In Solidarity: Black Lives Matter
Erin Shigaki and Scott Méxcal
Feb. 2-March 19
Erin Shigaki and Scott Méxcal collaborate as the Purple Puerta Collective. Their friendship and working partnership is based on their belief in solidarity work, common strands in their family stories, and passion for finding incremental healing through art.
Shigaki was born and raised in Seattle, and has spent her career working in design and art education. She has taught youth at the Wing Luke Museum, and the College of South Puget Sound, among others. Méxcal, a classically trained painter, is originally from New Mexico, has lived and worked in the Seattle area for 20 years. His work explores personal identity in the context of latinx/ indigenous narratives and themes of displacement, migration, and reclamation of language.
Shigaki and Méxcal wished to create a solidarity message and perhaps a small space of healing for the Black community. The statement is flanked by a torii or Shinto gate, a portal to the divine.
They include portraits of but a few of the slain community members whose names we will keep shouting and whose faces we want to shine: Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Manuel Ellis, Charleena Lyles, Sandra Bland, and David McAtee.
Shigaki and Méxcal wished to create a solidarity message and perhaps a small space of healing for the Black community. The statement is flanked by a torii or Shinto gate, a portal to the divine. They include portraits of but a few of the slain community members whose names we will keep shouting and whose faces we want to shine: Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Manuel Ellis, Charleena Lyles, Sandra Bland, and David McAtee.
This mural was originally installed in June 2020 over boarded up shops on South Jackson Street between Nihonmachi Alley and 6th Avenue South in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District (C-ID), formerly Japantown or Nihonmachi. Most C-ID businesses were compelled to board up in the wake of xenophobic violence and rhetoric coming from the 45th president of the United States and his followers. The last time this block and the entire neighborhood were boarded up was in the spring of 1942. For that reason, the solidarity message takes the appearance of the exclusion order (E.O. 9066) that was plastered throughout west coast Japanese American neighborhoods announcing their abrupt forced removal and indefinite incarceration.
The artists’ wish is to reclaim this tyrannical document and convert it into a message of hope. They also wish to remind all Japanese Americans, Asian American Pacific Islanders, and other people of color that because of our own struggles for humanity, we have a moral imperative to dismantle white supremacy, organize in solidarity with and amplify the Black community’s demands for equity and equality.
The statement is followed by names of but a fraction of the community members slain by racist violence and reads:
BLACK LIVES MATTER The Japanese American community stands in unwavering solidarity with our Black, Brown and indigenous siblings, who stood with us through the mass incarceration of our people during WWII. We acknowledge Asian Americans’ legacy of complicity in white supremacy and commit to the ongoing dismantling of it. We acknowledge that Asian American activism is deeply influenced by and in debt to Black American activism. We commit to using our strength and privilege to achieve liberation for all people.
#BlackLivesMatter #AmplifyBlackVoices #DefundSPD #TsuruForSolidarity #Asians4BlackLives
The artists thank the many community members who joined them in painting this mural of hope and healing, especially Paul and Craig Murakami whose family built the Jackson building in 1932.
Meet the artists!
Virtual, online Q&A | 1:30-2:30 p.m. Friday, March 5
Join via Zoom | Meeting ID: 810 7419 9327 | Passcode: 583006
Sue Danielson: Attitudes of Perspective
Nov. 1-Dec. 11, 2020
Attitudes of Perspective is a playful installation comprised of every day and constructed objects, videos, large drawings, and 3-D elements. It embraces the rapidly shifting perspectives we encounter daily, and the sometime resulting absurdities. Of course, the global pandemic has further complicated our lives. Although initially scheduled in the Edmonds College art gallery, the exhibition morphed into a site-specific installation in the dormant sculpture classroom after the gallery was locked down and most classes went online.
Student Art Show: Spring 2020
The college’s spring tradition of holding a student art exhibit will continue this year with a virtual exhibit in our online gallery. This year’s show honors the talent of 15 Visual Arts students and features more than 100 works of art.