Forceful Perceptions Gallery Opening

Last night was easily one of the best attended gallery opening here at The King Arts Complex in years. We may have run out of food, but there was certainly no lack of excitement or conversation. The show, Forceful Perceptions, has been in the works for months now and consisted of 13 different artists and over 80 pieces of work. The theme of the evening was violence as it relates to communities of color. The artists involved were given this theme and asked to respond to it. The pieces featured at last night’s opening covered current injustices as well as life long hurts that the artists have experienced.


When asked to reflect, in words, on this show, here is what the artists had to say:


“My work illustrates a crucial view of our current generation’s reactions to the constant brutality that African Americans have been facing lately.” Jamilla Kato, artist


“When I started creating these pieces, I felt a sense of sadness, anger, and fear. With all of these shootings and killings, it puts me in a mindset that we are not safe. And we are being killed by the people who were meant to protect us.” – Eric Jefferson, artist


“This series is based off the well known phrase “Hear No Evil. Speak No Evil. See No Evil.” Featuring Rosa Parks, Sojourner Truth, and Harriet Tubman. I pose the question: Where would we be today if those before us did not hear evil, speak boldly against evil, or see past evil?” – Jelise Roberts, artist


“The bullet that interrupted my day while sitting in my fifth grade classroom… Though I did not understand it as a young student, I was receiving… the transferring of a moral conviction as Dr. King’s physical body was dismantled by this bullet. Malcom X and various Black American leaders have been silenced by bullets. [I can’t help but feel] lost, angry, [and] suspicious [while] reaching for the ability to feel what it is like to live without this bullet defining our culture.” – Richard Duarte Brown, artist


“We are human beings just like everyone else. We need to be confident in our abilities and not let the color of our skin hold us back. We are more than just rappers and athletes and when we realize our potential is infinite, we will achieve so much more.” – Natalie Orr, artist


“Tragedy, confusion, heartbreak, fear, sadness, struggle, pain, power, and questions crafted this work. I have no answers, I am merely trying to whisper the questions in-between… I have no answers.” – David Butler, artist and curator


“I have been trying to find a way to stand against the senseless violence that has been perpetrated against black men in this country. I generally want my artwork to evoke feelings of pleasure… However, at this point, I am finding that I am producing images that create a visceral reaction in the viewer; possibly something that causes them to reflect and react; to do SOMETHING to evoke change.” – Gaye Reissland, artist


“My work illustrates the stages my people are in. We fear because… out lives are in jeopardy every day. We are enrages. Which is a secondary emotion to fear. Our rage is what the media uses to paint us as savages therefore justifying in the minds of the law why we deserve to die. We feel sorrow because we often wonder if this life is worth living ourselves.” – Nehemiah Payne, artist

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