Why Art + Dialogue

A Blog Post by Laura Way

This year has been a crazy one for me. There is the all the great stuff going on that we do each day at Greenhill and then I added something onto our plate that was not in my or anyone else’s work plan… Art + Dialogue: Responding to Racial Tension in America. Many people have asked me why we took on this project. My answer is, because it is important—but, of course, there is more to it than that.

Last November, I was at the CEOs for Cities conference in Nashville, and our mayor, Nancy Vaughn, was on a panel of mayors. I think she was the fifth speaker of seven, and every mayor who stood up before her essentially did a commercial for their city. Nancy could have followed suit, but she did something brave: She stood up and said, “Greensboro has a problem, and it is poverty.” The room was electrified—she spoke a hard truth. She went on to discuss what we are doing about it as a city, and what a great city Greensboro is, but that it can be better. So true, and it was brave. I left Nashville thinking I needed to be braver, and take the social capital I had been building since I got to Greenhill in 2009 and do something powerful—something our community must deal with head-on for us to move forward to be a better city for all of its citizens.

While I was thinking about this, I was also watching what was going on in Kansas, New York City, Ohio, and I knew the topic we needed to address was race. But how? For me the answer was simple: artists. Artists are amazing, insightful, creative people, and through the ages they have put the world around them into context, questioned authority, brought voice to injustice, inspired us, highlighted despair and disgrace, searched for answers and asked others to so with them. Think about political posters, the Anti-Apartheid, Civil Rights, and Free Tibet movements. Heck, the WPA of the 1930s was not just to give artists work but to inspire a nation. Jazz—what is jazz but quintessential American expression rooted in the black experience? Folk music asks deep questions about poverty and injustice, peace and equality, Rap can express raw, unedited truths about the disparities in our society. There are so many ways in which artists have been a catalyst for change. Art—be it music, dance, literary or visual—has the power to open your heart and change your world view. I believe this in every fiber of my being, so I knew if I wanted to affect change, it had to involve artists.  Now, the question became how to actualize this big idea.

I started with just talking to people: Lynn Bustle, who was our director of programs at the time; Mac Sims, a friend and wise sage; my board; and many others. I knew early that whatever the project was to become, it needed to be a collaboration, but who would be the partners? The answer was obvious: I had four collaborators right in the building with me. The visual arts organizations in the Greensboro Cultural Center were natural partners. So I asked them and they all agreed that yes, this is an important project and, yes, we’re onboard. We had the Art. Then Mac convinced me we needed Dialogue. I knew this was important, but who could help us with this? NCCJ and Ivan Canada immediately jumped in and said yes. NCCJ was a natural fit, and with their experience in our community, we could make something wonderful happen. We now had Dialogue. Then I had coffee with board member Taneka Bennett, and she said, “What about music, dance, spoken word being part of the conversation?”

Now this was getting out of hand… it kept getting bigger, and I resisted. But luckily, by this time the African American Atelier, CVA, Guilford Native American Art Gallery, NCCJ and Greenhill had formed a planning group, and the team thought, yes, we need a multidisciplinary element to the project.  Now we had our Art + Dialogue with its three component parts: Art, Dialogue and Open Sessions. It was a reality. Our next challenge was where to do it. All of the partner organizations were already programmed for the fall, and we really wanted a neutral site—a place where all community members would experience minimal barriers to entry, and where everyone would feel welcome and be able to easily get there by car, bike, bus or foot. Greensboro College seemed like an ideal fit and its President, Dr. Larry Czarda, was all over it: Yes, do the project, and do it here!

Six long months have now gone by. We secured early funding through the SJ Edwards Foundation, then CFGG, The Bryan Foundation/ArtsGreensboro, and Tannenbaum-Sternberger Foundation followed with grants. We did a statewide call for visual artists to submit work that would be reviewed by an august panel of art professionals, and they selected 18 artists who come from all corners of North Carolina and then California. Ivan’s team is putting together the panel discussions, and Michelle Carello, our project manager, has assembled multidisciplinary artists to take part. Shari Clemons at the African American Atelier is creating great educational programming with help from Ruth Revels at Guilford Native American Art Gallery, and Dara Nix-Stevenson, board member at CVA, has been a backbone to the entire project, helping with social media, giving us astute advice, and assisting on every aspect of A + D, being a critical part of helping make it a reality. It takes a village.

There have been ups and downs with A + D. Every collaboration involves stress, and we are no exception. I say this because putting together a project about racial tension requires every person at the table be really open to each other, to listen, not judge, and recognize and leave stereotypes at the door. I am not perfect, but neither is anyone else, and we have all learned together during this process. It is life affirming and humbling at the same time. With that said, I cannot wait until September 24th to arrive. We have had a journey, and now we are inviting everyone else to come and complete the project, because it will ONLY work if people come, open their hearts, listen carefully, and engage visually, audibly, instinctively, and emotionally.

Nancy Vaughn, thank you for being brave in Nashville, because I am here today because I too took a leap of faith, others agreed to join me, and I know it is worth it.

Laura Way

Executive Director, Greenhill

Laura.way@greenhillnc.org

336.333.7460 | 336.937.1598 cell

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A + D ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: WILLIE LITTLE

Willie LittleAn Interview with artist Wilie Little

by Art + Dialogue intern Maddie Fritz

M: How has your style developed through the years and how did you, as an artist, arrive at the works that are featured in the show?

W: My works have evolved rather organically. I have always been a process driven artist where silent objects spoke to me, but my work and style evolved as I began creating works that celebrated who I am and where I come from and try to make sense out of my life. And that first exhibit, which ironically has been my most successful exhibit, was Juke Joint in 1995, that exhibit was about my father’s house, and traveling around the country. After that exhibit, I created other works that were confirming, but, what happened, my work began to evolve and I began to look at the world and how I would explore its social and cultural issues and that started in 1999. So I had a residency at the McCall Center and at that time I had been selected to have a residency at Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa, and that residency, the theme of the residency, was called baggage. And what happened in 1999 was the highly publicized case called the Diallo case it was a fifteen-year-old African immigrant who was shot by four NYC policemen and his name is Diallo. So I had the issue of gun violence on the brain as I went to South Africa, and at the time everyone had created work with that scene. I made limited edition prints that were about American baggage: America’s sense of self-righteousness, America’s sense of rights of entitlement, and how Americans use the Bible as a crutch to justify bigotry and hatred, as opposed to the 20th-century, so I used shopping bags as a metaphor for the American baggage, so that was kind of that catalyst that took me to create subtle works that had a powerful message so that they [viewers] couldn’t put it out of their heads and that got me into making social and political works.

M: Many artists draw on events that happened to them or during their lifetime. Do you use history as inspiration?

W: Yes, and that’s what art is about because artists in history have always responded to things that happened historically and that’s when you learn, that’s how so many people learn about history, through self-expression of artists.

M: How did you become an artist and are there specific life events that have impacted your work and/or contributed to your evolution as an artist?

W: Yes, there were three specific life events, one was in 1968, second was 1974, and the third one was 2008. I’ll start with 1968. I was born in rural NC, known as the sticks, but we called it Little Washington. In 1968, NC was thrust into desegregation. And my class, the class of 1968, was the test or guinea pig group used for desegregation. Now, I was one of the beneficiaries, I think I benefited from desegregation and that I kind of accelerated in that environment, however I was still totally affected by the harsh treatment; it was horrific.

The second thing that happened was in 1974, I had really close brushes with Civil Rights Protests, and Joan Little, I don’t know if you know about this case, Joan Little was my father’s cousin and she was tried with killing a jailer in Washington; she had stabbed him in self-defense because he had assaulted her sexually and this ignited a national civil rights protest. Then, I was too young to go to the protests in Washington, but what happened was, it was on national TV, and the reverend Ralph Abernathy of the SCLC [Southern Christian Leadership Conference] came to lead the protests and I was about eight and my sister was 16 and she said, “Martin Luther King marched on Washington and we’re going to march on Little Washington!” and I had wanted to go so bad, but I’ve never forgotten the impact of the racial divide and what was going on around me. All this activity was right there on TV, Walter Cronkite was talking about this thing and everyone was marching.

And then, in 2008, you know, the 44th president of the United States was elected and he was black, I was like “Wow, this is so great and this is going to change the racial divide.” But, I was wrong. I was upset by the backlash, the rise of the Tea Party, the voter suppression, even in NC, and how the Congress and the Senate were behaving. I saw the rallies and the signs of hatred that were associated with Jesus and being touted by the tea baggers; signs saying things like, “We want to take our country, America, back!” and I was like “From whom?” and at what cost, I asked. I wanted to figure out what can I say, and it took me a while to figure out how to create something to express my disdain and my passions, so I actually wrote and received a grant from the Pollock Krasner Foundation in 2010 and that was when I started creating the work called ‘In the Hood.’ That was a labor of love. The first thing I created was the tea bagger gown composed of over a thousand tea bags that I had sewn together. I soon had health setbacks in 2013, I had kind of a life threatening illness and I couldn’t finish the works at that time.

Then in 2014, a new gallery wanted to feature my art and I had a successful continuation of funds to finish the exhibit. Part of this exhibit is this show, and it’s layered with satire and metaphor and the question I’m asking is “which hood?” What I love about what I tried to create is that I’m merging the Tea Party with popular hip hop and it’s this farcical parody and juxtaposition of this unlikely pair. The union of the KKK and the culture which they hate so much. It became a sort of metaphorical nightmare, pairing hip hop bling with the Tea Party and KKK iconography, I found that it just grabbed viewers’ attention.

Those were really the three pivotal events that got me to where I am now, because, like I said, I have to have art to deal with and express myself regarding the social dilemmas in America today.

M: The theme being racial tension in America, and the Art + Dialogue goal of uniting the arts and community in an exchange of ideas, do you have anything to say about connecting with the other featured artists?

W: I’m actually really happy to be presented in the same show with these other artists because I know much of the other artists are going to be much younger than me. And I’m really happy to see the youth going back to voice their opinions through social media and protesting and having something to say. What I would like to say, is really, do not forget the history of the struggle of this country, whether you’re black or white, or you’re gay or straight, or, you know, wherever you come from. But, also, find your unique voice, your unique gift, and share that with an audience. And that will do well with anybody that is a creative person. Once I started doing socio-political work, I haven’t stopped. And that’s always been a struggle, because I’ve always been trying to push the envelope. So when I see something that makes people feel uncomfortable, but expresses an idea in the most clever way, that’s what I really like. You know, how does it seduce the artist in either the most subtle way or the most over-the-top way. Which I notice a lot of younger artists are doing, and that’s what I really wanted to do with this work, you know, it’s so farcical, how hip hop is blended with the clan, so I hope that will garner some viewers’ attention.

Willie Little has work in collections around the globe and some of his pieces will be featured in the Art + Dialogue show in the Cowan Humanities Building at Greensboro College.

For more information on Willie Little and his work, please visit www.willielittle.com

A + D ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: ANTOINE WILLIAMS

Antoine WilliamsAn Interview with artist Antoine Williams

by Art + Dialogue intern Maddie Fritz

M: How has your style developed through the years and how did you, as an artist, arrive at the works that are featured in the show?

A: So, I started out being interested in science fiction, like watching graphic manga, beginning to get into hip hop and street art culture, and from there, I got into politics. Really just the combination of all three together: hip hop, science fiction, and politics. I began to incorporate these into my work and sought to satisfy all three. I drew figures from TV and from graffiti, and draw inspiration from industrial surfaces and found objects which have a socioeconomic or racial attachment to them. This show and its subject matter is really an extension of the work I already do. I kind of already made work about race and class, as an artist, you get to be around all types of people, so I’m really interested in that. This show is my practice.

M: How did you become an artist and are there specific life events that have impacted your work and/or contributed to your evolution as an artist?

A: I think I’ve always been a creative person, over time you come to realize that you’re an artist, and once you realize it you can do something with it. Honestly, I’ve always made work, but I think my work starts to get more political after the 2000 election, like when Bush didn’t win but he got elected, I thought something was weird about that, and then 9/11, where I would see things on television, and I would see an US tank blow up an Iraqi hospital, but then the news would talk about it as if it wasn’t a bad thing. And then you’d hear  politicians blatantly lie in the news. You know, what I would see with my eyes and what was being reported, I felt that something was wrong. I started to get more interested in why these things were happening like this. And as a grew up, there were things that I noticed, but when you’re young, you know, you hear things like, “black people aren’t that smart” or “black people aren’t as good at math” and then it would be explained away as “they have smaller brains” and I was thinking, you know, that can’t be true, but I didn’t know why. Why was it that a lot of people I knew were locked up? And it’s not because they were bad people, but they still ended up in jail. My art is me trying to figure that stuff out. Maybe a specific moment would be 9/11, but all my life I had these questions and they were all about race. But yeah, I’ve always had those questions and through my art I’ve tried to answer them or address them.

We’ve been made to believe that there’s one history. Take the Civil War, you’ve got an entirely different history when it’s told through the eyes of female slaves. In my work, I like to research these subjects and find out these things and then try to identify with them in a way. Like, why does America lock up so many more people? And let’s talk about that from the perspective of someone who can be one of those people. And this is perspective that you don’t see a lot. Or often not at all in mainstream society, or even in art.

M: Is there anything you want to tell young people who are growing up with and facing this level of racial tension in their country? Also, is it that racial violence is broadcast more often or because the violence is more prevalent?

A: It’s not more prevalent, white cops have been killing black people since there were black people in America. I think this goes into perspective. You talk to a lot of black people and they’ll tell you that this is nothing new. Black people have been saying the exact same thing, a lot of these cops are crooked and a lot of these cops beat people up. Mainstream society does not listen and it’s not until they actually, it’s sad, but you have to get it on camera for people to see. Because of technology, I think that’s what’s changed, now we’ve got the technology for people to see it. And I’m interested in, now that people are seeing it, what’s next? What are we going to do to change our lives, what part of this is going to be used as a political tool, is this going to lead to progress? I think that oftentimes with race, the conversation in mainstream society is not often with young people, but you go to tumblr or twitter and you’re able to have more nuanced conversations. And that’s why I think a lot of young people can benefit. 

So, with young people, I mean, need to put your voice out there and I wouldn’t be afraid to say what we feel. But, there’s a lot of venues, and often times I don’t think people look at art as a venue to put out things they want to say. I think oftentimes it’s easy to feel isolated and as if you are all alone in the world. There’s other people out there. But yeah, I think they just have to keep on. And also, they need to have, like, I mean I’m thirty-five so, I guess that sixteen-year-old will have to deal with that pain and maybe I won’t. But, I think, you know, I was talking about nuance, but the bigger issue really is structural changes, like racism. Past structural changes are why a lot of these young black people are being killed by cops. I feel even, more of a shift towards that, rather than like intra/interpersonal, because that’s what’s going to matter. You bring in a disproportionate number of black and latino out of poverty, and give them more education, more opportunity, and all of these things matter, but it’s a hard conversation. For young people of color, it’s just important to have these kinds of conversations. For young black people, it’s like, don’t be afraid to have these conversations. I think we’re in a new realm because we have this technology that we didn’t have before. Oftentimes I think of how things would have been different, like the Civil Rights Movement. The struggle is not going to look like what it did in 1954, the problem is there a lot of people who are still stuck there. And it’s like, no, it’s going to look different and we may have the same problems. A lot of young people don’t learn anything and that’s one of the frustrations that comes in. Media still comes into play. Like, when Obama said the n-word, people were just shocked that he said the n-word, rather than what he was talking about. And that’s a very old way of thinking. You know, younger people don’t care as much. But yeah, I’m ranting, I hope somewhere in there there’s an answer.

M:  How does your work ignite these conversations that are so necessary?

A: Well, yeah, and here’s what I try to do with my work: so I have these creatures and I want them to suggest a certain ethnicity and a certain class, right? But I also want to suggest a certain mood. So I may want something to look somewhat threatening or suggest something’s in peril. [Regarding his work ‘North Charleston’] I hope that there’s a certain tension in that piece. That piece is about interactions that a lot of black people have with cops and that tension that happens there. So if you’re not black or you just have a great relationship with cops, I can tell you all day how horrible that is, but some people just can’t relate because, you know, they’ve never been there. But, I think, tension, people understand fear. People understand joy and happiness. I’m trying to, through my personal experiences or experiences that I can relate to, I’m trying to translate through universal emotions of fear, pain. I think people can understand that. You may not know what it’s like to be pulled over by a cop, but everyone still understands fear. And that’s what I’m trying to get across. I’m not necessarily trying to answer the question, but am trying to put things out there. So, I want people to have a more gut response to my work and then let’s talk about that. It’s hard to convince people that ‘cops treat me differently’ but it’s much easier to communicate fear. If this induces fear, then that’s what I’m feeling, that’s what it’s like.


Antoine Williams has original work featured in the Art + Dialogue show in the Cowan Humanities Building at Greensboro College.

For more information on Antoine Williams and his work, please visit www.rawgoods.org.


Art + Dialogue:  Responding to Racial Tension in America

Sept. 24 – Oct. 11  @  Greensboro College

Art + Dialogue (A + D) is a collaborative project bringing community together using visual art as the catalyst for dialogues around racial tension in America. A + D aspires to make the issue of race and racial tensions more tangible to its audiences and participants and promote greater understanding of different perspectives and experiences.

For a full calendar of events, click HERE.

A + D ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: PAMELA WINEGARD

Pamela WinegardAn Interview with artist Pamela Winegard

by Art + Dialogue intern Maddie Fritz

M: How has your style developed through the years and how did you, as an artist, arrive at the works that are featured in the show?

P: Though I am now a mixed media artist and I bubbled up traditionally, well, maybe not so traditionally. I went to college much later in life. I was a non-traditional student and so I quickly started off in a non-traditional way. When I moved to Charlotte in 2002, I really began to explore two-dimensional surfaces with found and organic materials. However, the one medium that I generally feature throughout all of my work is drawing. It is the primary way that I communicate my stories. Drawing, to me, always conveys a sense of intimacy. This issue is intimate and I wanted to create a personal work for the show. A drawing was the expression of choice for this exhibition. Social issues are where I get the content for my work. It’s part of the fabric of the way I think. I have been affected by the racial tensions in America; racial tensions in the Carolinas. I often think about how and in what ways we relate to each other in a community. Race is a difficult and emotional subject that isn’t to be treated lightly. For this exhibit, I read the information about the call. I talked with my friends and peers in the Charlotte area, I read everything on all sides on social media, and I tried to understand how it affects me personally and how it affects others personally. I let that saturate and then eventually wove it into the narrative for the piece for this show.

M: How did you become an artist and are there specific life events that have impacted your work and/or contributed to your evolution as an artist?

P: It is pretty cliché but I was born a creative person. I was always making, building, or painting something. Unfortunately, it wasn’t something I thought I could do for a living, so I took a long time to actually give myself permission to become an artist and not just “fool around”. I realize now that I always found jobs that required a creative product from me – so it really was a mental exercise on my part. I grew up in a military family, I then entered the service, and eventually I married into the military. I was always traveling/moving and never stayed part of a community for very long. I was always an outsider or made to feel like one. I think being an artist gave me a way to feel comfortable in my own place for a very long time. Eventually, the experience of viewing different communities, being part of or not part of types of communities and the experiences of living within and without the United States has contributed significantly to the way I make my work and the kinds of things I want to say. Transient … permanence … stranger… family … us …. them … are all topics/totems in my work.

M: Is there anything you want to tell young people who are growing up with and facing this level of racial tension in their country?

P: I think that racism is a really ubiquitous situation that doesn’t just apply to young people. I think that it applies to any age, culture, community, or religion, to anyone or anywhere. I have to say that it has been very illuminating for me these last few months. I considered myself pretty liberal, I vote democratic, I’m involved with my community, and I’m a social activist. However, I found that if I just sat back and listened, I discovered how much I was really unaware of and how much I was on the outside of understanding. Despite how hard my life has been I have certainly benefited from a community structure that is gamed to work for me on the basis of my skin color. That is an appalling revelation. For young people, I would say that I see this event, and others like it, as an opportunity for all of us to grow, support, and listen. In particular, I think white America needs to take responsibility for the infrastructures that have contributed to the racial tensions that exist today. I don’t think I thought that way a year ago, as liberal as I am. It’s part of being an American and living in this country. We have to fix this. No excuses. We need to learn to communicate. We need a better support structure. We have to give voice to the people who have been marginalized. In addition, I think I would want to tell others, that I am particularly interested in the relationship between racism and gender. I am concerned about my gender and it’s placement in this discussion. I find it is very complex and cannot be boiled down to simply black and white. I think the female voice often gets lost in this discussion or at the very least co-opted. I am very concerned about fighting with each other. I would like to make sure we, the feminine voice, are not lost in this discussion. My piece for the exhibit narrates a small part of that story.

M: Do you have any words on creative confidence (what never fails to inspire you, etc.) and how that comes into play with the works you submitted?

P: I don’t think you can do anything in a vacuum. I’ve always believed that you have to take risks. I have lived my life that way. I’ve been naturally a nomad and while Charlotte is probably the longest I’ve ever lived anywhere, there are still times I still feel like I am trying to get grounded within my local community. Confidence for me, therefore, has always been to understand that you can’t create in a vacuum. I make every attempt to engage. I talk to people, I volunteer in my community, I have discussions on social media, and I still do a lot of traveling. I spend time drawing and I include that in my everyday work and my everyday practice. Paintings, drawings and mixed media work that I make always have iconic imagery woven along with a tactile surface – creating a story that engages viewers and keeps the story alive. I liken it to a family dinner table at the holidays when family members begin to tell stories about a family member who is absent. They’ve either witnessed an event or heard the story. Eventually, the story becomes a family myth and everyone has versions to tell and as it changes over time holes develop, yet the important part is that everyone has a part to contribute to make the story whole again. It is that kind of story that drives me. Everyone contributing to the story … it continues to live, each generation remembers, and all the people continue to live as a result.


Pamela Winegard has original work featured in the Art + Dialogue show in the Cowan Humanities Building at Greensboro College.

For more information about Pamela and her work, please visit www.pamelawinegard.com.


Art + Dialogue:  Responding to Racial Tension in America

Sept. 24 – Oct. 11  @  Greensboro College

Art + Dialogue (A + D) is a collaborative project bringing community together using visual art as the catalyst for dialogues around racial tension in America. A + D aspires to make the issue of race and racial tensions more tangible to its audiences and participants and promote greater understanding of different perspectives and experiences.

For a full calendar of events, click HERE.

A + D ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: TYLER STARR

Tyler StarrAn Interview with artist Tyler Starr

by Art + Dialogue intern Maddie Fritz

M: How has your style developed through the years and how did you, as an artist, arrive at the works that are featured in the show?

T: Well, I’d say my style, or my interest in visual arts started at an early age. One of the influential artists was always Goya, especially his Disasters of War series of etchings, which I see as poetic reportage. I was influenced by his work, eventually went to art school and started to create zines– these little self-published magazines that were reports on the odd jobs I was working. I worked in factories and included snippets of dialogue and sketches of the interiors. The little magazine format allowed me to disseminate information in a way that I thought was similar to old etchings that had been available to a wider audience than a typical oil painting.

From there, I became interested in Gonzo journalism, like Hunter S. Thompson, where their own voice played a role in deconstructing the somewhat deadpan quality to conventional reportage that claims to be neutral reporting. The persona of the writer, of the reporter, was allowed to play a more important role. That lead me to look at the work of William Carlos Williams, who as a poet, in works like “Patterson,” would incorporate snippets of conversation that he would hear in a bar alongside a written correspondence he’d have with a friend, such as Allen Ginsberg. And then he’d also incorporate archival information also, from old newspaper publications of the 18th century.

And all these things would be collaged next to each other. That really influenced the way I started to create my own artwork with a collage-like sensibility, appropriating from all these different areas of my own experience versus some historical archived information versus things that I find through contemporary media outlets.

So that pretty much resulted in the work that is being shown in the Art + Dialogue exhibit, where I went into the archives of the FBI using documents that were developed around the case of the Greensboro Massacre, which occurred on November 3, 1979. It was a way to try to figure out the context, something beyond what you find on say, Wikipedia. As I was sifting through these FBI documents, I could see that the names of the individuals who were involved in the incident were typically blacked out, but specifics about the vehicles that were involved were very detailed and it evolved that the vehicles came to embody the participants in odd ways. And then, I decided to use the vehicles to visualize this incident in a somewhat oblique way from a new angle. The incident is still an open wound in many ways, and no one was actually convicted for the murder of the five protesters.

The result is this panoramic representation of the two motorcades; one is of the anti-Klan parade that was organized by the Communist Workers’ Party (CWP) members and then in opposition to that is the motorcade of the KKK and Neo-Nazis organized to confront the CWP. It’s fairly large-scale and it features the specific vehicles that were detailed in the FBI documents. I went onto online auto classified sites where they were selling very specific models, like a 1962 Ford Ford Fairlane, for example. And I’d find the exact color that was described in the FBI documents. So the reference to the auto classifieds (especially the free auto classified digests you can find at gas stations and truck stops) started to play an increasingly important role in the format of this project, so I also created a accordion artist’s booklet that I distribute freely, like pamphlets that facilitate the spread of news or free digestible information at historical sites. I used the booklet to give additional context by providing text that was cut-and-pasted from the FBI documents.

So that’s how this project developed: diving into archives and then looking at auto classifieds, interest in the shape of these vehicles from the late 60’s, 1970s, and then that curiosity turned into a sociological exploration, too, of what kinds of vehicles were purchased and used by these individuals. Obviously, the KKK did stick to the American-made versus some of the more international choices of vehicles that were used by the Communist Workers’ Party. I thought this detailed investigation of the factual information brought surprising insights into the incident.

M: Have you ever had the opportunity to be a “fly on the wall” and observe the viewers of your art?

T:  Yeah, I’ve been in that situation and I’m always surprised. I feel like I have no ability to predict what the responses will be. Often times I find that people will refer to something that I hadn’t considered all that in-depth. There is sometimes an aspect of a project that I spent a lot of time on, but rather something that occurred rather quickly and spontaneously becomes the subject of conversation. One thing I’ve learned from being a fly on the wall is that there’s a digestive process that occurs when looking at art.

This has influenced my methods of presentation and my artist’s booklets that are quite different from the 2-dimensional presentations of images on walls. These booklets have text in addition to the image, to try to add more to the context. I include points of entry that encourage the viewer to approach the subject in their own way. There’s only one second where the viewer responds to the thing on the wall. Realistically, people don’t spend a whole lot of time in front of each image. So there’s this idea that maybe if they have the image in their pocket and they drop it on the coffee table and look at it again at some point, there’d be a longer, more serious consideration of some of the topics that I’ve wrestled with in my work.

M: The theme being racial tension in America, and the Art + Dialogue goal of uniting the arts and community in an exchange of ideas, do you have anything to say about connecting with the other featured artists?

T: Absolutely, I’m really excited about the way this exhibition is being approached where dialogue amongst a range of communities is being prioritized. And, really, I just look forward to learning from the experience and conversations that will develop around the exhibit. And, I have to say, I’m relatively new to North Carolina. I’ve been living here for three years, and I’m in Davidson, North Carolina, which is just North of Charlotte, but I do feel that one of the challenges of living here is that there’s not such a large close-knit community of artists, compared to the Northeast, where I’m from. Here, it takes longer to drive to other cities and this occasion to meet a number of practicing artists and individuals interested in such subjects, is a fantastic opportunity.

M: Regarding the upcoming artist panel and, in general, is there anything you want to tell young people who are growing up with and facing this level of racial tension in their country?

T: It’s fascinating, and I’ve been trying to learn about all this as well. One of the things that I’m experiencing, especially when I consider the historical context of it all, like reading about the KKK and the incident in Greensboro in 1979, I would say that there’s still some presence of the KKK as well as much of the racist infrastructures which don’t necessarily wear a white hood and walk around downtown.

You get a different story when you look at a headline and then take the time to look at and consider some of the history surrounding the instances, take, for example, Charleston, where this horrible incident just happened and you have to consider a sequence of horrible things, from the slave trade to the civil rights movement to see how interconnected and complex and bewildering it all is.

In 2004 there was a Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation Commission that conducted interviews with individuals connected to the Greensboro Massacre, including at least one of the KKK members. And when the Commission issued their final report, their number one recommendation for moving forward from the incident was “acknowledgement.” To acknowledge the tragedy and acknowledge that it happened. A lot of frustration was apparently generated by politicians and others that claimed the incident was simply the past and it was important to forget it and look forward. Those that suffered from that incident apparently didn’t have any reconciliation and their trauma wasn’t addressed, rather it was avoided or buried. I hope that in a small way my work can participate in this acknowledgement.

M: Are there consistent themes your pursue throughout the creative process?

T:  Over the last ten years, my work has tended to become increasingly political, to a degree. I am looking at political dilemmas especially from the point of view of radical attempts to redress perceived wrongs in the world. I am constantly inspired by human fortitude and the creative and desperate solutions people come up with when confronted with dire problems.


Tyler Starr was a Fulbright scholar and has work featured in the Art + Dialogue.

For more information on Tyler and his works, please visit www.tylerstarr.com.


A + D ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: MONICA WEBER & MARIANA PARDY

Monica Weber & Mariana PardyAn Interview with artists Monica Weber (left) & Mariana Pardy (right)

by Art + Dialogue intern Maddie Fritz

M: How has your style developed through the years and how did you, as an artist, arrive at the works that are featured in the show?

Monica: After years of agonizing over my urge to constantly explore new media, styles and formats instead of settling into a consistent signature style, I eventually decided to embrace eclecticism as my style (however as contradictory as the concept of an unpredictable style may be). After an initial phase of human studies in ink and charcoal, in 1986 I moved on to figurative painting in oil and acrylics; having been born and raised in Mexico, my early paintings dealt almost exclusively with Mexico’s people, light and color through descriptive scenes and human studies. From 1995 through 2004, living in the US, I worked mostly on portraits and landscapes. As of 2005, inspired by Antoni Gaudi’s mosaics after a trip to Barcelona, I abandoned the easel and devoted myself for many years to large-scale public mosaic art. As of 2014 I returned to the studio to work on mixed media, sculpture and bas/relief, both abstract and figurative, mold making, and cold-cast bronze. In 2015 I also started exploring compositions with metal coatings, scrap metal and patinas.

Mariana: As a ceramic artist, my style has developed through the years as I improved my technique and started to feel more comfortable with the use of local materials.  Red clay is my medium. I use geometrical patterns and most of my work is abstract.  My style has been shaped by life events such as moving to NC where I found a need and desire to stay connected to my country of birth and to my roots.  I create pieces that tell my own story and stories of those who do not have a voice because of a language barrier or because of fear of expressing themselves.

Together: In 2012 we, Monica and Mariana, started collaborating on several pieces. As well as being fellow artists and fellow Mexicans, we are also both medical interpreters. Dialogue is part of our daily lives. It is our job to facilitate linguistic and cultural communication between Hispanic immigrants and their new American communities. Both through our voices as interpreters and through our creative efforts as artists, we seek to enable dialogue and understanding, which brings us to the piece featured in the show.

M: How did you become an artist and are there specific life events that have impacted your work and/or contributed to your evolution as an artist?

Together: As medical interpreters working with people at their most vulnerable, we hear stories of hardship and frustration, but also of success and healing. We witness first-hand both the fear, alienation and apprehension that arises from lack of communication and cultural misunderstanding, and the almost magical transformation that takes place when people start to understand each other both verbally and culturally, realizing that fundamental human experiences are common to all. We see time and again how, when things become familiar, they cease to be threatening.

In 2014, our deep concern by the increasing racial tensions in the US, our shared Hispanic roots, our shared profession as interpreters, and our shared love for and appreciations of our new country, inspired us to join forces as artists –Mariana contributing her ceramic art expertise and Monica her bas-relief portraiture and mosaic art expertise– to create “Tlatolli-Dialogo”, the collaborative work featured in Art + Dialogue.

M: The theme being racial tension in America, and the Art + Dialogue goal of uniting the arts and community in an exchange of ideas, how does your work portray this message?

Together: Through “Tlatolli-Diálogo” we seek to visually convey the ties that can be established by true dialogue across ethnicities and cultures in order to promote familiarity and understanding. We originally created this piece for MEXhibit 2014, an art exhibition sponsored and organized by the Mexican Consulate in Raleigh and the City of Raleigh Museum to showcase Mexican artists in NC.

Tlatolli is a Nahuatl term meaning “discourse, conversation and dialogue”, and it was represented in pre-Hispanic codices and carvings by a speech scroll symbol, similar in shape to a modern quotation mark, and similar in function to a modern speech-bubble.

In “Tlatolli-Diálogo”, the profiles in bas-relief represent different ethnicities, age-groups and genders (African-American, Asian, native Mexican, Caucasian, native American, young, old, infant) and the blue/green spiral-shapes are inspired by the Nahuatl tlatolli symbol to indicate the idea of speech and communication between ethnicities. The colors and composition seek to convey the harmony and integration that could be attained with true dialogue as a catalyst, and the idea that getting to know each other as fellow humans eliminates the sense of threat, the fear of the unknown which is at the root of racism.

M: Is there anything you want to tell young people that are growing up with and facing this level of racial tension in their country?

Together: As artists, both of us also work with children. Through hands-on workshops we try to convey the appreciation and understanding of the artistic expression of other cultures, Mariana through “Tree of Life” workshops, and Monica through Huichol Yarn-art Workshops.

Both the Trees of Life and the Huichol yarn paintings tell unique, personal stories through symbols and patterns. By teaching children to understand and appreciate the stories told by members of other cultures through examples of their art, and encouraging them to tell their own personal stories through the same media, we hope to awaken mutual respect, understanding and appreciation, as well as the realization that the common experiences across cultures are greater than the differences that set them apart, and that those differences cease to be threatening and become mutually enriching once they are understood.


“Tlatolli-Diálogo” is featured in the Art + Dialogue visual art exhibition.

For more information on Monica and her work, please visit mw-fineart.com; for Mariana, tierramadreceramicart.com.


Art + Dialogue:  Responding to Racial Tension in America

Sept. 24 – Oct. 11  @  Greensboro College

Art + Dialogue (A + D) is a collaborative project bringing community together using visual art as the catalyst for dialogues around racial tension in America. A + D aspires to make the issue of race and racial tensions more tangible to its audiences and participants and promote greater understanding of different perspectives and experiences.

For a full calendar of events, click HERE.

A + D ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: KERITH & KRYSTAL HART

Kerith & Krystal HartAn Interview with artists Kerith & Krystal Hart

by Art + Dialogue intern Maddie Fritz

M: How has your style developed through the years and how did you, as an artist, arrive at the works that are featured in the show?

Krystal: My style grew through my doodles and Kerith’s through painting. You couple that with my travel, and my style grew all throughout that process. Well both of us, we got in the call, and we decided we should do it together just for the sake of it, and I guess that’s the main purpose behind it. And we really talked back and forth and used our gears so we could really work together and it wouldn’t be just one style but both of our voices at the same time.

M: You mentioned your travels: where have you been?

Krystal: I was in NY for a while, but I’ve traveled to Africa, and central Asia, a lot of places that have a massive landscape, so you know, the mountains, I was always looking at the mountains along the central Asian and Chinese border. I was in a huge city so I got really inspired by those vast landscapes. And Kerith’s traveled extensively as well. Kerith: Yeah, I spent time in Northern Kenya. Just the piece we’re working on, the central part of it is going to be a tree, so also, Krystal and I met in NY and we take a lot of inspiration from wherever we go.

M: How did you become an artist and are there specific life events that have impacted your work and/or contributed to your evolution as an artist?

Kerith: I guess for me I had doodled some in high school, but I never really pursued it till after Krystal and I had met. And we started going to a life drawing class from there. So I guess it kind of reignited a flame that I didn’t know was in there.

Krystal: For me, I drew in high school a little and I went to Weaver, this was before they changed the school, I graduated, as soon as they changed it into the Academy and I was so mad about that! There’s not much creative outlets as far as where school is concerned, and don’t you think? So I thought, well you know, I like video games and  so I went with that and ended up going to New York and painting, I studied computer graphics, so I would paint on the computer or draw, big 3D animation. Then I moved to Florida and had this revelation one day, because I had really wrestled with painting and with being an artist, I wrestled with the idea. So I said, OK, if I want to be an artist, if I’m supposed to be an artist, I want to be a show before I’m twenty-five, and I was like twenty-four and a half. So it was, impossible, kind of. The next week there was a call for artists, and I actually got accepted to it, all expenses paid, and painted my first painting and sold it next week.

M: The theme being racial tension in America, and the Art + Dialogue goal of uniting the arts and community in an exchange of ideas, do you have anything to say about connecting with the other featured artists?

Krystal: For me, I like, I have kind of a film background, there’s something amazing about being on the set and then you see all these walks of life coming together for a bigger purpose. And I feel, like this project, we’re bringing our tragedies and our triumphs and our brokenness and our own experiences together to say, OK, this exists, but how can we move beyond this? And so I just value that camaraderie and, you know, we’re going to have different perspectives. You know, our heart and soul, how can society be better by having these discussions. I’m excited about that part.

Kerith: Ditto.

M: Do you have any words on creative confidence (what never fails to inspire you, etc.) and how that comes into play with the works you submitted?

Kerith: Well, I have a wife, and this is what she does. She has been pretty adamant about pulling this out of me. And it’s so funny, too, because at the same time, while we sit brainstorming about the whole planning process, I get lost in it. And, when I get lost in it, it’s like a disconnect for me from the normal job that I have. So, with that said, I’m able to actually just plug into it and just have fun with it and not really care if, not from an offensive viewpoint, but you don’t really care what other people think. It’s like, I’m doing this because I love it. I do this because there is something greater tied to this that I can’t see yet.

We walked into the Native American gallery last week and it’s different as a white male walking into a place where my ancestors have affected their life. A lot of time, the Native Americans have often gotten looked over in the process. It’s just the way media has gone through history. I told my wife that it amazes me: the things, the roots that the tribal people have. They’re resilient in their culture. Looking at my own self, I don’t feel like I have that same cultural richness that they do. White people, we tend to get up and go and go and go. But, we’re also pretty good at disconnecting from where we came from. It’s, this whole process, will be interesting because we’ll be able to look at not just a present history in the making, but I’m also going to be forced to look at a history already taking place.

Krystal: I think for me I try to have a ritual and I go to the studio more frequently, so a big thing for me, generally, is to pray and clear my mind, you know and spend time with God. If I don’t, then I feel like I waste time. I have an injury from an accident that really makes it challenging to focus for long periods of time. So, to clear my mind, is a big battle, to get to that place. It seems like it was easier before, to get to that place, that’s one thing, you know mental health, is broken. It’s so easy for me to lose focus and lose track of what I’m doing. You know, I’m trying to do ten things at once, and that’s not helpful for the focus part of it. For me, at the core of the tension, there is a sign of injustice or suffering. Or a sign of having to move towards something or the overcoming the idea of it. And, like, taking cues from my own experience of suffering, and not just as a black woman, you know, I’m not going to say “as a black woman I’ve suffered,” I’ve been pretty blessed in the family that I’ve grown up. But just the idea of suffering and the idea of overcoming it and perseverance kind of runs, that thread runs through my work. And I’m so inspired by those who, like Kerith says, have that resilience. Looking for that resilience and looking for that beauty, despite of the harsh realities of what we live in, is what fuels me forward. And I know we don’t have time for a quick story, but like, the idea, well part of the idea, this also inspires me, there’s this daughter and father, this little girl and her father running, somewhere in the middle East, I can’t remember where this is set, and they’re running from death fire and in the midst of running from gunfire in this tense situation, this little girl stops in her tracks because there was a flower in her way. You know, it was either, run over this flower and keep running for my life, or stop. And in that second of stopping, she was shot. Ever since I heard that story, I was captivated by, you know, how can we live in a crappy world sometimes. How can beautiful things or creativity, we’ll just say that in general, creativity be healing for the soul or force us to stop and breathe, or pause, in the midst of racial tension. So that, in my head, really ignites us and fuels my work.


Kerith & Krystal Hart are creating an original sculpture for Art + Dialogue and it will be installed outside on site at Greensboro College on the grounds of the Cowan Humanities Building.

For more information about the Harts and their work, please visit www.krystaljherae.gallery.


Art + Dialogue:  Responding to Racial Tension in America

Sept. 24 – Oct. 11  @  Greensboro College

Art + Dialogue (A + D) is a collaborative project bringing community together using visual art as the catalyst for dialogues around racial tension in America. A + D aspires to make the issue of race and racial tensions more tangible to its audiences and participants and promote greater understanding of different perspectives and experiences.

For a full calendar of events, click HERE.

A + D ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: KULSUM TASNIF

Kulsum TasnifAn Interview with artist Kulsum Tasnif

by Art + Dialogue intern Maddie Fritz

M: How has your style developed through the years and how did you, as an artist, arrive at the works that are featured in the show?

K: The Chapel Hill shootings are what brought me here, they’re what inspired me to create pieces like the hate sign and “New Paint, Old Scars.” I feel like I’ve come full circle since my college years, which when I began exploring conceptual art and melding it with specific themes of social justice and activism. My college professor at the time, Professor Atkinson, has been my lifelong mentor and a special inspiration for me, always encouraging me to push the boundaries. He taught me to see the importance of the process. This would especially come into play when I began studying Islamic art, which is what I’ve dedicated myself to for the past ten years. You may look at my paintings, versus these pieces on social justice, and think that they come from an entirely different artist, but they actually both stem from this need to connect, whether it’s spiritually or otherwise.

The hate sign was a huge revelation for me. You know, when the Chapel Hill shootings happened, the community knew that it was a hate crime and there was a lot of frustration towards the initial media coverage portraying it as just a parking dispute. I was so immersed in my own emotions while creating this piece that it never occurred to me how someone else would feel about creating this sign. I had several rejections [from sign printing companies], and, you know, with each one, I felt like this burden was being lifted off my shoulders. It really changed my perception and the direction that the project would take. Just as I had given up, the owner of a small sign making shop, she agreed to make the sign and, telling me that she understood, I was so grateful, and she told me that she was so sorry for my loss. Probably one of the most uncomfortable moments of my life was dealing with the tension in the moment that I was actually picking up the sign. The lady and I, you know, we didn’t make eye contact and right before I left she just shook my hand and handed me this piece of paper and told me that this poem gave her comfort when she was searching for answers, and so, you know, that’s how it all came together. And this poem became a part of the project, along with the emails and the sign.

The whole process really reiterated the important stuff regarding the shootings.

M: How did you become an artist and are there specific life events that have impacted your work and/or contributed to your evolution as an artist?

K: Most definitely. Beginning with how I became an artist, in Pakistani culture, that’s my culture, and when I was growing up academics were pushed and the arts weren’t really emphasized. My mother was ahead of her time in that she saw this talent in me and she really nurtured it. She believed in my work, but more importantly, she believed in the decision that I made for myself. And I came to college on an arts scholarship and several events occurred during that period that really had a huge impact on my work and on my life. Number one being that I started wearing the hijab, which is the head scarf, and then, at the time, in the 90s, there was the Bosnian genocide at that time, and I was working in Bosnian refugee camps in Croatia. I was surrounded by stories of rape survivors, masses of orphans, and my art at the time was really charged with emotions. By the time I graduated and came to live at home with my parents, I felt like I had PTSD just trying to block out those images and voices, and feelings of guilt for leaving those children behind. That’s when I turned to painting and Islamic art, it provided the spiritual calm that I needed.

Another event was September 11th, you know, when it happened, showing the beauty of Islam as peace in art became more important than ever. My identity as a hijab-wearing Muslim woman more often than not gained more attention than my actual art. So I felt a responsibility to dispel those serious lies about Muslim women by taking on this active charge. Now I’ve taken the concept a step further by, actually, just interjecting myself in my art, like in my understanding of beauty.

M: The theme being racial tension in America, and the Art + Dialogue goal of uniting the arts and community in an exchange of ideas, do you have anything to say about connecting with the other featured artists?

K: I’m really looking forward to getting feedback from other artists and just learning from them. I consider the work I do, you know, they’re all works in progress where changing roles occur as dialogue is initiated. And this dialogue is just imperative and turning the tables on this uncomfortable subject that tends to segregate us and keep us from connecting with one another despite all our differences.

I’m really interested to see what the feedback is for “New Paint, Old Scars,” and see how people view my work.

M: Is there anything you want to tell young people who are growing up with and facing this level of racial tension in their country?

K: Well, I grew up in England where I got used to hearing “Paki, go home,” people would spit at me and curse at me on my way to school. I was a teenager during desert storm so you can imagine. Once that was over, I was expecting my first child around the time 9/11 occurred. And now Islamophobia is so rampant. And all of these events, you know, they just really have an impact, especially now that I’m a mother of three children. “Muslim, go home” is not an alien term to me. My art has given me a voice that I just didn’t have as a child. And I feel this responsibility to provide this voice to young people, immigrants, really anyone that feels like they don’t belong. In “New Paint, Old Scars” I translated a quote by Martin Luther King into Urdu, which is the Pakistani language, “We may have all come in different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.” I just feel like that quote is so poignant in this day and age, in particular to the themes that I’m dealing with and the message that my work seeks to convey, which is ‘despite discrimination, racism, sexism, and all the devastations that the hate brings, the resilience to overcome will allow us to really understand each other.’ And what I would tell them is, you know, this is what I tell my daughter and she’s thirteen, that we share the world, and it’s our differences that make us beautiful.

You know, I just feel like I’ve been through so many experiences and there was a time where I used to be so scared and so afraid of facing people, just standing up for myself, and now that I have kids, I’ve felt a change, I’m just feel like I have this friend because of my art, like I have this voice and I can use it.

M: Do you have any words on creative confidence (what never fails to inspire you, etc.) and how that comes into play with the works you submitted?

K: What inspires my work is raw emotion. Whether it’s grief from viewing the death of my parents, or anger for innocence I’ve lost, or the deep love and peace that I feel in my connection to God, my work is about tapping into these emotions and seeing what’s conveyed to bridge these gaps. And, these gaps, once they’re filled, I believe have the potential to change lives.


Kulsum Tasnif signs, including the note and poem she received from the parking sign maker, are featured in the Art + Dialogue show in the Cowan Humanities Building at Greensboro College.

For more information about Kulsum and her work, please visit www.kulsumtasnif.com.


Art + Dialogue:  Responding to Racial Tension in America

Sept. 24 – Oct. 11  @  Greensboro College

Art + Dialogue (A + D) is a collaborative project bringing community together using visual art as the catalyst for dialogues around racial tension in America. A + D aspires to make the issue of race and racial tensions more tangible to its audiences and participants and promote greater understanding of different perspectives and experiences.

For a full calendar of events, click HERE.

A + D ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: DEVON TUCKER

Devon TuckerAn Interview with artist Devon Tucker

by Art + Dialogue intern Maddie Fritz

M: How has your style developed through the years and how did you, as an artist, arrive at the works that are featured in the show?

D: In my old sketchbooks, I’ve always been worried about my style and how my art looked. Later on, I felt like I had a revelation that I had to create art not only for myself, but for others and to make to it accessible.

M: How did the process for the video come about?

D: Back when I came up with the concept to make that video, I was on YouTube a lot and watch videos and scrolling down and reading the comments, that gave me an idea. I wondered if there was a way that I could share the things I was reading, because the comments were really nasty comments and shocking and very revealing and I wondered how I could show that effectively. That’s when I thought that a video would be the best way to show the things that I had read.

M: The internet is a very raw news source, compared to popular media which definitely has an agenda.

D: Yeah, and I feel that, in a way, when I submitted it  and the video begins with that comment “I don’t think racism exists anymore” and I think that proves that a lot of people don’t think racism exists or that it may not be a big deal, you know, when I see that kind of thing on the internet, when you’re behind the screen, and you can say what is you want without having to worry about being politically correct or if there will be any consequences. The web allows people to really say whatever they want.

M: Is that you face in the background of the video?

D: Yes, it is.

M: You said you had a revelation; was there a specific life event that impacted your work and/or contributed to your evolution as an artist?

D: You know I was always drawing and creating stuff with my Lego blocks, and even in elementary school I remember when Dragon Ball Z came out and I could draw all the characters. But, I was always doing art and drawing and stuff. I had that revelation that my topic would be concerning things that are important to me, race and people of color became really important to me recently as my grandma is really big into genealogy and tracing our ancestral roots. Being from a black family, that’s a little bit harder for us to do because of slavery and white owners not keeping the greatest records. And you know, in America, they don’t really teach African-American or minorities about history reports. My grandma and I started talking about this kind of stuff and her passion for it became my passion for it and I started to get interested in my own roots. Seeing what’s happening now makes me want to change things for my people.

M: Concerning the show and the theme being racial tension in America, coupled with the Art + Dialogue goal of uniting the arts and community, do you have anything to say about connecting with the other featured artists?

D: Oh yeah, definitely, I’m definitely excited to meet the other artists. I kind of want to know what their views are on certain things and I want to know how they want to change things and what their ideas for change are. You know, I want to know all of those things. And this is the first time that I’m going to be a part of a show like this where all the subjects are kind of the same. I’m excited to meet other people like me, young and old, and you know, pick their brains and see what’s going on. I could probably influence them and they can influence me.

M: Is there anything you want to tell young people that are growing up with and facing this level of racial tension in their country?

D: I’m only twenty-four, but I think my message would be that I want to tell the other young people that things will not always be the way they are today. So I want to make sure that they stay strong mentally, and stay strong ethically, gain knowledge and try to change things the best way they can.

M: Are there consistent themes your pursue throughout the creative process? If yes, what are they?

D: Looking at what’s going on in the world, I’ve always felt that art should be a way to voice yourself. I think that’s why I used what I had already and made it apply to what’s passionate for me. This one video is only the beginning of the iceberg of this whole series that I’ve been thinking about. The bigger project will serve as a means to bring about social change in response to the events that are happening right now. The first video is trying to admit and acknowledge that this is a problem. I think the second step is to change stereotypes and the third part to change how history is told.


Devon Tucker’s video is featured in the Art + Dialogue visual art exhibition.


Art + Dialogue:  Responding to Racial Tension in America

Sept. 24 – Oct. 11  @  Greensboro College

Art + Dialogue (A + D) is a collaborative project bringing community together using visual art as the catalyst for dialogues around racial tension in America. A + D aspires to make the issue of race and racial tensions more tangible to its audiences and participants and promote greater understanding of different perspectives and experiences.

For a full calendar of events, click HERE.

Devon Tucker has created original works featured in the Art + Dialogue show in the Cowan Humanities Building at Greensboro College.