about her experience at ACRE in Steuben, WI.

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Marisa Williamson

marisawilliamson.com

Jeff5final WOLF

Marisa Williamson is a New York-based artist, originally from Philadelphia. She received her B.A. in visual art from Harvard University and earned her M.F.A. from California Institute of the Arts in 2013. Her project as an artist is to explore and describe through performance, video, objects and images, the ways that soft technologies: ‘problem solving tools’ like narrative, language, and myth, along with hard technologies like the camera, the digital moving image, and the web—facilitate the rendering and surrendering of the physical and psychological body.

Marisa is currently in the Whitney Independent Study Program and has performed in Skowhegan Performs at Socrates Sculpture Park and Brooklyn Fire Proof through NURTUREart. This month, she showed and performed at Find & Form in Boston, and will be showing at Vox Populi on February 21, 2015. At the moment, Marisa is working on several projects, including editing a film she shot in Paris last winter.

This past summer Etta and I met Marisa Williamson and talked with her about the concepts she’s exploring in her work. We decided to expand our introductory feature for the ACRE artists we conducted studio visits with and ask additional questions about what they are working on, their process, and their experience at ACRE. You can read about our visit here – Part 1 & Part 2. Continue reading

Artists on Ferguson & Social Responsibility

anigif_enhanced-14865-1408474701-12The last few weeks have been heavy on us all, to say the least. Sparked by the lack of indictments in both the Mike Brown and Eric Garner cases, Etta, Kathy, and myself have been in dialogue in recent weeks about where we find ourselves within the complexity of the social injustices that occur on a daily basis. In the midst of processing everything, I remembered that I not only have a stake in this conversation as an individual, but also as an artist, educator, and organizer. With these thoughts in mind, I wanted to raise the topic of current racial and political events and social responsibility to artists, using the Make Space website as a platform to continue some of our personal dialogues.

Last week, I asked artists from across the country (Wolfie E. Rawk, Marisa Williamson, Samuel Hertz, Ginevra Shay, Sean M. Starowitz, James T. Green, Roxana Azar, and Victoria Martinez) to reflect on recent events and to respond to this question:

Do artists have a responsibility to address political and/or social issues in their work and/or general practice?

The question is not a new question and others have posed it at different points in time, yet I think it’s a question that we need to continue re-visiting and forming new dialogues around. To be honest, I am not looking for any specific response or perspective from this question, but rather my goal is to give all artists, regardless of the work they make, a space to feel like they have a stake in this conversation. I believe artists, organizers, educators, curators, and other people in the art world have a responsibility to engage with the social and political issues of our time, even if they don’t make overtly political work. This post features politically engaged people that also happen to be artists, some of who directly grapple with these issues, while others engage with them more subtly.

This is the first of an ongoing series of writings, conversations, and programs around our social responsibility as artists organized by Make Space. The format of this post and brevity of each artist’s response (imposed by me) does not reflect the amount of things they wanted to write. Not only did I ask them to submit a very brief response, but I also asked them to deliver this information in a short period of time. I’d like to thank them, not only for their contributions, but also for their insights and support.    – Lynnette Miranda



Wolfie E. Rawk is an artist working in video, installation, sculpture, smells, and social interaction. A product of New Jersey and a child of Germany, they’re currently based in Chicago, USA.

Do Artists Have a Social Responsibility?
To the artist wondering if they have a social responsibility to dismantle systems of oppression they may not be directly targeted by*:

1. Yes! You do!

And

2. Surprise! Your work is already dealing with inequality.

Artist to Wolfie: Whaaaat? Hoooooow?

Ok, lemme Wolfsplain something to you:

3. Having the ability to turn away from realities of oppression is a comfort many don’t have.
4. This “turning away from” is in and of itself, an active position.
5. By not working to dismantle systems of oppression, you uphold and perpetuate them.

Huh?

6. Here’s a quote that may help: “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.” – Desmond Tutu

But Wolfie! I swear I’m not actually racist/cis supremacist/ableist/classist/misogynist!

7. Don’t care.

7b. I don’t care what you are, I care what you do. A cis person who is personally a wildly transphobic cis supremacist but actively works to make their workplace/school/etc trans-inclusive is about a million times more valuable to me than an allied and personally well meaning cis person who does nothing to tangibly and logistically make their spheres of influence more trans-inclusive.

The text above is only an excerpt, please read the entire response here.



Marisa Williamson is a New York based artist working in performance and video.

It’s been a weird few weeks. In my life as an artist, student, and educator, I feel the very real pull of my personal and professional responsibilities–finish editing this film, read text on neo-Marxism, create lesson plan, find a doctor who accepts Medicaid. But there has been, on top of that, the very confusing, bulky, and awkward heavy burden of communicating, analyzing, sharing, and fielding concerns about violence against black bodies. It permeates every aspect of my life. It pools in the bottom of my soul. I search for a seat on a crowded subway car, and wonder, with growing resentment, how many people are completely oblivious to the struggle that rages in the isolated black body, and within the collective psychological mind of a community that bears the brunt of America’s irresolute relationship with black people.

On Social Responsibility: I would never say that artists are obligated to do one thing or another. I address political and social issues in my own work because I can’t work any other way. My mind is not well-equipped for compartmentalizing. Everything that’s in there finds its way into the work. If there were a Container Store that provided tasteful, durable, storage and organizing solutions for the critical, post-colonial, feminist, millennial mind, I would shop there, using coupons they’d send me in the mail. I don’t know what my work would look like–maybe abstract, color fields, fabrics, textures, basically a well-ordered Martha Stewart table settings.

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Photo of artist from film project, Hemings in Paris. Photo credit: Avery Williamson



Samuel Hertz is a composer, sound artist and performer living in Oakland, CA.

The events in Ferguson/NYC/untold places around the country are harrowing to say the least. As a white male, I’m extremely cognizant at every moment that this oppressive system commits murder in my name, but that this oppression benefits me regardless of whether I accept it or not. This is why it is important to me to show up to these rallies and marches as an ally to force police and state accountability for the stolen lives of black youth. This is why it is important to me to show my face to these militarized police so that they know I’m fighting as hard as I can against them and the racist system they try to protect.

On Social Responsibility: For me, the idea of artistic responsibility of addressing social/political issues stems more from the idea of having a relevant and engaging artistic practice that provides alternatives as opposed to being responsible for creating ‘political art.’ I definitely hold artists accountable for having a practice that reflects the outside world back on itself – for transposing social/political situations, yet still remaining relevant to them. At its core, art is social and political – we (artists) are responsible for making sure it is framed that way, that our artistic practices are culturally informed, and that they represent a platform that promotes discussion and conversation. Art often comes with a fair to heavy dose of abstraction, so the degree to which it exists within the context of a lively and ever-changing field of dialogue is essential to its (and our) success.

A Minute for Every Hour Michael Brown’s Body Lay in the Sun



Ginevra Shay is a visual artist and curator. She is also the program manager of The Contemporary a nomadic museum in Baltimore, Maryland.

Passivity is a disease that saturates humanity. Lack of action is a submission to a corrupt and racist hegemony. Fear is the mind killer. Fear of police brutality for speaking up about injustice is a killer of the human spirit. A fear of the acknowledgment of systemic racism and white privilege is a killer of openness and diminishes the possibility for growth and change. We’re at a time in the United States where privilege of all forms demands to be examined. It’s imperative that we have broad conversations to help reconstruct our country and envision a society without disparity, and this takes action, and action takes many forms. Artists should act because we are human and we are in the midst of a humanitarian crisis; so long as action is taken, any way it manifests is essential and relevant: art, protest, writing, donating, song, conversation, and so on.



Sean M. Starowitz is an artist and bread baker based in Kansas City, MO.

A Bali choreographer response to what makes a great dancer…
“A good dancer is one who knows all the traditional repertoire and can recall it from memory without error; a very a good dancer is one who knows the traditional repertoire and can infuse its performance with spiritual insight; and that a great dancer is one who knows the traditional repertoire and perform it with spiritual insight, and who also is a farmer”

I find this troubling that in this day and age we have to ask this question of artistic responsibility. Maybe the historic path of the artist has been blinded by our current market-based economy and our failures in art education. The power of art to influence public opinion and organize has been displayed by the many historic events around the world that try to silence artists. Arts and culture are usually the first to be censored, removed, or suppressed. Art provides voice to multiple perspectives, it naturally draws out varied forms of response through reflections, discussion, and debate. You know, the sort of things that are elemental in a healthy democratic system. Artists, cultural workers, poets, writers, singers, musicians, performers, dancers, and chefs (among countless others) can be the “canary in the coal mine”, but oddly enough, there has been a strange silence. We need song more than ever, we need poetry more than politics, and we need artists to hold up the mirror and provide the space for deep reflection. Art is about everything we’re hoping for and that’s not here yet, and art is here ahead of time to tell us that it’s coming.



James T. Green is a designer by trade and an artist by practice–making work that explores identity through new media, writing, object-making, and performance.

Art is the opportunity to communicate a thought or idea to the engaging public. While political and social work may be the most powerful, it can be either therapeutic or mentally draining to the maker. The last 2 years—with the trials of George ZimmermanMichael DunnTheodore Wafer and the non-trials of Darren Wilson and Daniel Pantaleo—hit close to home. The lives of Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, Renisha McBride, Micheal Brown, and Eric Garner were cut short due to the same American justice system that can end my life just as fast. Eventually I responded in these four works because it hit my heart hard, but I can see how other artists may not want to touch political and social topics, especially if they live in a state of privilege where they may not be affected.



Roxana Azar is an photographer and digital artist based in Philadelphia, PA.

These verdicts are outrageous, but these gross injustices are very common occurrences. This type of violence is a reality for people every day, not just a national news story. I just read about these plainclothes shooting at an unarmed deliveryman in Philly this morning. If the cops can get away with murder, can some “vigilante” get away with it, too? What about Renisha McBride? She was asking for help from a stranger after a car crash. She was murdered on the doorstep. What about Trayvon? McBride’s killer has been charged, but we all watched Trayvon’s killer set free. There are long lists of people murdered by cops and white folk. What about casual racism, everyday injustices? Why isn’t it surprising when this system fails another citizen? I live in Pennsylvania and our governor slashed funding for struggling schools in Philadelphia, but invested millions of dollars into the prison system. This sort of thing goes pretty deep.



Victoria Martinez is an interdisciplinary artist and educator based in Chicago, IL.

We most definitely have a responsibility to deliver work, messages, text, and documentation about social and political issues. There are various approaches. An artist can choose to present theories and history about what is to revolt, rebel, or be a part of a revolution. An artist can explore by maintaining practices and significant traditions by cultures that are part of genocides and massacres all over the world. I also believe it’s important to report on multicultural artists who participate in the contemporary art world. The youth, specifically the underserved, need to learn about artists they can reflect to. They need to be aware of “minority” artists who achieved a successful path in the arts, especially because the media demonstrates that Black and Brown people are supposed to fail. Additionally, I would love to hear what professional curators discuss. Should a curator’s vision and direction transition with what’s being depicted in our society? There are different visions to follow and audiences to serve. Reinventing could seem distant, but I believe artists have the power to keep spirits alive and offer genuine approaches to coexist with one another.