Jack Wolfe

Civil Rights Paintings: A Viewing in 2020
Anderson Gallery Virtual

In recent weeks, the images flooding traditional and social media of current protests against racial injustice and the killing of black people encourage reflection on similarities and areas of progress between the present and the time of the civil rights movement. Across the over-saturated span of highly polarized contemporary media, some rhetoric has shifted, while other aspects of the dialogue about race and racism echo the past uncannily. To an extent, and through the efforts of the civil rights movement, the multiplicity of violent means at the core of racism have begun to be de-legitimized; and yet, an undeniable and urgent need remains to address racial inequities entrenched across the facets of society and to end, among other forms of violence, the murder of black people in America, too often perpetrated by law enforcement.

This artwork offers an opportunity for the viewer to position themself in relation to the intrinsic, tangible, and emotional truths of racial violence and resilience. For each of us, the experience of viewership can call us into connection with the realities of racism and provide a space for us to witness, reflect, and prepare ourselves to act in the service of justice and peace.