Not Just Us: Women Artists Speak Out for Social Justice strives to empower young women and equip them with the dialogue necessary to evoke social change and equal representation for generations to come. The exhibit features work from Chanel Thervil, Ann Lewis, Elisa Hamilton, Allison Maria Rodriguez, and Marla McLeod.
“As a first generation Cuban-American, this project also personally speaks to the experience shared by many of existing in-between cultures, which can be very isolating. I hope that, especially in regard to immigrants and displaced people, that the work generates the sense that we are not alone in the world,” said Allison Rodriguez.
Rodriguez’s work has been exhibited internationally, throughout the country and extensively in the New England area, in both traditional and non-traditional art spaces. “I hope that the viewer is able to experience some sense of how interconnected existence truly is, and how the emotional realities of others (from humans to Tasmanian Tigers) are connected to our own positioning within the world. I hope that, especially in regard to immigrants and displaced people, that the work generates the sense that we are not alone in the world.”
“Towards the end of high school, I went to a museum for the first time and it changed my life. I couldn’t believe that there were whole places dedicated to showcasing and relating artwork to important topics in society,” said Chanel Thervil. Thervil moved from New York City to Boston to complete her Master’s Degree in Art Ed at Mass Art and is the Program Manager of a non-profit called The Art Connection. “I’m excited to use my voice as an artist to talk generate new ideas and conversations around issues that matter. It’s all the more wonderful to be exhibiting beside other women artists who do the same through their practice. There is not enough spotlight shined on women artists and their contribution to social movements and society as a whole.”
Marla McLeod, like the others, is excited to share her work with the Dana Hall community. McLeod’s work is often rooted in the motif of identity and aims to metaphorically explore the struggle of minority groups as they attempt to liberate themselves from negative stereotypes in order to access freedom.
Ann Lewis, who started her career as a street artist in New York City, pulls imagery from the subject’s personal spaces and experiences. She interviews each subject while documenting them, which helps to inform the design of their portrait. “I’m honored to be a part of this exhibition and feel showing young girls the power of self-expression through art is a tremendous opportunity to support their creative spirits,” said Lewis.
Some artists from the exhibit also will be participating in Dana Hall’s "Day of Community Learning," which provides an opportunity for students and faculty to examine ongoing national and global social justice issues and seek solutions.
The Opening Reception for the show is Tuesday, January 15, 5:00-7:30 p.m.. Work can be viewed in the Dana Art Gallery from January 7 through Feb 1.