This belief is not limited to the art community however. I carry it into the entire world. Support, love, acceptance, respect. A simple equation in my mind. I live in NYC which is one of the most diverse and inclusive places in the world. That is a big part of why I love it here and am planning on being here for life. But it sometimes acts as a bit of a bubble and it can be easy to forget that there are people out there who hold beliefs very different from my own. Perhaps that is one reason I have been so distressed by the level of hatred, bigotry and intolerance that this election has so clearly illuminated.
given the divisions that have been highlighted throughout the election, I feel I do have to use my words now.
In the last few years, the Internet has fostered an environment which has allowed people to hide within anonymity and say whatever they like. I have often been shocked and sickened by the hatred that seems to be prevalent in comments put online.
But I have always been so proud that our online art community has seemed to be immune from the vitriol that has been proliferating everywhere else and had somehow remained such a safe and encouraging space. Unfortunately, this election has been a seismic event that has put cracks into the safe space that has been the hallmark of our small but powerful community. Reading through Facebook now makes me afraid rather than happy. And I know artists who have been bashed for posting artwork that expresses their anger and fears, as well as artists who are feeling so vulnerable that they are hesitating to post their work.
We are all individuals with complex experiences, unique ideas, personal histories, and our very own baggage. This guarantees that life will be complicated and challenging. However, this post stands as a reminder of the importance of support, love, acceptance and respect. Always. And the rejection of bigotry and intolerance to difference. Always.
For me, this is not about who voted for who -- although I know for many that cannot be dismissed. For me, this is about something bigger than the election. This is about taking an individual step toward a collective healing. Naive? Maybe. Necessary? Absolutely.
In that vein, a group of artists have created the hashtag #artistsforlove. Use it, embrace it, share it. I first read about it here and then here. Take the time to click the links and see how you can join this movement and create your own poster that celebrates rather than diminishes inclusivity and love. I leave you with my poster below and hope you will join the conversation - with love and respect - in the comment section to this post