Friday, July 31, 2020

About Faces

coincidence: my face for #womenempoweringwomen 
trending recently on Instagram
Recently I launched my very first virtual art exhibit. After some planning, writing, and more editing than I initially bargained for, it was finally live online. Not just with art, but with interactive links and info related to the content. The name of the show is "Faces", and the topic is, well, faces. 

I created it in response to the cancellation of in-person events caused by the pandemic, and to the surge of the Black Lives Matter movement. I was thinking of the faces of people lost to coronavirus and the faces of color (myself included) still fighting to be seen and heard in our search for equity worldwide. Being a black American, most of the faces that appear in my work are faces of color. So I assembled the show in the hopes of sharing information and inspiring people to care. About themselves and each other. Enough to wear a mask, to wash hands frequently, to check in with your black friends and family, and to be open to share experiences that will help non-black allies understand. 

To be clear, none of the issues at hand could simply be wrapped up in a pretty package and presented for viewing. Coronavirus is an unpredictable enemy that we are still trying to fully comprehend, let alone eradicate. And black people being targeted, treated unfairly, and frequently murdered without consequence has been a festering sore on the face of this earth for centuries. My intent is not to diminish either urgent issue, but to insert my own voice (even if it's only a whisper heard by few) towards a solution.
Since this pandemic began, since life as we know it paused, and we've been forced to entertain some serious self-reflection, I've tried to think of what I could do as an individual to help. What I can contribute to help make things better. "Faces" is my starting point. 

From there, I'm looking to do things like sign petitions, call/write representatives, vote, research and research some more, and to inspire others. With art that I create during this time, with ways I can show people how to be creative, and with ideas on little things I can do every day to help. I've also been open to answering questions about my black experience to increase understanding for others.

I think as a whole, through a strange, extraordinary course of events, humankind is being forced to shift in this unprecedented time of uproar. And I pray that this shift is to a higher plane, guided by those of us who want to see things better, happier, healthier, and more peaceful for the whole of us. This is our chance, y'all. Let's grab it. 

What are some things you're doing to make things better, for yourself, your family, your community, and the world? Please share!!

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