About Manifesting Beloved Community Art

Connection to Theme:
A woman so overcome by her baptism was lovingly surrounded and received by her worship community.

Baptism Waters by Terri McNichol

Connection to Theme
An ordinary day on the beach morphed into Living Sacrament. We onlookers were no longer strangers in attendance, but of the larger family of humanity. It was a most memorable day that lives on in my consciousness of our deep connection with nature and how it sustains us. 

To Be Seen, Heard, Coexist by Spriha Gupta

Connection to Theme
This artwork stemmed out of the need for women to be seen and heard louder especially during the “Me Too” movement. Also the need for communities to support people of all races, genders is the need for today. This piece re-emphasizes that need and also  focuses on humanity to coexist even more today after our world has been struck by the pandemic and war.

Freedom by Spriha Gupta

Connection to Theme
For the artist, the works created have a purpose. She feels man made walls and barriers created through caste, creed and race need to be eliminated and people should be able to coexist just like her colors that flow freely on the canvas. Humans are not islands, they need each other for love , support and most of all living a life enriched by culture, diversity and respect, one that would only come through living in a community. The piece celebrates life and freedom, the very basis on which America is built.

Blind Eye by Rooma Sehar

Connection to Theme
The subject of this painting is “Blind Eye”. When I started this painting, I was thinking about how do blind people imagine the world. They cannot see it and they also cannot see the beautiful colors. But I know there is depth, strong feelings and sensitive sensation which is very special to them and very different from people who can see. 

I used only two colors, black and white and all the shades are from these two colors.

Big Boy Emett Till by Onnie Strother

Connection to Theme
The Chicago community mourned his murder and news of his murder went around the world  and highlighted lynch law and injustice for the world to see.

Me Amo, Te Amo by 7ove child

Connection to Theme
“Me amo, Te Amo” is about making a commitment to love thyself first, the unveiling of the heart essence of true love. If I love me, I can love you. If I truly love me, I would never do anything to anyone that I wouldn’t do to myself. If I love me, then the world, the universe, my partner, mother, friend etc. loves me back. 

Gardening Angel by Jamie Greenfield

The painting “Gardening Angel” was inspired by a New York Times article about a Chicago man who was almost arrested for “gardening while Black.”  Apparently someone in a neighboring apartment saw him outside with what they described to police as “a weapon.” Of course, when police arrived, they found that it was a shovel, and the man was simply trying to start a garden in the housing development.

The painting became, as the title denotes, a play on the idea of a ‘guardian angel’ attempting to nourish and protect.

Bonding Thru Sports by Nancie Gunkelman

Connection to Theme
Sports activities seem to bring people together.

Survivor by Ilene Dube


Connection to Theme
We are flesh draped around a dressmaker’s form; we are bones dressed with flesh. What survives is not the flesh but what’s inside.

The Chorus of Unity by Marzena Haupa

Connection to Theme
The colorful birds represent the variety of people and communities unified in one song. The cherry blossoms symbolize the fragility of nature and the need to protect it for the common good. 

Strange Gods by Marge Miccio

Connection to Theme
This piece refers to America’s worshipful gun culture that arises from fanaticism, xenophobia, racism, fear and greed. This is a cathedral to the power of the gun lobby, lax gun laws and easy access to weapons of all kinds. Inside are the graves of those who have lost their lives to this public health crisis, victims who are disproportionately people of color.

Patterns of Privilege 2 by Kathleen Capario

Connection to Theme
In “Patterns of Privilege – Past Present 1 & 2,” the present leads us toward a future with justice and equity, as the past moves out of frame and is dismantled in our lifetime. The pieces may be exhibited as individual works, however, a fuller and more inclusive and hope-filled expression is shared when the works are juxtaposed and presented together.

Patterns of Privilege 1 by Kathleen Capario

Connection to Theme
In “Patterns of Privilege – Past Present 1 & 2,” the present leads us toward a future with justice and equity, as the past moves out of frame and is dismantled in our lifetime. The pieces may be exhibited as individual works, however, a fuller and more inclusive and hope-filled expression is shared when the works are juxtaposed and presented together.

Fortunes by Kate Pollack

Connection to Theme
This artwork depicts economic justice. It asks the question, what will happen when those at the top fall?

May day Parade by Nancie Gunkelman

About the Artist
I worked in developing countries, first as a Peace Corps Volunteer, and later working with non-governmental organizations.  The cultural richness I experienced has influenced my artwork, and gave me insights into the importance of community.

John Lewis by Janice Gossman

Connection to Theme
During the past several years, hate groups have become more vocal and dangerous, validated by the far right wing. Everything that John Lewis fought for and stood for needs to be emphasized. Imagine what a loving and beautiful and vibrant society we might live in if more people, especially those in positions of influence and power, held and lived by the same values as John Lewis.  

Blowing Down the Wall by Alice-Sims Gunzenhauser

Connection to Theme:
I made this piece in the first year of the Trump presidency. It was a response to his insistence on trying to wall in the United States. As the child of an immigrant, I found this particularly despicable. Others have interpreted the title as a reference to breaking down interpersonal walls, and that is fine with me, too.

Peace Out by Hope VanCleaf

Connection to Theme
This rally was about peace on earth and ending wars on earth. Peace means living side by side with your neighbor as equals. These moments of activism bring us closer to the possibility of making real change.

Rastus (Cream of Wheat) by James Long

Connection to Theme
We are not the people portrayed in these images, and we need to tell that story, over and over and over and over. Until it doesn’t hurt anymore. There may never be a day when it does not hurt.

Standing Tall by Eleni Litt

Connection to Theme
To be in a beloved community is to be able to stand tall because we have others who stand by our side.

Jacob’s Ladder by Eleni Litt

Connection to Theme
To be in a beloved community is to honor the diverse ways we each ascend (our respective ladders!) to be our best selves as often as possible.

Floyd-Taylor-Martin by Barbara Wallace

Connection to Theme
Memorial triple portrait of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Trayvon Martin puts into physical form a reminder of the 3 souls that were taken from our earth community in the most tragic and unjust circumstances. The sculpture makes the victims present with us in spirit and serves to bring attention to the continuing situations that are happening now in our communities.

USA COVID-19 Memorial 1 by Barbara Walllace

Connection to Theme
The USA COVID-19 Memorial 1 is a wreath that memorializes the people who have suffered with the Corona-19 virus. Four figures face in towards each other and one empty chair memorializes the person that is now missing from our lives. COVID-19 both created and destroyed communities; from pot banging neighbors on balconies in NYC to that unfortunate membership in huge groups that have lost of loved ones. We go forward together but cannot forget what we have learned from the pandemic.

Connection to Theme
I think my painting, “Friends,” is very much related to the theme, Manifesting Beloved Community, because it shows how people can be best friends regardless of their differences in ethnic, religious or cultural backgrounds.

by Felicia Reed

Connection to Theme
Pure Joy is a reflection to bring light and deny the darkness any power or control over our human race. Pure Joy represents the human element in HUMANITY. 

United 1-8 by Bugzdale

Connection to Theme
This work is about my community.

Dirty Talk by Jersey House Studio (video)

Connection to Theme
This film explores the concept of community as an interlinking of different systems and living organisms around the world. A strong community is one where a web of people can help and rely on each other, and in that spirit, the earth itself offers what a model community should look like. The rain feeds the soil which feeds the microorganisms, which feed the trees which feed the rain. The earth itself is one giant loving community that we should try to uphold and promote.

About Our Juror

JUROR
Darryl Dwayne Walker
 is ​​an artist (actor, dancer, and photographer), creative director, educator, and movement specialist who also serves as the Coordinator Of Community Engagement at the Newark Museum of Art (NMOA). At NMOA he founded the Community Advisory Committee and has led the charge on a wide range of projects and Black-centered partnerships. Dwayne hosts the Live IGTV series #HappyHourNMOA, “Art, Culture, and Spirits,” which is part of NMOA’s virtual programming and recently co-curated a digital exhibition of artwork by NMOA staff. Originally hailing from Norfolk Virginia born to two parents who migrated from the deep south of Birmingham Alabama, his career as a dancer and performing artist started while acquiring his BA of Fine Arts with a focus in fashion marketing. He has appeared on stage and in front of the camera as a dancer, actor, and tv personality for a growing list of productions for film, online, and on stage.

JUROR STATEMENT

“Manifesting Beloved Community,” invites artists to visualize what it would mean to create or live in a nation/world designed around social & economic justice. Creating works that force us to examine and even look beyond the ills of structural racism. In making the selections for this exhibition I was reminded that art should make you feel something. Those feelings likely fall on a spectrum, which may be defined as positive or negative, happy or sad, at times conflicting, and in some cases maybe just indifferent.   It’s through those feelings that art should inspire a dialogue for the viewers to explore with one another and with self. Art is a verb, ever-changing! It is bold, bright, provocative, and reflective. Artists have the difficult task of painting our reality without watering it down just to placate sensibilities or politics. Artists also have the ability to paint our wildest dreams and mirror who we could be if we push to be the best versions of ourselves. When selecting works this was the lens that aided me in navigating through the many amazing pieces submitted by these talented artists. I hope the viewers that engage with the works are equally moved and enamored by the stories that these works yield. Above all else, I hope this can be utilized as a safe space to dialogue about personal experiences displayed through art and its impact on both the local and the greater community

EXPLORE OUR COLLECTIONS OF OVER 1,000 IMAGES INCLUDING PHOTOGRAPHY AND VIDEOS