Playhouse Arts and JustArts present ART ON THE FENCE, an outdoor exhibition of BIPOC and White Community Artists, putting down paint in times of change.Laura Muñoz, Project Coordinator
As part of the Round Story, a multi-year project which uses the arts to encourage dialogues about racial equity, social justice and our changing demographics, Art on the Fence is an inclusive expression of different voices and experiences. The works are done on plywood panels 4×5 and 5×5 and are hanging on the fence by the Arcata Ballpark, 888 F St.
Walk on by the exhibit and let us know your response to what you see. We believe that public art not only allows artists and community to inhabit our common spaces creatively, but it also sparks a dialogue between the artists and the community they live in and serve. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Listen here to KMUD New’s Interview: Art on the Fence Depicts Racial Diversity at Arcata Ballpark. Here is a longer version of the same interview on KMUD.
Artist Statements and Works
All’Love Aundrea is the founder of Youth Art Will Succeed Inc. a Eureka based nonprofit advocating for marginalized young adult artists. She is a member of the NAACP and Just Arts working group. She believes in the healing power of art as the inspiration for this piece.
In my art, I like to incorporate elements from our past, and their relevance in the present. Through this painting a story about Oaxaca traditions is told. The tiger/jaguar represents the Archangel Saint Michael, celebrated in Santiago Tamazola September 29. This tradition is to receive autumn and the corncob harvest.
In Humboldt, many farmers are proud to harvest locally, even when they do it on land that belongs to indigenous people.
Buying local doesn’t always mean buying with justice and respect to the land and to those whose land it is.
I’ve been a local artist for almost 35 years, but as this piece suggests, any longevity claimed here is a speck of sand on a long ocean shore.
When Jackie Dandeneau and Laura Muñoz approached me as a member of the local Asian American art community back in February, we met in our house, before Covid, before GeorgeFloyd’s murder, but after our nation’s long history of committing racial injustices, sanctioned or otherwise. Originally, I thought I was going to explore longstanding racism against Asian Americans in Humboldt County, but quickly realized that incidents such as the expulsion of Chinese workers at the turn of the century and the remaining anti-Asian sentiments in this community for half a century more was just a tiny fragment of this area’s history. I decided to look more objectively at the whole history of this area from its original inhabitants, the ancestors of the local Wiyot, Karuk, Hupa and Yurok indigenous peoples, among other communities. And before humans descended on this area, local species such as the redwoods existed for around 240 million years on the coast.
If you consider the lowest estimate of human existence in this area at 10,000 years and newer estimates at 30,000 years, that is a lot of life and community to be represented on a timeline. 10,000 years of indigenous life with white settlers arriving in the last 200 years. I used artistic license to portray the last two centuries in the top 10th of this mural, though if shown accurately, they would appear as only 2% or less of this mural. Several references to local history also appear in this “timeline.” My hope is that viewers will examine the idea of community and belonging, and look to examples in the past where welcoming new people is what you do in a place that belongs to no one.
The piece was made in order to represent the constant violence upon our brown bodies and lands by white supremacy and misogyny. However, our struggles have been resilient through the generations and we are constantly on route toward health no matter how hard our path has been, no matter how much harm we have been subject to, no matter how much harm we ourselves have dished out, no matter how many ancestors denied their own culture, and no matter the fear that we face. Death is at our right side constantly, it is up to us to fear her or to dance with her.
I am a Southern Californian raised black woman artist who has now been a Humboldt transplant for nearly five years. In my art, I try to portray emotional depth via portraiture. This piece, though not a portrait, aims to embody the resilience of black people, our community and our will to overcome.
This piece depicts a raised hand gripping the pan African flag. Red represents the blood and passion born into every black person. Black represents the soil, the color of the definitive. Green represents the wealth and prosperity of Africa and the pan-African people. The raised fist symbolizes solidarity and support among marginalized groups.
Monique Harper-Desir, Mo, is a local arts activist, by way of Massachusetts. Mother, artist and educator, Mo strives to create conversations of equity and racial justice through her community work and art. She creates the most, using digital media, design, visual and performative arts. Check out more about Mo at www.MoHDcreates.com
Veenadari Lakshika Jayakody
Veena is an Ensemble-Based Physical Theater Devising Artist, Actor-Creator, Educator, Dancer, Choreographer, Mask player, and a Clown who has been working in theatre and film since 2009, and creating her original work. She has worked in her productions in Sri Lanka, the United States, and India. Such as an original work- Once Upon A Time I Was Addicted To You (Dell’Arte International, USA), The touring show- Return to Oz ( Dell’Arte Company, USA), Commedia show- Ruzzante ( Dell’Arte Company, USA), Musical Theatre Ramayanaya (Tower Hall Theatre Foundation. SL). Bindunu Piyapath (short film-LPU Campuses, India), and Face It (short film, ASIA’S largest Film making Challenge.India.)
Veenadari has an MFA equivalent in Ensemble-Based Physical Theatre from Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theater, where she trained in devising of adaptations and original theatre. She is also a BPA theatre and television special degree holder from Lovely Professional University, India. She has trained in Western and South Asian actor training methods and styles, such as Navarasa Training, Balinese male and female dance, Sri Lankan upcountry traditional dance, Commedia Dell’Arte, Clown, Acrobatics, and Mask performance.
She worked as a volunteer in Community-Based Arts Projects with The Wiyot Tribe (North America) The Club Triangle (North American queer club) The Raven Project (youth-led youth community), and Bhakti Senang Hati Foundation (Bali).
Veenadari is from Sri Lanka and now lives in the USA.
Why I recently paint abstract paintings is because it gives me more freedom to play with my ideas.
I’m a young black woman who is inspired by the black aesthetic. I grew up surrounded by beautiful, smart, talented, and courageous black women and this is my way of honoring them!
My name is Halla Kramer and I am 16 years old. I love doing art that makes people smile. My art piece was inspired by pride month and how it has changed the world!
All of us have our favorite songs, the colors that make us happy, the things in life that make it worth living, no matter how seemingly insignificant. No matter our race or gender or background. This painting is based off of a favorite bubbly sweet song of mine; Big City by Kero Kero Bonito. I wanted to express my love for the small things through bright colors and cutesy scenery that makes me smile, and reminds me of those sounds. So, I’m sharing this feeling I get from the music I love with the passers-by of Arcata, and encouraging you to fill your life with the stuff that brings you joy.