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Mace & Crown | March 23, 2018

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Oh we’re having this talk: ‘Slouching Toward Sunshine’ Art Show

Oh we’re having this talk: ‘Slouching Toward Sunshine’ Art Show

James Finney | Assistant A&E Editor

Some say all art is political, but the folks collaborating with the Rutter Family Art Foundation are holding nothing back in the “Slouching Toward Sunshine” art exhibit. The show begins its five-week run on March 9. The focus will be on the political divide that has been rocking the United States for the past two years and the cyclical nature of history.

The title “Slouching Toward Sunshine” is a reference to a line from the poem “The Second Coming” by William Butler Yeats. The poem was written in the wake of the horror and shock following the apocalyptic violence of World War I.

The famous line goes, “And what rough beast, its hour come at last, slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?”

The show is being curated by California native and Hampton Roads artist Kimberly Mckinnis. She will be working alongside co-curators Doddie Braza and Hampton Boyer, fellow HR artists and owners of the local Thank You Gallery, a contemporary art gallery for established and emerging artists alike.

“Slouching Toward Sunshine” will feature work from artists living across the country.

I sat down with Mckinnis to discuss the importance of an art show of this nature in today’s political climate.

So, why is now the time to have this kind of conversation?

Mckinnis: I think that because less than half of the population participated in the last election, now would be the time to start gearing up for the next election. And if anything, we should start thinking about or encouraging communities who didn’t think they had a voice or ability to make a change. We need to have that conversation now.

And how do you expect visitors to react to the artwork displayed at the show?

McKinnis: I hope for people to have time to stop and reflect on how the events of the past two years have personally affected them. I think a lot of people were upset with people that were protesting or participating in the marches and they didn’t understand it. It’s almost like they thought that it was childish or naive, and it’s important for people to know that this is what democracy looks like and that protesting is an important part of our history.

You’ve curated shows in the past, but this time around you’re working with the Rutter Family Art Foundation and the Chrysler Museum, how has collaborating with them changed the process?

Mckinnis: I was granted a curatorial fellowship. What they do every year is make an open call for independent curators with ideas. I had already proposed this to another gallery out west in California and so I submitted it to them [ The Rutter Family Art Foundation] and it was chosen. So, in that regard, the foundation is totally supporting the show, but also since I work at the Chrysler Glass Studio there was also an opportunity to cross-pollinate, and cross spheres. I think it’s important to bring new and different types of artists to new audiences. Christy Roberts who is doing the Thursday performance,  I don’t she has ever worked with glass, but by bringing her to Norfolk and introducing her to our little glassy world, brings new art into the scope of museum-goers.

Detailed graphite drawings, uncanny photoshopped media and contemporary political cartoons are just a few flavors of the art you can expect at this exhibit. “Slouching Toward Sunshine” will be curated inside of the Work I Release Gallery in the NEON Arts District of Norfolk. Make sure you don’t miss it.