Art Against Oppression Activism and Advocacy
This exhibit traveled in 2012. There were 12 people traveling in a 12 passenger van. It was fantastic! We are working on plans for a northern tour in 2016. Below is our write up and some pics from the 2012 Awareness tour.
Mixed Media Art Exhibit traveling through over 10 states and over 5,000 miles.
Awareness 2012 is a collaborative mixed media exhibit developed by Art Against Oppression to raise awareness about social injustice issues. The exhibit also provides information about entities that are already working to bring change to these issues. Awareness 2012 focuses on three issues, human trafficking, child soldiers and government oppression.
Art Against Oppression
Art Against Oppression is a cooperative of artists who are working together to use our talents to impact our world in a positive manner. We don’t want to just do good art, we want to do art that does good.
Our traveling exhibit is committed to raising awareness for issues of injustice. The works are powerful statements made by our Collaborators in multiple mediums, all focusing on these important issues.
Slavery is real, it’s now and it affects millions of men, women and especially children. There are organizations and individuals who have made it their mission to bring the light of hope to the oppressed. According to Love146 (an abolition movement) two children per minute are forced into slavery, 1,048,320 is the yearly result of this atrocity. We will be raising awareness of the efforts of a group called The Red Thread Movement who works to rescue, counsel and re-establish girls and women who have been rescued from the sex trade in Nepal.
“The making of the Red Thread bracelet employs girls in Nepal, providing them with a Fair Trade wage to help reduce their risk of being trafficked. Additional funds raised through the Red Thread Movement are sent through our partner Eternal Threads to support the work of a Nepalese NGO, Kingdom Investments Nepal.
Kingdom Investments Nepal operates safe houses where women and young girls who are victims of sex trafficking receive shelter, counseling and vocational training. Kingdom Investments Nepal additionally has established border units along the Nepal/India border to rescue girls as they are being trafficked from Nepal into India. Kingdom Investments Nepal also works to train young women in Nepal through sewing and embroidery classes. This gives them the training and resources they need to earn a steady income.” ~ RedThreadMovement.org
The Falling Whistles Exhibit is a series of works promoting awareness of the plight of children in the Congo who are subjected to the terror of war. Many children are forced to become soldiers.
Some of those children are too small to carry firearms and are instead issued a whistle and literally sent to the front line. Their job is to alert their troops if they spot the enemy by blowing their whistle, putting themselves in the line of fire. This atrocity must be stopped. Falling Whistles is working to bring peace to the Congo. Check out their website: www.fallingwhistles.com for more information about the great work they are doing.
Political and Social Oppression
The Freedom Series is an artistic response to governmental regimes that use violence and oppression against their own men, women and children. This exhibit is trying to convey the despair of these people, who are seeking the basic freedoms that we take for granted. Sometimes there are those who pay a great price to purchase a freedom that they will never be able to enjoy, but maybe, if we don’t ignore it, their sacrifice will change the world for the ones following behind. This exhibit raises awareness for The International Justice Mission, a group that works globally to literally rescue people who are oppressed in various ways. Learn more about their efforts by visiting their website:www.ijm.org
Awareness 2012 Exhibit
We hope that the exhibit will create an avenue for people to be made aware of these important issues, more importantly, we want to create dialogue, and encourage people to get involved with organizations that are already working in these areas. The exhibit will feature the works of four of our Visual Artists: Kimberly Lorrene, Christian Burkett, Armando Heredia and Jonathan Schellhardt. We also have music artists, Matt Kavanaugh, Ramblin’ Pan and The Original Intent traveling with the exhibit.
The tour begins in June 2012 and will run through mid-July 2012. We have confirmed exhibits in Colorado, Kansas, Arizona, and Texas and are adding more dates/venues.
We are open to exhibiting in galleries, colleges, churches, community centers, hotels, businesses and even homes. We simply want to raise awareness of the impact art can have on social justice issues. We will also be available to speak to churches, civic groups and/or art communities. We also welcome local artists and musicians/bands for collaboration at the exhibits.
We were interviewed at our venue in Monahans, TX by Abraham Franco from KOSA CBS 7. The interview won first place in the Texas AP Broadcasters contest!
As I developed the exhibit, researched the issues and created artwork I began to struggle with bitterness and depression. It really began to weigh me down.
It seems that many of the folks that are “in the fray” are struggling with similar issues. In the days leading up to our tour I prayed, asking the Lord to help me understand why I was struggling and He took me back to a familiar passage of Scripture and THE fundamental element with which social justice must be partnered. Below is audio from one of our exhibits. I was speaking to a church in Kansas. It ends with a beautiful song performed by one of our touring artists, Kristian Giglietti.