September 2018 - May 2019
How do we live joyfully while working for justice? This question lies at the heart of this exhibit. The 22 artists assembled here display a broad range of subjects, styles, and traditions, but they share a common thread: connecting joy to justice.
Witnessing, weathering, and fighting against chronic injustice is exhausting; it produces suffering and vulnerability. Even the victories, which are almost always partial and hard won, take an extraordinary toll. How do we shield ourselves from the spiritual, psychic, and physical violence associated with injustice, and, at the same time, keep our hearts open? How do we live joyfully while working for justice?
These questions, which have been central to my own reflections for some time, lie at the heart of this exhibit. The 22 artists assembled here display a broad range of subjects, styles and traditions, but they share a common thread: connecting joy to justice. These pieces capture the nuanced means by which joy is made just, and justice is fueled by the hope and possibility that joy represents. Many of the artists focus on the joy of inhabiting the spaces and places that would otherwise be considered marginal and disrespected. They invite us to consider not only how we live, but also how we might find opportunities to thrive in the face of prolonged injustice. These works are boldly joyful examples of what we as a human collective can create for ourselves and each other in response to injustice.
Joy can be an especially political act. It is a choice to love in spite of hate; to be hopeful in the face of hopelessness; to connect with each other when walls and wars force us apart. Joy + Justice encourages us to love ourselves and refuse to internalize the conditions designed to ensnare us. Joy + Justice invites us to create, fight, and dream. At this aspirational intersection, these artists light the way.
Joy + Justice,