In a time when perspectives on equality, free speech, and other democratic principles are radically disparate, 20 artists were invited to create new works that respond to the critical question: Is the sun rising or setting on the experiment of American democracy?
Each artist takes their own approach to addressing this question using a wide array of media and techniques including painting, sculpture, photography, collage, and video. Some artists incorporate mixed media with performative elements, some blur the lines between figuration and abstraction, while others activate archival documents with site specific installations that reexamine and even challenge the historical record. There are works that highlight historic figures and personal family narratives, while others create mythical figures and rely on spirituality to reimagine life in the future. Some require audience participation, while others create space for intimate reflection.
Through these diverse approaches, the artists empower us to reflect on important issues of our time— including the struggle for racial equality, equitable representation, immigration policies, nationhood and identity formation, and a societal commitment to freedom of expression. The result is a complete transformation of both museum spaces with dynamic works that challenge us to examine how we define democracy, freedom, and identity, both in the United States and beyond our borders.