First Year faculty member Emily Barnett has been working on Protest Series, a series of gouache paintings depicting the wave of Black Lives Matter demonstrations starting last summer. Some of the pieces have been included in various exhibits, such as Viewpoints 2021 at Studio Montclair Gallery in Montclair, NJ, on view April 23-May 28; These Truths at Gallery 114 in Portland, OR, on view May 6-29; and at NYC’s Denise Bibro Gallery in Art from the Boros VIII, Honorable Mention.
From Barnett’s artist statement:
“I felt compelled to begin the ‘Protest Series’ when the demonstrations erupted after the killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless other persons of color, at the hands of police. I wanted to make art that reflected our society, chronicled our time, and shone a light on those fighting for social and racial justice. As an older person, I have refrained from attending protests during the pandemic, although I wanted to join. Since I couldn’t participate in the demonstrations, I decided to add my voice as an artist. Being stuck at home, I relied on the TV screen and Internet to provide and mediate visual information of those events. While using and interpreting those images as the foundation for my paintings, I always remain conscious of the facts, and true to the spirit, of the actual events. I make these paintings to not only reflect and remember this moment in our history, but to honor the courage and resilience of the protestors and their invaluable contributions to social justice.”