Our new rotating gallery space is a way for us to bring community into the tasting room and to celebrate diverse voices. As such, the theme of our first exhibition is “Community.” As the Arts Programmer, I am keen to help generate a platform for a multitude of voices to share their lived experiences through the arts. On that note, I am happy to pass this celebratory post onto the staff and collective members from the New West based organization, Pottery Works, to talk a bit about what community means to them.
“Community is important because the desire to belong is as basic as our need for food and shelter. Community brings people together to advocate and support each other, and the feeling that one belongs gives value to life and our experiences. The relationships we build in our communities are built on trust, respect, communication, caring, common interests and shared values.
Art gives people from all walks of life a way to share their interests, values and experiences and communicate in forms that may be easier, more comfortable or sometimes the only avenue available to them. Having access to art in our daily lives gives us validation for our feelings, and experiences. It helps us feel connected and motivates us to explore our own creativity and discover different parts of ourselves. Seeing art as an expression of others perspectives, gives us a larger view of our existence.
The theme of this work is the view of community from the perspective of artists who have struggled to find inclusion within it. These artists have used their creative abilities as a platform to find identity in their culture and a role in their community.
“I want my viewers to not only see what I see, but to be able to take a closer look at the things around them; the things they would normally pass by, and try to see the beauty in them. As an artist going through life with a developmental disability I would like people to see the beauty in things that may normally be overlooked.” – Sheri Lynn Seitz”
I’m really looking forward to seeing how the gallery unfolds. To kick off our opening exhibition, we would like to invite you to our official launch party! Join us on Wednesday, September 19th from 6:00pm – 9:00pm.
Hope to see you there!