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Art Speaks Clearly!

Bainbridge Island Museum

Art urging us to think about our disrupted world is everywhere this spring.

“Breathe” the current group show (until May 30) at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art (free, open daily!) addresses civil rights issues in every work by twenty-one artists.

Humaira Abid created a hand carved wooden chain for the title “Breathe.” It suggests both entrapment and escape here, but how many other references are contained in that one word!

In Linda Wolf’s black and white photographs, Caravan Asylum we see people surviving the huge challenges and risks of travel to the US in hopes of a better life (a belief that has surged since Biden came into office). Nearby “Field Notes,” mixed media fiber collages by Carletta Carrington Wilson, quote from formerly enslaved persons in the subtitles, such as “I was plowin’ long and a thinkin’.” Embedded in the textiles is an “x,” honoring the fact that ninety percent of slaves were illiterate.

Throughout the exhibition selections from the extraordinary book art collection of Cynthia Sears address potent issues: Native American displacement (Fred Hagstrom); writing and art by prisoners (Beth Thielen); anti-Semitism (Diane Jacobs); white supremacism in a Klan car rally in 1965 that led to the murder of civil rights worker Viola Liuzza (Tyler Starr); gay marriage (Cheri Gaulke and Sue Maberry). Each artist brilliantly concentrates a huge topic in an experimental book format.