A COLLABORATIVE PAINTING EXPRESSING SOCIAL JUSTICE AND CULTERAL IDENTITY, 2013
Led by Diana Gilon at Brown University, Acrylic on Canvas 60" x 72"
The design for this painting originally came from a series of discussions with students and staff members. The Brown community was focused on a creation that both expressed the individuality of the participants involved and relayed a message of unity and collaboration. The quilt motif was chosen as it fit these criteria. Participants uploaded images of quilts they liked to a shared, virtual photo album and voted on the quilt they most wanted to emulate in the painting.
This project was painted publicly at the Robert Center, the main student center on Brown University's campus. Anyone walking by during this process was encouraged to join in and take part in the creation of the artwork. Each participant could paint their own “patches” or sections of the quilt, as they pleased using any color or texture they saw fit. They also added text to the painting about their thoughts on cultural identity and how it impacts social justice.
The shapes of the patches were pre-marked on the canvas and tape was used to keep the “patches” neatly defined. Participants could write and paint as they wished within the constructs of the intricate quilt pattern they chose for the piece. The combination resulted in a unique duality of organic, free expression and geometric, strictly defined elements.
The process of creating the painting was very special. The community enthusiastically painted, contributing a variety of beautiful, artistic elements to the piece. They also wrote thoughtful quotes, song lyrics, poems, words of wisdom and more in their native languages across the canvas.