“Art is inherently an editorial wrapped in an opinion.”
— ‘Op-Ed’ Juror David Bellard
The term op-ed is short for “opposite the editorial”: those articles across the page from a newspaper editorial that can be written by, well, anyone. It’s a space where a variety of voices can be heard.
This month, you can see and read 75 such voices in an exhibit we’re calling simply “Op-Ed.” In addition to the artwork itself, we invited artists to submit a written statement for each piece, which is installed on the wall next to it.
Here are just six of them:
Through the Doorway by Patricia Whitehead
“For decades women have been observers of men’s interpretation of the female form, never more so than this woman listening to the museum guide through her earphones while studying Francis Bacon’s “Female Nude Standing in a Doorway” at Center Pompidou in Paris. For much of history, women artists were excluded from equal exhibition opportunities. And yet it is generally believed that they are the majority of museum visitors.”
Little Soldier by Judy Guenther
“In Southwest China one sector of the Miao minority is allowed to carry a gun. While it is the adult males who put on a demonstration and show, dressed in their ethnic costumes, this young boy starts practice early.”
Don’t Lives Matter? by Kelly Burke
“This Reimagined American flag ‘Don’t Lives Matter?’ symbolizes lives lost due to gun violence. Alternating the stripes in orange and yellow symbolizes the colors we use to indicate safety (so that people don’t shoot you in the woods) and caution (once someone has already been shot). The stars in “50 shades of red” represent the pain, suffering and grief as well as anger, rage, and despair people experience having lost loved ones. Integrated into the stripes, the dates, place names, and numbers of deaths from mass shootings from 1966-2016 to illustrate how greater access to military-grade weapons has led to more massacres. The Xs quote the X-code FEMA used on houses during the Katrina disaster to indicate from left going clockwise the following information: 1) the rescue unit #, 2) date investigated, 3) what was found, and 4) # of survivors and dead. The numbers in the Xs on this flag indicate, from left going clockwise, the following information: 1) the number of survivors (in black), 2) the total number of casualties (in black, not including the perpetrators), 3) the number of innocent people killed (in red), and 4) the number of perpetrators (in black if survived, in red if killed or committed suicide).”
My Garden, My Rules by Anna Getter
“This artwork is in support of women’s reproductive freedom. Every woman must have a right to birth control and a right to legal and safe abortion. Uterus is not a public property.”
The School with a View by BD Richardson
“This image represents several years of documenting the iconic yet vanishing rural schoolhouses of North America. These schoolhouses, once the foundation of our society, are quickly disappearing from the national landscape. Countless children of all ages and regions attended them–often taught together in one room. Teachers had to contend not only with varying ages, but with isolated, rural conditions and the need to schedule classes based on weather and crops. Most children attended only when not needed at home or on the farm.
These schoolhouses have been replaced by institutional holding pens for our disaffected youth. Current schools are often devoid of courtesy, respect and standards, but complete with standardized tests and pop culture. Today’s schools may have only one grade per classroom, but they teach to the lowest common denominator. No longer humble wooden buildings, they have more money thrown their way per student than most people around the world earn in a year. But scores remain low, and 50% or more in some communities don’t graduate–and those that do have difficulty competing for good jobs.
So, every time I come upon one of these abandoned one-room schoolhouses, I wonder: have we really ‘advanced’ since these simple but beautiful old structures stopped educating our youth?”
Bitter Pill by Katherine Sullivan
“This work reflects my sentiment regarding the current political situation. I am sure it is shared by many.”
“Op-Ed” is on view through Sunday, November 6, 2016.