Matters of the Art- A Reflection on the Juneteenth Jubilee, 2013

Wednesday, I participated in an open public discussion with other artists at the IMC Lab Gallery, where they were hosting an event known as the Juneteenth Jubilee Crit Salon– the official title of the show being “Masqueraders are the Ancestors of Protestors.”  The show/open panel was organized by SOL SAX and ran every Wednesday for the month of June from 6pm- 8pm, this being the 4th year in accordance.  Friday, June 28th, was the last day of the show.  Every year the show focuses on a product that represents social freedom through culture.  This year it was the mask.

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I must say that I was very pleased to attend an open discussion such as this one where not only African American social issues were presented but also that of other cultures.  I was only able to attend Wednesday’s event, but I was able to experience an intellectual outpouring of the sorts.  The conversation seemed to focus at one point on the ideal of beauty and how African American themes have not yet breached the surface into mainstream media.  It was a topic that the majority felt strongly about and I found myself wondering, as the rest of the attendees continued speaking, about the sensitivity of the topics in general.

In society, there seems to be an unwritten code of propriety that everyone must follow.  In this case, I was sitting amongst a group of people conversing about this particular sensitive matter and I felt unsure of how to express my opinion.  This led me to think, when it comes to matters of art and of society, is there a rule of propriety and if so, is it best to follow it or should one venture to cross the boundaries?  What do you think?

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