Reinterpreting American Identity

Social and political commentaries find pure expression in the beautiful and provocative art exhibit currently on display at the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery (1632 U Street NW) in Washington, DC.

“Stars and Stripes: Pride and Hope Reinterpreted,” which is open through January 31, brings together fourteen artists of many cultural backgrounds, faiths, and experiences, and allows them to explore their American identity through sculpture, photography, collage, painting, the written word and conceptual pieces.

Revolving around the American flag, each artist challenges the viewers to look below the surface and see the pain and struggle and the pride and joy of what it means to be an American in 2009, of what the American Dream looks like for them.

From Susan Brandt’s sculpture of a full burka and Helen Zughaib’s triptych of a woman in an abayu made using the American flag to Wesley Clark’s painting of the American flag with graffiti-like writing extolling the virtues and necessity of free speech to Ann Marie Williams’ exploration of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, this exhibit exceeds expectations with the intensity and honesty of the pieces.

A panel discussion is scheduled on Saturday, January 17, from 1:00-3:00 pm in the gallery and will be a wonderful opportunity for the community to enter into the dialog with the artists about the American experience. Timely, relevant, powerful, healing – I can’t think of stronger words to describe this exhibit and encourage you to see it for yourself. For more information, click here.


Posted in: Art

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