A ‘safe place’ to discuss race
“Exploring Race: A Student Exposition” – showcasing drawings, inks and ceramics by Georgia College students – is being called a “safe place” for students and community members to gather.
Breaking down barriers
The Sallie Ellis Davis House was renovated into a museum, which opened in 2012 commemorating the teacher’s tenacity and compassion. Davis was an inspiration and pillar of the African-American community in segregated Milledgeville. She educated African-American children and adults who had few learning opportunities in the early 1900s. Her one-room Eddy School now serves as a starting point for discussions on race.
Art to transform minds
Students in beginning art classes created exhibit pieces last spring and this fall.
They were asked to investigate, question and reflect on issues of race. Communicating their ideas visually required many critique sessions and multiple drafts.
Interpretations of race were varied and creative. To some, the issue meant oppression of African-Americans. To others, it meant Native Americans being pushed aside or Muslim women harassed for wearing the hijab.
Junior fine arts major Lydia “Grace” Lombard molded a cup out of clay, painting the outside with a black underglaze and carving in designs. She hopes school children on fieldtrips will be inspired by her work.
Junior fine arts major Brianne Hall made a cup, painting a face with its mouth taped shut. It reads: “I will not stay silent so you can stay comfortable.” Her pair of vases were created by coiling and layering ropes of clay. She etched in hands holding hearts.
A dozen pencil and charcoal drawings, pastels and inks are included in the show, like:
- An African-American woman behind bars made from the stripes of the American flag.
- The cartoon face of Chief Wahoo, Ohio’s Cleveland Indians logo topping realistic bodies of Native Americans on horses in a desert prairie.
- Women and Muslim faces on band members of the Beatles in a caricature of their famous Abbey Road photo.
- A skull showing death as the great equalizer.
About 15 bowls, cups, plates and vases are also being displayed. Students glazed pottery, adding features like zigzag borders, African-American figures, handprints of all colors, maps of the African continent and teardrop shapes.