Monday, February 13, 2017

Threads of Resistance

Threads of Resistance
a call for entry for an exhibit to protest the Trump administration's actions and policies
I am so proud to be a member of the Artist Circle.  We have supported each other, encouraged each other, and given advice through the years.  Now I feel like I am on the precipice of a great change in our country, and not a good one.  Our country is being pulled apart by our hearts.  Emotions are raging and it is not bringing out the best in Americans.  The nasty is coming out.  The only thing that gives me hope is knowing that the good is still there too, the compassion, the generosity, and the love.  I suspect we all have a lot more in common than that which divides us.  

I am an artist.  It's what I do.  So I am compelled to respond by making art.  Making art gives me an outlet to process all these emotions. It also allows me to use my voice. And the only way I can guarantee my right to my voice is to use it.

And while I won't be commenting much about the political scene on my blog (unless I make some art about it), you will find me being much more vocal than normal on my social media accounts.  I have even learn how to tweet, just for this purpose.  It is certainly not the first time I have felt afraid to speak, but I am moving forward and I am not alone.

I didn't write this but I believe it expresses my sentiments fairly closely.  It is our artist statement for the exhibit.

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." -Martin Luther King, Jr.

We as the Artist’s Circle stand for unity and love and light. We believe we have a duty as citizens of this country to shine light into dark places. We feel we must stand to preserve the good in America and speak against oppression and corruption, hatred and lies.

History is a written record of human behavior.
Art is a record of human emotion.
Quilts are art.

Art has always expressed both the hope and fear of its time. As artists speaking through our quilts, we come from a long tradition of political activism. The first known fundraising quilt supported the abolition of slavery. Quilts through the past two centuries have spoken to many causes, including the Temperance movement, women’s suffrage, nuclear proliferation, and AIDS awareness.

Just as quilts are traditional symbols of comfort and healing, our art can help us unite as Americans. Our quilts let the fearful know they are not alone and isolated in their struggles. Our quilts can inspire us to be greater and braver than we think we are. Our art speaks for those who are oppressed and have no voice.

Through much of history, quilts were one of the only acceptable means of expression for women whose political voices were silenced. Sometimes art must shock us out of our comfort zone and into action. In this venue, these quilts are also giving voice to emotions and ideas that for too long have been deemed unacceptable if spoken by women. Here, as women and men united, we speak together. Because of our love for our country, silence is no longer an option.

Americans are feeling a mixture of hope and anger, love and fear. We take issue with the divisive actions of the Trump administration. Our art explores our emotional responses to these actions, in the hope that it will encourage civilized, constructive conversation and, ultimately, better understanding of one another's viewpoints.

“Ye cannot live for yourselves; a thousand fibers connect you with your fellow-men, and along those fibers, as along sympathetic threads, run your actions as causes, and return to you as effects.” 
Rev. Henry Melvill, written in 1853