Art as Activism: “Ripped From The Headlines” New Exhibition at The Projects Contemporary Art Space in FATVillage

Ripped From The Headlines
The Projects Contemporary Art Space in FAT Village Arts District
523 NW 1st Ave, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301
 
Boca Raton, FL – Preview Reception – Friday, April 26, 2019 6 pm – 9 pm
in conjunction with the photography of Kat Wilson in the FAR Gallery at 521 NW 1st Ave
*Kat Wilson will be giving an artist talk at 7pm 
 
Art Walk – Saturday, April 27, 2019  6 pm – 10 pm
 
Art Walk – Saturday, May 25, 2019  6 pm – 10 pm
 
Artists / Curator Walk Through – Sunday, June 9, 2019 3:30 pm – 5:30 pm 
with talks beginning at 4 pm
 
Art Walk – Saturday, June 29, 2019 6 pm – 10 pm
 
*Exhibition is free and open to the public
 
Ripped From The Headlines will open at The Projects Contemporary Art Space in FATVillage Arts District on Friday, April 26, 2019, and will feature 18 artists from throughout South Florida taking on a variety of hot issues, often from deeply personal and intensely political points of view. The goal is to expand awareness, and inform an ongoing dialogue as the news continues to evolve.
 
This has been a frenzied few years and our nation has become ever more polarized. Charges and counter charges, the Me Too movement, Black Lives Matter, white supremacy, migrants, refugees and immigrants, border crossings and border walls, Islamic fundamentalists, Christian fundamentalists, the Alt Right, the Populist movements, Nazis, Socialists and Communists, mass shootings and the NRA, droughts, storms, fires, floods, climate change and climate change denial, right to life and right to choose, supreme court nominations, job losses, opoid addiction, rallies, marches, protests, investigations, indictments: all compete for our attention as we struggle to decode the information amid the onslaught of a 24 hour news cycle where print, broadcast and online sources. 
 
The news is all too often about the “news”, the very validity of which is called ever more into question. Who do we believe? What is reported and what is suppressed? We are bombarded by information on Twitter, Facebook, and blogs, hearing endlessly about fake news, evidence-based news, hacking, security, surveillance, secrecy, privacy, sources, allegations, lies, denials, the President’s tweets, Congress’s sound bites, and the rulings of a highly partisan Supreme Court. 
 
Ripped From The Headlines will be shown within The Projects Contemporary Art Space in FAT Village Arts District, a spacious 8,000 square foot warehouse space that will be activated through an exhibition and participatory interactive environment, allowing people to view the art and engage with artists regarding issues being addressed.  
 
Ripped From The Headlines is curated by Elle Schorr, an artist, curator and organizer of Art Salons at the Armory Art Center, where she has brought leading artists from throughout South Florida to discuss their work at artist talks and discussions in West Palm Beach.  
 
The work is generally divided into several overriding and sometimes overlapping themes:
 
Gun Violence and the call for gun safety legislation (Manuel Oliver father of Joaquin Oliver – “Change the Ref” Artivist from Parkland, FL, and the live painting of yet another “Wall of Demand”, Rolando Chang Barrero’s “School Supplies for a New Generation”, “Las Vegas” – one of Mark Cohen’s many paintings addressing gun violence and mass shootings, TD Gillispie’s “War Stories” about toy guns and the loss of innocence).
 
Black Lives Matter (Rosa Naday Garmendia’s participatory photographic “Rituals of Commemoration”  project, Mark Cohen’s paintings exploring racism and police brutality).
 
The Me Too Movement and Female Empowerment (Mary Catello’s life sized sculptures of women and girls, Gina Cunningham’s “Waves” video, Judy Polstra’s embroideries on vintage textiles).
 
War, Migration, Immigration, Borders and Border Crossings (Aurora Molina’s soft sculpture and embroidered fabric installation – “Cacophony of Wails and Sobs”, lou anne colodny’s numbered series of drawings – “on the street where you live”, depicting the erosion of man’s freedoms throughout the world, Pip and Duane Brant’s “Golf Wars” – an embroidered vintage rug with found objects, Orlando Chiang’s Twitter filled “Wall”, Sibel Kocabasi’s “Lost Sanctuary” installation and embroidered wall hanging vintage Turkish rug. Sibel Kocabasi’s installation made with emergency blankets given out to migrants for warmth during their journeys).
 
Climate Change and Environmental concerns (Xavier Cortada’s participatory invitation to join the newly formed “Underwater HOA”, Jeanne Jaffe’s “Aftermath” – a meditation on the aftermath of the devastating fire, Isabel Gouveia’s depiction of the overload of discarded plastic in our oceans – “Our Excessive love of plastics”,  Gina Cunningham’s “Hell Money” video).
 
The “News” and the loss of trust in our Governmental Authorities (Randy Burman’s installation and performative video “Lies are Truth”, Pip Brant’s “News Weaves”, Jeanne Jaffe’s “Little Red Riding Hood as a Crime Scene”, Mark Cohen’s painting – “Some Very Fine People”).
 
Interactive Participatory Spaces
There will be several artists actively inviting audiences to interact and participate in their spaces during the first Art Walk on April 27, and most will continue to invite people to participate during the two following Art Walks. They are:
 
Manuel Oliver, father of Joaquin Oliver, who was slain in the Parkland School shooting on February 14, 2018, has founded “Change the Ref.org” along with his wife and Joaquin’s mother, Patricia Oliver. They will be present at the opening, and Manuel will paint a “Wall of Demand” to pass safe gun legislation, at 7 pm on Saturday, April 27th.
 
Xavier Cortada will be present with volunteers from the Florida League of Conservation Voters to begin the process of forming a Broward County Underwater HOA and welcoming new members.
 
Mary Catallo will be present with her “Stand Up SPEAK OUT” installation about the Me, Too movement, and will invite viewers to add to her wall of comments.
 
Rosa Naday Garmendia will invite viewers to be photographed holding one of 25 concrete blocks she’s made memorializing the lives of Black men and women killed by police or security guards since 1979, 292 lives as this was written,  recording each name and date killed for her “Rituals of Commemoration”.
 
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