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Indepth Arts News:

"Beyond Talk: Redrawing Race"
2004-04-30 until 2004-12-12
Wing Luke Asian Museum
Seattle, WA, USA United States of America

This project is the first exhibition at the Wing Luke Asian Museum to involve a multiracial and multi-ethnic constituency outside of the Asian Pacific Islander American communities, outreaching to include the African American, Arab American, Hispanic and Latino American, Native American and European American communities and sub-communities. "Through the project we hope to make tangible the issue of race and provide visitors and participants tools to proactively and fundamentally begin to change racist attitudes and institutions through cooperation, advocacy, and action," said key project staff Charlene Mano.

Inspired by past programming and community collaboration work addressing racism, discrimination, and stereotypes, the Wing Luke Asian Museum and community partners are preparing Beyond Talk: Redrawing Race, a juried art exhibition that will explore issues of race and race relations in today’s society. In the summer of 2003, four "Race Talks" -- three-hour long potluck dinners, involving different community organizations and individuals -- determined the themes that formed the basis for the exhibition’s call for art.

The call for art was held in the fall of 2003. Emphasis was placed on work that inspired personal, social and/or political action and social change. Through the call, the museum received artist submissions from the Greater Seattle, Washington, and Oregon regions. A jury panel met to review artwork in the winter of 2004, ultimately selecting 12 artists, including 20 artworks for the exhibition. "Community support and involvement for this project has been incredible with over 120 volunteers from diverse backgrounds coming together to make this exhibition happen. Through the process itself, we feel we’ve already taken steps to meet our project goals," noted Cassie Chinn, WLAM Project Director.

Mixed-media, oil on canvas, collage, photography, a video installation and much more are represented in this fascinating and thought-provoking exhibition. Filmmaker Wes Kim invites you to take a "Vision Test" that will reveal more than a need for an updated eye prescription and a new pair of spectacles. Artist Julie Green glimpses the realities of death row, through an affecting array of hand-painted porcelain plates depicting "The Last Supper" of those executed. Artist MalPina Chan discloses how racist institutions and laws personally impact individual lives and lead to a "Family Divided" in an emotive monoprint. Nine other artists, including damali ayo, Ronald Hall, Deborah Lawrence, James Leong, Paul McCall, Polly Purvis, Mizu Sugimura, Lun-Yi Tsai, and Roberta May Wong, are featured in this exhibition. Beyond Talk challenges current individual, societal, and institutionalized racism that affects everyone directly and/or indirectly.

Following the Wing Luke Asian Museum exhibition of Beyond Talk, parts of the exhibit will travel to South Seattle Community College and the Phinney Neighborhood Association Art Gallery.

Ronald Hall
Oil on canvas
entitled "Self-Portrait"
Actual size in exhibit is

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