painting of a man

Artists for Justice: Portraits of Black Lives Lost

September / Main Gallery

Exhibit by a group of artists from Maryland’s Eastern Shore that celebrates the lives – while mourning the violent deaths – of African citizens of the United States. Each artist chose to paint a portrait of a particular African-American who lost his or her life due to systemic racism. Not all were victims of police violence as in the case of George Floyd whose murder by neck compression sparked the current international groundswell of street protests and social media condemnation. Justice in the wake of their deaths, whether at the hands of police or vigilantes, failed all of them.

Portraits include that of Freddie Gray whose death in police custody erupted in violence in Baltimore in 2015. That painting is by Mary Ellen Mabe. The George Floyd painting is by Sara Linda Poly. Portraits of two other recent victims of police violence—Raynard Brooks, shot in the back in Atlanta after being found sleeping in his car, and Elijah McClain, who died after being stopped for wearing a ski mask, wrestled to the ground in chokehold and injected with a tranquilizer—are by Kathie Rogers and Maggie Sarfaty, respectively. The exhibit is curated by Nancy Tankersley.

Second Saturday Virtual Artists’ Reception September 12. Exhibit runs September 4-26.