An Art Exhibit about Race

In May 2013, The Wing is opening a new art exhibit about race.

Like all exhibits at the museum, the show is being developed in partnership with a Community Advisory Committee. Museum staff serve as facilitators in making the community’s vision a reality.

Background

The community process for the race exhibit began in the Spring of 2012, with a series of community discussions hosted by partner organizations in the Central District, White Center, and on Beaon Hill. These conversations generated many stories, ideas, and themes that have shaped the exhibit going forward, including:

  • The intersection of race with gender, age, class, sexual orientation, immigration status, and other identities.
  • The rise of multi-racial individuals and families in the U.S.—does this change the meaning of race?
  • Immigrant/refugee perspectives on race in the U.S.
  • How art can express pain, grief, rage—and still inspire healing
  • Historic roots of race and racism—resulting realities today and visions for the future.
  • Different forms of racism: personal prejudice, structural inequity, overt and “hidden” racism
  • Is white still the American “norm”? Is there a new American norm?
  • Talking about race: subversive or patriotic?
  • Cultural appropriation versus cross-cultural exploration/inspiration

The Community Advisory Committee (CAC), which began meeting in May 2012, has identified the following goals for the exhibit:

  • Explore the changing landscape of race and racism in the 21st century
  • Examine the unique ways race plays out in the Pacific Northwest
  • Engage youth and elders in an ongoing conversation about race that honors the past and builds a vision for the future
  • Move beyond clichés and stock stories to the rich and complicated reality of race in our daily lives.
  • Provide a space for frank, innovative artwork that provokes active responses to difficult questions.
  • Create a “safe” space where people can open their minds and hearts, be vulnerable, sit with discomfort, listen to new perspectives, and speak their own truths.

Going forward

The CAC will continue to meet regularly through April 2013 to oversee the art selection process, to develop public programs and educational components for the exhibit, and to help develop the exhibit’s layout and design. If you are interested in joining the CAC, please see the Community Advisory Committee page.

In August 2012, the CAC convened an Art Selection Panel, which issued a Call for Art in September. Submissions are due February 1, 2013. Artworks will be selected by March 8, 2013. For the full call, as well as the guidelines, see the Call for Art page.

The exhibit’s opening reception is scheduled for May 9, 2013. The exhibit opens to the public on May 10, and remains up through November 17, 2013.

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