Women’s call for peace adorns gallery
By Jessica Maxwell, Contributing Writer—
“If women are healthy and educated, their families will flourish. If women are free from violence, their families will flourish. If women have a chance to work and earn as full and equal partners in society, their families will flourish. And when families flourish, communities and nations will flourish.” Hilary Clinton delivered these words in her 1995 ‘Women’s Rights are Human Rights’ speech in Beijing.
An exhibit in the arts building, titled ‘Women Call for Peace,’ visualizes women’s struggles and calls for action concerning women’s rights. A traveling exhibition by Exhibits USA and Mid-America Arts Alliance, it features a collection of thirteen female artists, all of which employ different styles and offer original perspectives on the different issues that affect the women and the world today.
“I chose [Women Call for Peace] because the artists don’t shy away, but challenge the issues in our world. It is important to talk about peace because war and violent issues are the reality of our world today,” gallery director Brad Cushman said.
Faith Ringgold’s piece, “The United States of Attica,” is a red and green block-colored poster that displays a drawn outline of a map of the United States, each state complete with its own documented piece of murder or genocide in American history scribbled within its borders. An all-caps inscription below the map reads, “This map of American violence is incomplete. Please write in whatever you find lacking.”
Ringgold’s message was a tribute to those who died in the 1971 police raid on the prisoner’s rebellion in Attica, New York. Though that was over forty years ago, the message is still of relevance and importance today.
“The exhibit has a very important message,” sophomore and gallery assistant Elizabeth Ward told me, “The pieces are controversial and powerful.” Indeed, among the artwork with messages of violence and controversy, there are those of peace and acceptance.
The exhibit will be on display in Gallery I until March 10.