OK, this is a first: Honored to be included in an "Art as Social Inquiry" project.
Art As Social Inquiry combines art and advocacy as a way to engage audiences. Theresa Pussi Artist BrownGold is the painter/writer/performance artist behind Art As Social Inquiry.
"I have often wondered why so many good people have such different and divisive opinions. Art As Social Inquiry asks the questions: Are we our opinions? Or are we something more? Then what? What is beyond the emotional charge of our opinions? And how do we get there?"
Art As Social Inquiry — an artist-at-work painting portraits of real people whose lives embody the social issues of the day, issues like access to healthcare, immigration, how we die. The artist also uses songwriting and performance art, two more art-making tools, to help us see ourselves in the bigger world, and the opinions we cling to.
Our opinions affect our actions. Art As Social Inquiry unearths those opinions.
The portraits/songs/performance art offer themselves up as recipients of uneasiness, justifications, political correctness, rationalizing, embarrassment, rage, sadness, compassion, hate, fear, hope, anxiety…whatever. The art will not yell back. But we can observe ourselves reacting to the faces and their stories, and perhaps reflect. Behind every social issue is a real person.
Ms. BrownGold just posted her latest creation, part of a series of "story portraits" aptly titled "Healthcare in the United States":
This healthcare painting series is dedicated to a remarkable social activist, and exceptional human being, Athena Smith Ford. At her young age, she mentored so many of us in the art of genuine listening and informed responding. Rest in peace, my dear friend. Pennsylvania Health Access Network, a consumer advocacy group Athena helped launch, set up a Memorial Fund in her name. The fund will support the work of grassroots advocates in PA who are fighting to expand and protect access to healthcare. Donations can be made here. Thank you.
A "Story Portrait" is exactly that: A story attached to an original piece of artwork. She asked if she could use something I wrote as part of the "story", and I obliged.
I was surprised to discover that it wasn't actually any of my blog posts here at ACA Signups that she was quoting, but rather a lengthy Twitter thread I posted just over a year ago, in the midst of the ACA Repeal/Replace Battle Royale.
Anyway, the story of the portrait subject himself, a man named Carlo Trovato, is also fascinating. Check it out!