One of the things that made Art Prize 8 so fascinating to me was the people involved. The level of cooperation in the community to display original art and create a venue to appreciate it. Making this the largest public display of art anywhere in the world. It was truly fascinating and put me in mind of the connection between art and humans.
My son and I spent quite a bit of time talking about “Intertwined” by Amber Zakala (here). Fifteen faces, each representing another ethnicity or background, and behind, shadows of tree branches. It spoke to us about the connections between us that we too frequently refuse to acknowledge.
Then we met Anna Donahue (here). Her entry “Everybody in Your Life” was a time-based mural that she painted live during Art Prize 8. Her mural integrated images from stories told to her by people who stopped to watch her. Dreams, memories, important moments of their lives. Stories that otherwise, we may never have had the opportunity to hear.
There was another exhibit that also chose to both acknowledge and represent (here). Several American flags, stars and stripes, each made of different unexpected color. It inspired pause. Artist Bill Tite says he reacted to another definition of ‘flag’: to “become tired, weaker, or less dynamic.” He was countering this by speaking to the diversity of our country. All the untold stories. All the people left unacknowledged. But all, intrinsically a part of this nation.
It does beg the question. Why become weary of our differences in identity and experience? Why perceive this as a liability? Why resist our differences with a stodgy insistence of our own point of view?
Why not step back and appreciate our beauty?