Hicks Exhibit Explores Citizenship

Paige Scholl-D’Andrea

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Hicks Arts Center here on campus is featuring an art installment titled, “And This Is How You Are A Citizen…”and is displaying works of art from three artists until March 12. Artists Catherine Pancake, Michelle Angela Ortiz, and Imani Roach all have different pieces of artwork/sculptures displayed addressing topics such as black female empowerment, activism, and mothers and children being detained.
Catherine Pancake has three different works displayed at the gallery. The first work is a “video art piece” that shows the journey of two women activists trying to stop the Mountain Valley Pipeline from going through people’s properties in West Virginia and Virginia.
The second work is a painting of Birch Ply, the industrial wood that’s heavily used in the industry. The painting is surrounded by a white circle that Pancake describes as “The circumference of the Mountain Valley Pipeline that is 42 inches in diameter.”
Pancakes third piece is a small sculpture of deconstructed handheld video cameras. Pancake attributes this piece to “citizen videography, different types of activism that occurred using handheld, citizen video cameras.”
Michelle Angela Ortiz found her inspiration for her paintings from a projection/animation that was being displayed on the gates of Philadelphia City Hall. Her piece is titled Seguimos Caminando which translates to “We Keep Walking”. It focuses on the journey of two mothers and her children as they are being held at the Berks County Family Detention Center.
Ortiz’s artwork focuses on issues that are ongoing in the Berks County Family Detention Center which currently houses 30 detained families. The gallery also features the original paintings and drawings that were used and incorporated at City Hall in their animations.
Within the gallery, you are able to hear a voice speaking, the same voice that was used at City Hall for their animation. The voice is of one of the mothers that Ortiz features in her paintings.
Imani Roach’s pieces in the show are titled “Good To Me As I Am To You”. Roach named her pieces after an Aretha Franklin song with the same title. “The works focus on black female vocalists in the United States and the contributions they’ve made to our society” said Roach.
Roach has one piece that features small, crystal-like sculptures. Her other works of art are stitched denim to show young girls, accentuated feature, and in her words “what black and white women do and how that feeds in to our larger society.”
These pieces will be displayed at the Hicks Art Center Gallery up until March 12. The Hicks Arts Center Gallery is open Monday and Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 pm., Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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