Announcing the the Exhibition A More Perfect Union: Explorations of Human Rights
The Space Gallery
February 3 - 28, 2017
The exhibition A More Perfect Union: Explorations of Human Rights presents the work of 24 artists from the region in a collective response to the deepening divisions and aspirations of a diverse society. This is the third exhibition in Jacksonville’s newest and most dynamic art venue, The Space Gallery, located in the heart of downtown. Guest Curated by Hope McMath, arts activist and past Director of the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, the show is intended to provide a platform for artists to freely inform, challenge, and interpret the post-election environment, especially as it relates to the upholding of human rights for all people. The show also continues, broadens, and deepens the conversation that was created by the LIFT exhibition at the Cummer Museum, which closes only days after the opening of A More Perfect Union on February 3rd.
"At a time when our nation and our communities are deeply divided around the politics of race, gender, representation, and status a focus on universal human rights is timely, relevant, and essential. In a moment when sound bites and false news dominate the world of words and images, artists can provide an alternative that asks each of us to more deeply and authentically contemplate, explore, listen, learn, and connect. The stories and experiences of our collective humanity are demanding a space to be seen and heard. This exhibition, featuring more than twenty of our region’s best artist-activists, attempts to reveal important truths and provide a platform for community conversation and action. By lifting up issues of racial equity, the rights of women, LGBT protections, religious freedom, and the immigrant experience this exhibition expresses both the beauty and power found in our diversity and the dangers of creating a world that denies the full value of every human being,” said Hope McMath.
Artists invited to exhibit in A More Perfect Union were chosen for the excellence of their artistic production and their individual commitment to creating works that explore socially-relevant themes. Through a wide variety of media, including painting, printmaking, sculpture, and installation, participating artists address topics ranging from gender equality and the value of black lives to the impacts of housing discrimination and the local ﬁght for an inclusive Human Rights Ordinance. Well-known artists like Overstreet Ducasse, Traci Mims, Chip Southworth, and political cartoonist Ed Hall will exhibit alongside new and under-heard voices that are as diverse as the community in which they work and live.
Only at a venue like The Space Gallery, run by visionaries like Laura and Matthew Bennett, is an exhibition like A More Perfect Union possible. Combining a location in the core of the city, with its large size, and the independent nature of the curatorial activity, The Space Gallery can transcend the traditional model of contemporary artist exhibition spaces. It is a platform for convening the community and creating connections, with the art at its heart. With this role in mind, A More Perfect Union will be the inspiration for public programs including story circles, community conversations, performances, and artist talks. Programming will also serve as the bridge to two other exhibitions happening in venues around Downtown Jacksonville, Kesha: A Black Female Experience of Identity and Race at the Jax Makerspace in the Main Library and Mind, Body, and Soul: An Exploration of Black Masculinity at FSCJ Downtown Campus Gallery.
Artists in A More Perfect Union: Explorations of Human Rights
Madeleine Peck Wagner
Roosevelt Watson, III
Ingrid Yuzly Mathurin
About The Space Gallery
Located at 120 E. Forsyth Street, in the old New York Steam Laundry Building next to the historic Florida Theater in downtown Jacksonville, The Space Gallery is part of the Building Art Program established by Margie Seaman of Seaman Realty and Management. This program provides spaces to artists in buildings that are currently being marketed for sale or lease. The Space Gallery is directed by Matthew and Laura Bennett together with Wyatt Parlette. They aim to expand the focus of art in Jacksonville, increase the dialogue about art in the urban core, and build community. The ﬁrst three exhibitions represented dozens of the region’s best artists and experienced both critical acclaim and large crowds of artists, collectors, community leaders, and downtown activists. Appreciation goes to Mike Langton, property owner, for recognizing that the work of local artists deserves to be seen and that providing gallery space in buildings for sale or lease can make the difference.
The Space Gallery