And so it begins: my first art show!
My artwork will be a part of a really important and timely show opening in Vermont tomorrow as part of the Awaken Collaborative. Big thanks to my friend and fellow artist A'Driane Nieves who recommended my work to artist and curator, Sabrina Leonard. Bless you both! Having my work be a part of this important exhibition, this important conversation at this particularly point in history strengthens my resolve to keep making art that communicates a clear and honest perspective.
I can be mad all I want to about the state of things in America, the world, or I can roll up my sleeves and DO MY DAMN WORK. As an artist my work is create things that make us pause, ponder and repent (as in to change our minds), especially if doing so brings us closer to affirming our shared humanity and divinity.
Here's the press release for the show. If you're anywhere near Vermont, do go see the show for me. #onward #thereismoreworktodo
Controversial Artwork on Racial Injustice opens at Johnson State College this weekend.
Underhill artist and Vermont native Sabrina F. Leonard, announces the opening of her community-based art collaborative “AWAKEN: Exploring White Fragility and Criminal (In)justice” at 3pm this Sunday, November 13th, 2016 at Julian Scott Memorial Gallery.
Leonard says, “Just because we’re the 2nd whitest state in the nation, we do not escape our culpability to participate in a conversation on race. I was drawn to speak up publicly on this issue when I got tired of seeing Black men murdered on my computer screen. I didn’t know what to do, but I had to do something.
“My ancestry is poor, immigrant farmers who achieved middle class status here in Vermont, and I spent my teen years thinking that my background wasn’t privileged because I knew how to work hard. Participating in social justice work showed me that just wasn’t true. After the Dallas shootings this summer, I decided that since there weren’t any clear avenues for me to participate in activism, I would make my art my activism, and take as many people with me as I could.”
The project grew from a small group of (Johnson alum) Leonard and two professors at Johnson, to include two dozen volunteers and 30+ donors from 8 states, as well as featured artists from California, New York, and South Carolina. “This was intimidating” admits Leonard. “I very quickly exhausted the few artists of color in my local network. They’re busy with their own work, and they’re hesitant to touch this subject because most white people are just not equipped to engage in an effective way. Here’s the reality, though: White people need to do the work of turning toward our discomfort, examining our implicit bias, and preparing ourselves to be of service in a Black-led movement. This work won’t be easy, but we need to do it anyway.”
The show opens this Sunday (November 13, 2016) with a second opening for Johnson students on Monday, and will remain open during gallery hours until Friday afternoon (November 18th).
Sabrina F. Leonard