Visiting The Art Garden’s current community exhibit about empathy and perspectives is a deeply moving experience. Over 35 artists, writers, community members and performers contributed works of poetry, painting, mixed-media, collage, photography, drawing, printmaking; and for our opening: music, dance, poetry, and a performative sound and projected image piece.
Phyllis Labanowski’s piece, Unarmed Black People (under age 30) Killed by Police or ‘Found Dead’ while in Police Custody in 2015, spans the length of our main exhibit wall. About this work, Phyllis writes:
“I recently had a conversation with a young woman of African descent, working on the front lines of the Black Lives Matter movement. I was moved by the stories she carried…of the lives of Black people killed by police in our country.
Treyvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Gardner are names I am familiar with…the movement has made sure I do not forget. But I was struck by my own lack of knowing of the others: their lives and their stories. As a white woman of European descent and a home-owner in a predominantly white community, I came face-to-face once again with one of the privileges of my whiteness – the choice of not having to know/pay attention.
BUT…If my Black sisters and brothers are carrying these stories, so must I.
This piece and the shoes in the exhibition, are how I chose to learn the stories…”
“I wanted to show the teenage perspective from the perspective of a teenager.
As a teenager you are told to conform to what society wants and be this perfect person, that I can’t be and have nearly destroyed myself trying to be,
while the person you want to be is unique to the world and free…
But you’re told that you’re wrong and you’re crazy, just for trying to be yourself.
You’re not wrong.
I’m not wrong.
I’m perfect at just being me.”
Hannah Hurricane’s etching triptych: The Angel’s 40-hour Work Week came from her “obsession of wanting to understand what being an angel was like…I became intrigued,” writes Hannah, ” with contributing to the evolution of the angelic image. I thought about shoes! What shoes would I wear if I were an angel: heels, leather boots, Converse? …I wrestled with the image of the guardian angel; how tiring that would be, willing to give constantly…I wondered too about fallen angels…What is their side of the story?…”
The exhibit In Someone Else’s Shoes grew out of a collaboration between Buckland resident Cheryl L. Dukes and The Art Garden’s director Jane Beatrice Wegscheider. As part of that collaboration, we created the image: Shoe Cairn: Way-finding Our Heartfelt World, which became the signature image for the exhibit invitation and a part of the exhibit in this digitally enlarged format.
The Art Garden and Cheryl L. Dukes invite you
to be a part of the conversation
by spending some time with the exhibit
during Shelburne Falls’ Moonlight Magic event:
Friday, November 27, 4 – 9pm.
We will have hot cider and treats made by the Bread Fairy.
You can also see the exhibit during our regular hours:
Mondays through Saturdays, 1 – 5pm.
We will have a closing reception on December 12. Details to be announced.