Serve Well Blog

9.7.17

Holding Together through Art

The Krista Foundation | Colleague Press, Krista Foundation Press, Preparing To Serve, Sustaining Service, Arts & Culture, Post-Service Term Reflections

For our second annual art e-news, we asked Krista colleagues to riff on our conference theme, "Holding Together". Read on to see and hear how Spencer, Chasity, Richard, Linda and Doug captured holding together in the face of difference. For larger images, see slideshow at the bottom of this post.

Spencer Uemura, 2016 Krista Colleague, "Migrations"

 

Chasity Jones, 2017 Krista Colleague, "Black Infinity"

Submission
Embarrassment
Tongue Tied
Guilty
Obey Authority
Stay out of the way
Disposable
Ignored
Made an example out of
A Mascot
A token
Frustrated
Don't be caught taking a break or you will determine the work ethic of all people who look like you. So instead, I work myself to death.
Smile, even if you're tired
Pretend to be interested in everything all the time.
Survival is brutal- these lessons are vital.
I can never acknowledge the pain that threatens my life.
No permission to speak truth. Truth invalidated in every way possible- but so subtle.
Will my truth get me fired? Will my truth cancel all of these wonderful opportunities?
Have I obtained these opportunities because I am well trained in the art of relating to and pleasing the white faces that surround me.
They tell me I'm different- than the black people they've known previously.
This cuts me like a knife as I remember- I am no different because my people and I are ONE.

I am told speaking white is a gift.
But I miss everything that was stripped in order to maintain this pale skin face lift.
I've been brain washed, emotions repressed- colonized; my psyche occupied.
Because of this, I've separated myself from the people who sustain me,
From the mothers and fathers who raised me,
From the people who embody divinity....
No longer afraid of darkness, like America's taught me.
So I embrace the black infinity- which is the Alpha and the Omega.
I am an individual and stand with a community that the most descriptive words cannot describe its beauty and wonder.....
I often wonder how many shades of black and brown exist.
My heart is full as we together resist and RECLAIM all that was stolen
To my people, I am beholding
So I exist.....in this space as a testimony with no limits
Aware that every breath is an act of resistance.

 

Richard Murray, 2015 Krista Colleague, "Migrations"

The act of assemblage holds together disparate objects, creating new meanings. In the same way, I am holding together memories, ideas, people, and moments as layered lenses to create new perspectives.

This specific piece asks the question, "What is the potential for architecture to...?" I am on a journey to search for the remaining pieces to this question-

...create spaces for understanding
...foster community ownership
...empower communities of color

 

 

Linda Chastine, 2016 Krista Colleague

Dear Self,

You will learn that home is not a country or a city.

It does not lie between soiled sheets, where youthful giggles rise and inside jokes are created.

You will learn that it is not an innate feeling and does not necessarily deal in familiarity.
?
Home is not in the motherland. with the people that hold the skin tone of your kin.

Home does not reside in the place where fear was taught and your heart first broke.

You will learn that home is not another person. Your search cannot be found in nostalgia or recovered in replayed images and regrets.

Again.

Home is not a place.

Home is not a person.

Home is not your momma, baby brother, or grandma.

It's not your college town.

It is not your bed after a long day of surviving.

Home is you.

There's nothing profound, yet something so magical about that discovery.

Hold onto it.

When your home feels like a prison, revisit this lesson.

When home is something like a dry and barren land, write it letters. Let it know that you miss its comforts. and probably haven't shown it all the love it needs, but you're trying.

Cook it dinners that make it sleepy, feed it food that gives it energy.

Let it sweat it out when the pressure gets so much that it wants to leave its frame.

Redecorate it.

Show pride in it.

Boast about it.

Take a tour every once in a while. You might discover somethings you didn't notice.

You might find something that you forgot was there.

Listen.

Stop looking.

know that home is not a place or a person. but home is.

you.

 

Doug Orofino, 2012 Krista Colleague, "Envíame a Mí"

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