"What happens at the point of intersection between artist and activist? Where is the line drawn between expressing and advocating? Gaelen McCartney creates work that combines his personal experiences with current issues in our society. Weaving, silkscreen, and mixed media items are combined to create installations where individuals have the opportunity to explore their thoughts and opinions on current social issues. The works displayed in Bingham Gallery are memorials designed to humanize and reinforce the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement. The installation provides a space for viewers to remember those lives lost due to the color of their skin. The companion pieces emphasize various facets of the movement—memorialization to integration to education. " - Excerpt borrowed from Bingham Gallery's website
Ms. Walter's class visited Bingham Gallery on campus. The featured exhibition was Characterized by Tragic and Disastrous events: An Exhibition of work by Gaelen McCartney. This relates to moments of social injustice that fifth grade has been studying. Upon arrival the students explored the gallery individually with their notebooks. While exploring the students were instructed to write/draw their thoughts of what they saw and felt. The students really examined the work and questioned the artist's motives. After spending some time examining the work the students congregated into small groups around the small memorials on the gallery floor. In these groups they discussed what they wrote and what messages they thought the artist was explaining to them. Once each member in the small group finished sharing the whole class gathered in a circle on the gallery floor amongst all the work. They then spent some time discussing what they saw/felt and how this work relates to some of the things they have been studying back at Lee Elementary. An audio clip of their discussion is featured below. Listen to the classes discussion. After listening, explore the gallery of images from this field trip.