About the Exhibit
Artist Panel: August 31, 7-8:30pm
Closing Reception: Sept 9, 12-4pm
For centuries, art and object making has served as a tool of resistance. Through song, dance, and hand-made objects, ancient cultures gave praise, asked for strength, and mobilized their peoples in order to fight against evils both physical and metaphysical. In modern history, artists have used their practice to provide social commentary and critiques against injustices affecting humans worldwide. Unveiling Resistance is a snapshot of the broad scope of issues concerning artists based in the mid-Atlantic region and beyond. This exhibition hosts a captivating group of artworks regarding issues including the prison industrial complex, refugee crises, racialized violence, and other oppressive systems inflicted on marginalized groups.
Artists in this exhibition use well-known figures such as Kwame Ture (otherwise known as Stockley Carmichael), Sam Sharpe, and the “Founding Fathers” of the United States to draw attention to important historical accounts as well as propagandas that force us to question the information we’ve been indoctrinated with. Other artworks depicting scenes of dilapidated neighborhoods, protests and marches, and refugee migrations portray communities currently under siege. Controversial objects such as the American flag, ropes, fire hoses, and African masks illustrate the intricacies of oppression - they each invoke complex thoughts and emotions that are determined by one’s own life experiences.
The mere fact that this exhibition exists is an act of resistance and an exercise in a freedom of speech we have the privilege of utilizing. Change begins when we each start to question why and how we need to alter our own participation in the status quo. Through platforms such as this, we are able to identify these atrocities and amplify the voices that dare to speak out against them, while at the same time incorporating symbols of victory. By including both scenes of struggle and triumph, Unveiling Resistance aims to inspire the impulses necessary to create the change we want to see in the world. Like Dr. Kaba Kamene said, “It ain’t over ‘til we win.” So, let's continue to galvanize a positive social evolution.
In the process of jurying this exhibition, I had to choose artwork that fit my vision of active “resistance”. I chose works that spoke to the two-pronged approach I took when conceptualizing my definition of resistance at this particular moment. I was looking for artwork that either showcased and shed light on a particular social issue, history, or idea that could lead to change, or artwork depicting physical resistance (such as a protest). Due to the global representation held within this exhibition, these sorts of works bring attention to issues that viewers may have never been exposed to nor may be able to relate to. This creates a transformational experience that can transport viewers into different worlds - hopefully building empathy in the process.
My favorite part about participating in open call juried shows is that anyone can enter, so entries are submitted by an array of people with a plethora of backgrounds, knowledge, talents, and interests. There is also a diverse group of mediums including painting, sculpture, installation, found object embleges, poems, videos, performances, and collage. Each of them have their way of inspiring resistance. The artists in this show continue to impress and motivate me to continue the work that I am doing. Thank you to Community College of Baltimore County for providing an important platform for this work to be seen and appreciated.
Chukwudumebi Amadi-Emina, Rowan Bathurst, Autumn Breon, Theresa-Xuan Bui, Ainsley Burrows, Allen Golder Carpenter, Ailish Hopper, Charles Jean Pierre, Christopher Johnson, Sagar Kamath, Jeffrey Kent, Denese King-Ashley, George Lorio, Paula Mans, Tonisha Hope McCorkle, Elizabeth Ann Miller, Lydia Moore, Amuri Morris, Kim Rice, Laura Sligh, Fahimeh Vahdat, McKinley Wallace, Esteban Whiteside, and Helen Zughaib.
Congratulations to all the selected artists!
Take a 3D Tour!
The Gallery at CCBC Essex invites you to take a 3D tour of the exhibition of Unveiling Resistance. Take your time and explore the space at your own pace from the comfort of anywhere in the world. If you are having trouble seeing the below tour, click here to open it in a separate window.
On August 31, 2022 The Gallery at CCBC Essex hosted an Artist Panel for Unveiling Resistance moderated by curator Thomas James with artists Kim Rice, Fahimeh Vahdat, Esteban Whiteside, and Helen Zughaib. Thank you to everyone who was able to join us live as well as for everyone who tuned into the stream. This VoD will let you catch it if you missed it!
About the Curator
We're excited to announce that Unveiling Resistance will be juried by guest curator Thomas James. Learn more about Thomas and the other exhibitions, articles, and projects he has worked on here at his website.
Thomas F. James (b. 1994) is a Washington, DC born, Prince George’s County, MD raised curator currently based in Baltimore, MD. The focal aspect of his work is to communicate ideas through exhibitions focusing on storytelling.
By approaching his curatorial practice as a narrator, he is able to emphasize the cultural backgrounds and nuances within artists’ works. This is done in the hopes to provide viewers with more context and a holistic scope of what artists are presenting. He finds storytelling imperative to communicating grander concepts that create approachable, intellectual conversations.
From 2018-2022 Thomas ran 2 galleries in Baltimore, MD - Creative Alliance and Eubie Blake Cultural Center. He is now the Executive Director of The Last Resort Artist Retreat, as well as continuing his curatorial practice and serving on various boards and projects for different sectors of the arts ecosystem.
James received his Bachelor's degree from Frostburg State University. He has guest curated numerous exhibitions at institutions including The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC; Band of Vice Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; George Washington University’s ArtReach Gallery, Washington, DC; Anne Arundel Community College, Arnold, MD; and Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, Annapolis, MD. He has been a lead
facilitator and/or panelist at institutions including Joshua Johnson Council, Baltimore Museum of Art, Reginald F. Lewis Museum, University of Maryland Baltimore County, and Bloomberg Arts. He has served as a guest juror and/or critic at institutions including B&O Railroad Museum, Maryland Institute College of Art, University of Maryland College Park, Maryland Federation of Art, Residency Unlimited, VisArts, Goucher College, and Towson University. James has spearheaded special projects with companies such as Vans, Kaiser Permanente, and Munger, Tolles & Olsen LLP.