Exhibition Dates: October 2-November 14th
Virtual Tour and Talk with Design Week Sac:
(Recorded Q&A listed below.)
Coker Family Main Gallery
Just in time for the general election, Blue Line Arts is featuring its quadrennial Politically Charged exhibition, with fine artworks that speak to politically charged themes on a wide range of topics, from immigration to gun control.
The national open call, which received over 500 submissions from all across America, was juried by Kimberli Gant, Ph.D, Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, VA. Visitors can expect to see a wide variety of different mediums from paintings and sculptures to photojournalistic pieces.
Politically Charged serves as an opportunity for artists of all backgrounds, disciplines and political stances to share their points of view in creative ways.
“Our hope is for the public to enjoy art that highlights diverse perspectives with an open mind, preferably with a friend or family member to encourage open discussion over the views being expressed through the work,” says MaryTess Mayall, Co-Director at Blue Line Arts.
Alongside Politically Charged the gallery is hosting two additional solo shows for artists with bodies of work with a political focus.
Politically charged is one of the best descriptive phrases one can use to discuss this current moment in history. We are living in a climate where everyone is trying to adjust their mindsets and expectations to work within an uncertain environment. People are looking to their leaders for guidance and support and are coming away with feelings of doubt and mistrust. Citizens are protesting in the streets, through their dollars, and through their social media. And as with numerous generations that came before us, individuals and communities are uniting together to acknowledge the injustices past and present and demanding organizations and institutions in power to realign themselves with the desire for transparency, access, and equality.
The widespread coverage of structural racism and discrimination, combined with the global pandemic, has made it clear that we as a society can no longer continue with our current trajectory. We want change and demand it from ourselves, our colleagues, our employers, and those we ask to represent us. We are charged politically and socially to ensure women are paid an equal wage and have reproductive rights, and that those of different sexual orientations have equal access to jobs, homes, and resources. We will accept nothing less.
Now from my verbose introductory statement, it would seem as if things are dire, yet, it is not. The individuals who make up this amazing planet have responded to the harsh realities with resiliency and strength. And it is these same individuals who submitted and are presenting their work in this incredible exhibition. They are using their creativity and innovation to produce sculptures, paintings, photography, and mixed media that reflect the problems and solutions of contemporary society. The objects in this exhibition represent the issues the artist see in their day-to-day lives, such as the real meaning behind the United States flag, BLM, homelessness, sexuality, and racial injustice. The imagery you see truly symbolizes the numerous and nuanced experiences of living artists. One can only hope that in some of these art works one can also find possible solutions.
As a juror, selecting approximately seventy works from the almost two hundred artists that submitted for the Politically Charged exhibition was an exceedingly difficult process. It is never easy to judge highly personal imagery because as a curator I know how much energy, emotion, and thought went to an object’s creation. Every artist should be applauded for making themselves vulnerable by offering works for consideration. And due to the high caliber of presented works that viewers have a powerful body of images to view. Thank you to all the artists who submitted, your works are your voices, and hopefully you feel your voices were heard and now spread outward.
The Book of Donald
While there are many thought-provoking and timely pieces in the exhibition, The Book of Donald by Steven Dellicarpini, pictured above, has a particularly unique and interactive function for viewers to enjoy. Covered in gold-leaf and meticulously hand-crafted symbolic detail, the 'book' is actually composed of touch-screens that function as a digital book, that features live updates from Donald Trump's official Twitter account. With thoughtful, meticulously etched brass details and custom software that renders tweets instantly in hand-drawn illuminated letters after a medieval style, this is piece that should not be missed in a visit to the gallery.