Through Your Looking Glass
The number of students contributing their work to an annual social justice art exhibition doubled in its second year, organizers say.
Launched by Stand Together Against Racism or “S.T.A.R.,” in partnership with The Glass House and Carriage Barn Arts Center, the exhibition— titled “Through Your Looking Glass” —saw student contributors increase from 21 in its inaugural year to 45 this year, according to S.T.A.R. Founder Fatou Niang.
“I’m amazed,” Niang told NewCanaanite.com amid the buzz of an opening reception held Saturday at the Carriage Barn, where crowds of people took in dozens of paintings, drawings, photographs, sculpture, mixed-media pieces and other art work contributed by students and professional artists brought in as a special part of this year’s show.
“I’m amazed because we all know art has a power of reflecting society,” Niang continued. “And the mirror that these kids have sent us through their art is just stunning. Because we only asked them to tell us what social justice means for them. But the subject that they have chosen, it’s beyond their maturity, beyond their age. The six-year-old who is submitting an art piece and talking about how we all have to be nice up to the point we die. It’s breathtaking. You have women’s rights represented. You have social justice represented. You have gender equality represented. You have recycling …. We have all kinds of subjects that we adopt, things that kids are not perceiving as being an issue. And when they reflect that in their artwork, it’s telling us how deep understanding of society they live in they have.”
Kristen Peterson Edwards, the director of special projects at the Carriage Barn, said it was “wonderful for us to be able to bring in the local mentor professional artists that are featured within the student art showcase.”
She referred to Tara Blackwell, Lauren Clayton, 5ive Fingaz, Butch Quick and Jahmane West, whose work hangs on the walls along with the students’.
The exhibition is open through Nov. 11.
“We’ve really been expanding our outreach within New Canaan and Fairfield County communities and this is a perfect example of what we’re trying to do with the Carriage Barn,” Peterson Edwards said. (The Carriage Barn also hosted S.T.A.R.’s popular ‘Soul-Féte” party earlier this year.)
Christa Carr, communications director of The Glass House, said that this year, the exhibition opened up to children as young as elementary school and even up through college for the student portion.
“The idea is really to collaborate among all cultural institutions, to work with our students, to hear their voices and to provide a wonderful space for dialogue about what is important to students,” Carr told NewCanaanite.com.
She noted that The Glass House also has offered all of the contributing local and student artists a chance to visit the world-famous New Canaan property, under the partnership with S.T.A.R.
Niang acknowledged the boost that the Carriage Barn and Glass House brought to this year’s exhibition.
“Thanks to our partnership with The Glass House and the Carriage Barn, we were able to expand our reach when it comes to communication,” she said. “So now this year we had kids participating not only from New Canaan, but Darien, Greenwich, Stamford, Bridgeport and Norwalk.”
NewCanaanite.com is local media partner of S.T.A.R. and media sponsor of “Through Your Looking Glass.”