Culture Keepers / Culture Makers Art Exhibit - Weston Gallery, October 2018

Culture Keepers

This artwork depicts how life could be—without segregation, without bias, without the terrible lack of connection among many of us human beings. The art was created through group sessions led by artist Richard Haynes, who developed a tracing technique so that anyone, artist or not, could join his trade and express the wish to change our culture. Fourteen people from the Seacoast participated to learn how artists are, not only culture keepers, but also, culture makers.

Haynes asked participants to imagine their art being uncovered by the people of a future generation. He asked, “What do you want people to discover from your drawing? How will you show them what it was like to be living in a time when we were emerging into a world without racism?”

As a group, they defined “diversity” and “racial unity” and then were asked, “How did you learn bias and prejudice in the first place?” The art students named systems: our families, our schools, our political and social cultures and healthcare—citing all the opportunities given only to white people in order to succeed and thrive. They asked themselves how we might have colluded with those systems of oppression—or how we confronted them. And, for eight weeks, they talked about their lives, laughed and cried together, and imagined a better future.

This project was organized by the Racial Unity Team and supported by a grant from the NH Charitable Foundation. Find the Racial Unity Team on Facebook or email them at racialunityteam1@gmail.com.

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