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Show shines light on social justice

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Alexandra Felton
Staff Writer

To some, art is known to be austere and fluid within multiple meanings, but the work represented at the gallery “Deeply Uncompromising: 125 Years of Mission,” was far from unintentional.

In a small, well-lit hallway with serigraph- prints neatly lining two walls, there stood around 30 thematic art pieces waiting to be viewed and read by the public as they walked through the University of La Verne College of Law.

Artist and curator Conchi Sanford gave her description towards the purpose of the exhibit by summarizing her thoughts on the students of La Verne College of Law and the politics of America.

“This art is focused on non-violent resistance towards protest-driven legal issues that are being dealt with in today’s society,” Sanford said.

She said that the political unrest within our world coincides with the 125-year mission of humanitarianism and non-violent protest guided by each student’s inner light. The anniversary of the University further shows how each of Its members will continue to take these political and worldly problems into their own hands and make a difference towards humankind.

The gallery first catches your eye with a large welcoming title sign and a string of mission-driven placards with art on loan from Self Help Graphics and Art Inc., a nonprofit created in 1970 dedicated to making a difference within the Chicano and Latino community through art.

“Self Help Graphics is a non-profit for artists that also hold free printmaking classes and art workshops,” Sanford said.

All of the money made from the gallery goes straight to Self Help Graphics to support their non-profit community projects and partners.

One of the prints that stood out is called “The Key” by Jerolyn Crute.

It shows four adult figures and one child pushing against a green man with the City Hall in his pocket. Two figures are holding a house with a large key-hole while the key that seemed to match the hole is thrown into the air with the people trying to reach for it.

In the placard next to the print, Crute explains that the piece is designed for the We Shall Not Be Moved Project, an anti-gentrification community protecting their homes from greedy big business.

Although big business has City Hall in Its pocket, the community has access if they pull a string. The struggle to gain control of their community is represented by the key up in the air.

The diverse themes regarding humanitarianism, peaceful protest-driven legal issues being dealt with in today’s society, and civil resistance for a better tomorrow can be seen through the symbolic print-art.

Gilbert Holmes, dean of the College of Law, said in a brief conversation over the phone that he has pride in having art exhibits at the college and is happy that they have held six varying exhibits since 2014.

“Expression leads to conversation, which adds to our mission of learning at the College of Law,” Holmes said.

Holmes and Sanford expect there will be more exhibits in the future and will keep this trend at the College of Law.

The exhibit will run through Dec. 16. For more information, visit law.laverne.edu.

Alexandra Felton can be reached at alexandra.felton@laverne.edu.

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