I Pledge Allegiance: Concepts of Patriotism, Division and Unity

Knee for Justice    The Take a Knee movement inspired this exhibit.  It pushed me to question how a black man’s peaceful posture of being on one knee during the national anthem to highlight police brutality towards black men could be considered disrespectful and unpatriotic.  Yet, a white man on a horse with a gun and American flag, riding through a small Oregon town to take over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is considered, by many, a citizen’s right and patriotic.

Our Backs, Your Table   This piece is an acknowledgement of the hard-working migrant individuals who provide cheap labor, without labor protections, to deliver food to our tables.

 

 

Bull Run Grippe reflects the direction our government has taken as our public servants are bought by lobbyists of powerful companies or driven by greed.

 

God Given Right   The daily deaths of our citizens due to gun violence is staggering, shameful and adds a heavy weight of grief on the loved ones left behind, those who survive and all who observe and listen through news reports.  The National Rifle Association initially stood for improved marksmanship, responsible gun ownership, and access for recreation and hunting. “God Given Right”, was a response I heard during an interview of someone who believes strongly in the Second Amendment without exception.

 

Equal Together   Young men of all backgrounds and ethnicity stand together to hold up our flag in respect and honor.  Equal Together speaks to young men who build bonds between one  another rather than division.

 

Strength in Unity   This picture represents women bonded together to challenge the misogyny, inequality and power some men and institutions continue to exercise against them.  Strength in Unity honors women coming together, striving for justice in all levels of society.

 

Tug of War is a depiction of frustration as our national leaders play games for the purposes of power and ideology.

 

 

 

 

Enmeshed Unity   I believe stress in our communities is high as shared common humanity is divided by the enabling and empowerment of racism and ignorance.  Enmeshed Unity features two men, one of color the other white, with their backs to one another entangled in the American flag.

 

 

We Served Together   The veteran is to be respected and honored. We Served Together represents the wounded soldier in grief, honoring the loss of another.  The loss of one leg represents the physical wounds and is meant to address the emotional and mental wounds as well.  He sits alone, to pause from his rehabilitation services.

Man at the Door   The increased population of homeless people in my city, Portland Oregon,  is apparent in downtown and my NE neighborhood. Frequently, I view sleeping individuals in doorways. Thus, Man at the Door, was rendered to acknowledge this community tragedy. Lack of affordable housing, mental health and drug rehabilitation services as well as low wages combine to bring individuals and families to the point of life without shelter. In July of 2019, Los Angeles estimated 59,000 homeless individuals even after 21,681 people were housed last year.

The Heart of Education   The teachers I have worked with and known personally, teach because they believe sharing knowledge, trade and life skills with our youth and adults is important, not just for the individual who receives, but for the strength of our communities, nation and world. They “pass it on” with creativity and passion. Most balance this within large classrooms working with children and families who need support services in so many other areas. Teachers donate their time as well as contribute to school supplies to make for a successful classroom. Yet, the average teacher salary, adjusted for inflation, has decreased 4.5 percent over the past decade. Most starting salaries are still below $40,000 a year. (National Educational Association)