Tell the truth, to yourself and to the children – Maya Angelou

Like many Americans, I was taught the story of the United States growing up - great founding fathers, equality for all, and hard work creates wealth - the American Dream. And while there is some truth to this narrative, it left out a large part of history, creating a disconnect in the America I experienced as a young adult.

 

By researching the construction of race in our country and my family lineage: immigrants from Sweden in the 1900s, and Irish and English settlers reaching back to the 1600s, the divisions and inconsistencies I experienced began to make sense. Stolen land, the Virginia Slave Codes, the Naturalization Act, Supreme Court cases that decided who was white, Jim Crow Laws, and Redlining… America was built to benefit white people (even as those who were considered white continually changed).

 

The truth is often held hostage to whatever we accept and believe; therein lies the tension and the conflict. This work dismantles and reconstructs the dissonance we experience in our engagement with truth. School and academic references, family photographs, redlining maps, court documents, and furniture from my home create a space where both the past and present reside. Woven, sewn, and linked together, my work repeats pieces of truth over and over so connections can be made and intentional conversations started. To have a just and equitable country for all people, we must first understand our history.

Kim Rice creates large-scale works using common materials. Her installations are a meditation on institutional racism and the policies that continue to affect American society today.

Kim earned her BFA in Sculpture and MFA in Printmaking from the University of Oklahoma. Her work has been shown throughout the country including the Alexandria Museum of Art, the Fred Jones Museum of Art, the Northern Illinois Art Museum, the Delaware Museum of Art, the 22nd No Dead Artists at Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, and Prospect.4 Satellite. She has received multiple awards, including the McNeese Grant for Socially Engaged Practice.

Born in Kentucky, raised in California, educated in Oklahoma, loved in New Orleans, and now home in Baltimore, Kim’s work is influenced by her two children and the pile of books by her bed.

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