As artists, we hold transformative power at the tip of our brushes. With every brush stroke, we can weave together new fibers of thought and create a new world. Art has the power to imagine a story no one has seen before - it can paint a futurism that allows others who have the leadership and skillset to implement political change on a structural level. During a time when our political climate is at its most fiery, we need transformative action to promote equity and justice. Collectively, we can inspire this action.
In addition to reimagining the endsight and shedding light on the demands of the movement for change, creative contributions - especially from a generation with fresh ideas - can inculcate new ways to fight the system. Sit-ins, boycotts, rallies, and uprisings have been methods of resistance that are continuously revisited, but what methods have we yet to explore? The depth and expanse of the artist mind can produce a scene so surreal that it sparks the lightbulb in someone else’s mind to re-envision how we fight for change.
Our art ranges in stylistics, emotive impact, and imagination. The beauty in our work is that this variation allows for artists to express multiple vantage points of the movement for change. Challenging viewers from different perspectives can ultimately alter perception. As a growing mural artist, the opportunity to paint Colin Kaepernick kneeling on the neck of a police officer was a newly imagined scenario that was provocative. Passerbyers and viewers (particularly those removed from movements of change) had an opportunity to stop, ask questions, and empathize with the anger resulting from 8 minutes and 46 seconds of state violence.
Artists hold the power in moving others emotionally. Emotion is often evoked by something impactful that creates a visceral reaction. Channelling anger or frustration can inspire others to join the movement. Challenge yourself as growing young artists, to produce works that move others emotionally as it can continue to attract new co-conspirators and activists. We need numbers in bodies to allow this national movement for change to overturn the existing system. Use your voice to impact others and your natural creativity to sway others in new directions. As artists, we hold infinite power as we contribute to movements for change from behind our brush. Our work also leaves a lasting historic stamp on this important time. Keep producing and one day, the world you imagined will come to fruition.
- Simone Lawrence
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