NEW YORK – An art exhibit on display right now at the Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art and Storytelling aims to shape the way children talk about society’s issues. “Geometries” shows more than meets the eye.
Bright, intricate designs dazzle when guests enter the exhibit. Four artists contributed their visions to Geometries, an exhibit guest curated by artist Damien Davis.
“I hope that they’re able to not just see work that’s exciting, colorful, visual, but work that they feel totally empowered to start building language around,” Davis said of children who visit.
Artists Chris Bogia, Rico Gatson and Tariku Shiferaw may be familiar names to the community, but this is Marisol Martinez’s first museum showing.
The challenge brought Martinez back to her art start.
“Having something like Geometries, I would have related to that as a young child,” Martinez said, “being dyslexic and having to work through learning disabilities in a system that wasn’t catering to me.”
For her, shapes helped words make sense, and it is these building blocks of language she hopes inspire dialogue in her neighborhood.
“The colors that I chose for this exhibition was about representation and community,” said Martinez of her work entitled “The Human Collective.”
“The black and white circles kind of dictate the circle of life, spirituality, cyclical events that keep happening in the United States that don’t seem to go away,” Martinez continued.
The shapes may carry immense weight, but Martinez has experience tackling tough topics.
“I find that when I just have like an ease into conversation, people feel a little bit more comfortable talking about it,” she said, continuing, “I grew up in a funeral home, and as you know, it’s like a service business, and I just grew up with a lot of compassion and empathy for people, and I’ve seen a lot of really horrible things.”
Martinez’s art studio provides a light in a world filled with sadness. She wants to inspire the kids of the community to find their own escape in the city’s landscape.
“I would think of all the little people, all the different ethnicities that would be within that building, and that’s what I was thinking about when I was painting these,” Martinez said of her series on display.
Martinez wants young people viewing her works to think of themselves, too.
Kids can join artists Chris Bogia and Rico Gatson for a hands-on workshop happening Saturday, July 16. The museum is open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Geometries remains open through August.
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