Germantown art gallery shows to focus on racism, voting

Out of frustration with the political climate and the idea that racism no longer exists because the first African-American president was elected in 2008, Imperfect Gallery owners Rocio Cabello and Renny Molenaar decided to address the issue creatively.

Through open calls, the activist artists are highlighting 50 pieces for their “Artists Against Racism” exhibit that features a wide range of art work from photography to sculptures.

“I like the mix, the fiber of the show and the fact that there are famous, women, gay, children and self-taught artists,” said Molenaar.

What’s on display

The exhibit includes works from all over the city and beyond including a shot from New York which Molenaar said is one of his favorite pieces. It is a black-and-white photograph depicting a young girl with a book on her head. The photographer is Misra Del Fin, a 19-year-old from the Bronx.

Cabello’s favorite is from Germantown photographer Gary Reed. It depicts an older gentlemen sitting on his porch with a campaign flyer from 2008, and was taken during a recent Photo Walk event.

Though ending Saturday, the couple believes the exhibit’s second component will further address racism as well as the changes and struggles that occurred in order to enable the election of President Barack Obama.

Phase two of the gallery

The “It Has Always Been About Voting” exhibit will be a black-and-white image exhibit featuring photos from a 1966 civil-rights march.

Referred to as the “march against fear,” it was named after James Meredith’s effort to encourage African Americans to register to vote by taking a 220-mile walk from Memphis, Tenn. to Jackson, Miss. The photos were taken by Robert J. Brand who was in his twenties during the march.

Molenaar said he is fascinated by the opportunity to give elders the chance to engage with youths who are studying black history.

Connecting generations

“I am hoping its going to bridge the generational gap,” said Molenaar. “It’s going to bring the people who remember the sixties and those struggles and I am hoping that the work is accessible enough that the youngsters are going to be able to relate to the images.”

Molenaar described the photos as “the quiet moments of the demonstrations,” which he said gives the collection a sense of humanity.

The opening reception for “It Has Always Been About Voting” will take place from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Nov. 3. Proceeds will go to Priorities USA Action, the Super PAC working to re-electing Obama.

For last minute viewing of “Artists Against Racism,” the gallery is hosting a night of music, poetry and art from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. tonight. They are also hosting their monthly “Last Supper” fundraiser Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

Imperfect Gallery is located at 5601 Greene St. For more information, go to imperfectgallery.com.

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