Contemporary Artists Dealing with Conflict
Updated: Sep 1, 2021
May 15 - July 24, 2021
In response to the Talking It Out: Getting to Agreement Photo Panel Exhibit on view - 14 contemporary artists selected art works to amplify how conflict fuels their creativity. The group exhibit includes: Jennifer Davis Carey, Ezra Li Eismont, Guillermo Pulido, Jan Wurm, Connie Hwang, P.D. Garrett, Gerald Jackson, Jason Montano, Eudora Welty, Dimitri Yordanov, Ray Wisnefski, James Boehmer, Maria Cocchiarelli and Brendt Berger.
Contemporary Artists Dealing with Conflict featured the works of Jennifer Davis Carey an artist and enamellist. She stated “my pieces are informed by themes of childhood, mythology, history, religion and spirituality, African American culture and pre-historic art.” The five shadow boxes on view in this exhibit are taken from a larger body of work from the “American Histories” series shown at the Arts Worcester Center in 2017. One of the featured pieces “The Warmth of Other Suns” includes a real toy train car, cotton, and images of the Great Migration. Other shadow boxes have remnants of slavery including shackles, photographs of lynching’s and beatings. Cocchiarelli who curated the show said: “the power of these works and the whole series evoke a sense of horror and outrage that such inhumane acts of violence against African Americans is part of our shared experience. Unless we become part of the solution then racism, marginalization and criminalization of Black Americans will continue. I see the COVID-19 pandemic as a metaphorical X-ray into class, race and gender inequity in America that revealed these unspoken truths – hopefully one that can lead us to an open discourse toward solidarity and equality.” Jennifer’s work allows the viewer a glimpse into a world that has been kept a separate.
Ezra Li Eismont is an artist who lives in Oakland, California and grew up in Brooklyn with his family and step dad Brendt Berger. In that RedHook neighborhood a great comradery with other artists was and still present. One of Ezra’s inspirations is Richard Mock for his versatile and prolific political cartoons (many on view in MoF’s permanent collection). It was an amazing gesture of generosity for Ezra to lend the work Center’s Collapse seen in the East Storefront Window. As many things are at MoF destiny was at play. Curator Maria Cocchiarelli expressed “when I first viewed this powerful painting and collage, I was struck by the connection to the theme of conflict and to the other artists’ works in the current show.” These include: Guillermo Pulido, Jan Wurm, Connie Hwang, Gerald Jackson, Eudora Welty, Jason Montano, Dimitri Yordanov, Ray Wisnefski, P.D. Garrett, James Boehmer, Maria Cocchiarelli and Brendt Berger. Some of the themes of conflict and resolution include: immigrant workers’ lives; the Asian American protest movement of the 1970’s; narratives of communication, conflict and resolution; the great American Depression and child labor; racism; the inequalities of military life; isolation and mental illness. The works on view are not decorative nor depict light subject matter and as such it is recommended that children who visit are accompanied by a parent or care-giver. This content is highly recommended for middle and high-school aged children.
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