“There are two kinds of borders: borders in the minds and physical borders. And often it is art and artists who cross these borders and exchange, way more easily than most.” Kiff Slemmens
Have you watched Borders and Neighbors, the two latest episodes of Craft in America? If not, you have a treat in store for you. Highlighting the ongoing cultural exchange between the US and Mexico, both episodes feature master artists whose work addresses contemporary issues while continuing to honor and embed layers of tradition within their processes.
It cannot be coincidence that these shows have surfaced this fall.
And while I can’t say for sure they were created in response to the divisive rhetoric that has become so prevalent in our country, their message offers hope that the arts are, and will remain, a universally inspirational and reassuring means toward building and maintaining connections between people and nations.
I hope you find the programs to be as rich as I did, and if you are lucky enough to be in Los Angeles between November 16, 2017 and February 25, 2018, there will be an accompanying exhibit, Borders and Neighbors: Craft Connectivity Between the U.S. and Mexico, that “honor(s) the spirit of creativity that transcends physical and cultural barriers and that unifies our cultures”.
I wish it weren’t so far away; I’d love to go.
“Art is the most profound human expression. Art creates bonds even if we don’t speak the same language. We communicate through art and have a universal language.” Carlomagno Pedro Martinez
Along the same line of thinking…
Last week I received an envelope from the State Department that contained three copies of the beautiful catalogue they produced illustrating the Art in Embassies exhibition I am participating in at the U.S. Embassy in Riga, Latvia. The following is a quote from the introduction:
…the U.S. Department of State’s office of Art in Embassies (AIE) plays a vital role in our nation’s public diplomacy…selecting and commissioning contemporary art from the U.S. and the host countries. These exhibitions provide international audiences with a sense of the quality, scope, and diversity of both countries’ art and culture. …AIE exhibitions allow foreign citizens, many of whom might never travel to the United States, to personally experience the depth and breadth of our artistic heritage…
It is so important to acknowledge and honor art as a powerful voice, speaking a universal tongue that underlines our human similarities more than our differences, especially at this point in history when nationalism seems to be rearing its ugly head. You can read more about Art in Embassies in this post.