Welcome to my first curatorial project, Race and Revolution: Exploring Human Injustices through Art, to be held this August – September 2016 on Governors Island in New York City. This show, what I hope is just the first of several on the topic of the history of racism in the United States, combines my passions and experiences as a teacher, an artist, and an advocate for social justice.
For eleven years I taught, first high school English and then as an arts educator at the New-York Historical Society. My journey as an artist began three years ago, after a particularly difficult year, both emotionally and physically. Emerging from a cancer scare and two surgeries to treat a dislocated jaw became a gift – I had discovered my creative voice through jewelry design. Memories and experiences I’ve had came pouring out through my work as an artist, and Palomino Jewelry NY was born.
But something was still missing. With all of the events that have been unfolding in the news: police brutality, mass shootings, a judicial system that fails to find justice, the hate speech used by candidates for the presidency, I kept asking myself if teaching was enough? Was exploring history through the process of making jewelry enough? I kept wondering how I could present a narrative that incorporated my work with teaching social justice and history through my work as an artist.
Last year I made a big decision: I would curate an art show that addresses racism today by examining racism throughout American history. Race and Revolution is my attempt at creating a different kind of conversation around the climate of racism in the United States by going back to this country’s origins. The artists respond, in a manner of speaking, to documents written during the American Revolution to show how, in 250 years, what – if any – part of the conversation has changed. This story will continue to unfold in the upcoming weeks, so be sure to check back to learn more. I will be sharing more of my personal story, introduce each of the artists, and you will hear from experts in the fields of history, art, and activism. In the meantime, here is the link to make a contribution to Race and Revolution.