I’ve been working on writing this post for over a week. Why you ask? Because I’m going to wade into a subject that up until a week or so ago I have been silent on – yup I’m going to talk politics here on my blog. Now I know this is going to come as an unexpected (and for some of you unwelcome) surprise because you’re used to seeing me post pictures of colorful whimsical art and talking about things related to being an artist and I promise that I will continue to do that but for today I’m going to talk a little politics. Those who know me well, know that I am by nature a very private person who isn’t all that comfortable sharing my views on things not related to art on my blog or on my social media accounts but I’ve reached a point where I just can’t stay silent any longer. It’s time to stand and speak because what’s going on in our country right now, this day, this moment is deeply troubling. The levels of divide, hate and fear are at levels that I’ve never seen before and I find it very distressing.
Last week I experienced quite a bit of that hate and fear when I posted on my facebook page about my involvement in the Threads of Resistance exhibit and I’m still befuddled by the amount of anger that was hurled my way because of it. I am proud to be one of the organizers of the exhibit. What better way is their for artists to express their views on a subject than by making a piece of art? There is a long history of artists using art as a medium to expressing their displeasure with politics, economic, environmental and social injustices. But when I posted about my involvement with the Threads of Resistance exhibition I got a lot of negative responses filled with hate and rage over the idea of using the art quilt as a medium to express my views. I was told that I was spreading hate, that I should be ashamed to protest the new president in his first weeks of office, to give him a chance (anybody who suggests this is clearly getting their news from reliable sources), I should go to another country where I don’t have any rights, that I was a “stupid idiot” and a few other things that I won’t repeat here.
Suffice to say that I was pretty taken aback by some of the comments and what struck me first was that these people who were accusing me of dividing the country, promoting hate and fear sent me emails filled with hate and vitriol – the very thing they were accusing me of. Now I think we can all agree that right now the country is suffering in a lot of ways and depending on which side of the fence you are sitting on you may or may not agree with me on how and why it’s suffering. And that’s fine because we’re all entitled to our opinions but what we should be able to agree on is that name calling, bullying and emails filled with hateful words are not going to help.
I am dismayed at the direction that the current White House administration is taking the country. I am afraid for the environment, womens reproductive rights, refugees, the idea of lies and fake news becoming the norm and a whole lot of other issues – a list that is sadly too long to go into here. But instead of retreating to my studio, burying my head in a pile of fabric I’ve decided to stand, make my positions known and resist the temptation to shrug it all of and become complacent and accept it all. There is too much at stake to do that and one of the ways that I’ll do that is through my involvement with the Threads of Resistance Exhibit.
Art is man’s challenge to time, his rebuke to chaos; the protest will survive neither the triumph of fire, nor the finality of ice — but it is better than the silence of consent. ~Dr. Idel Dreimer
To find out more about the Threads of Resistance exhibit please click here.