|For Freedoms Installation, Monique Meloche Gallery|
This interactive exhibit allowed visitors to either construct or deconstruct a brick wall. Removing a brick or some mortar from the wall was rewarded with a shot of tequila.
The most memorable pieces, for me, were the ones that address the issues of police brutality and the #BlackLivesMatter movement. For example, this impeccably rendered dystopian hellscape of mass incarceration, mass deportation, and mass murder at the hands of police.
|Sandow Birk, "Triumph of Fear"|
A more subtle approach is this dual portrait of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson and Mike Brown, the unarmed teen he killed.
|Charlotte Potter, "Lenticular America" - Wilson|
|Charlotte Potter, "Lenticular America" - Brown|
And I am sure that my hero, Bree Newsome, would appreciate what this artist did to the Confederate flag.
These history paintings feature Black women in stances of resistance.
|Kimathi Donkor, "Nanny of the Maroons' Fifth Act of Mercy"|
|Kimathi Donkor, "Harriet Tubman En Route to Canada"|
Actress/writer/producer Fawzia Mirza had an interactive project in which she invited visitors to try on traditional Middle Eastern clothes, including head coverings, photograph themselves wearing it, and share the images on social media. I took part in it myself. She wanted to remind people that a hijab is "just a piece of cloth."
And even though this pile of pillows may look cozy and kitschy, it is also a work of political art, highlighting the plight of detained immigrants. Each one is made of clothing worn by Chicago area undocumented immigrants. Each is being sold to support Human Rights Watch.
|Díaz-Lewis for Human Rights Watch|
|Student work from UIC|
|Ayana V. Jackson|
I also had a chance to meet Nnenna Okore and hear her talk about her artwork, which, like mine, is made with recycled materials.
As always, I enjoyed the show and hope that someday I will be in it. And I am looking forward to returning to Navy Pier in November for SOFA.