2020 has been an odd year to say the least. With nothing but time to fill on our hands, it has encouraged a thorough rethink of our society. Amidst the standstill of life as we know it, a lot of ongoing issues have come to light. The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement has significantly shown the perpetual racism that is just as current in our world today as it was hundred of years ago. This has brought much needed attention to racial injustices found not just in society but in the art community as well.
The Norman Rea Gallery ‘s director Senah Tuma’s personal goal is to raise awareness of representation on campus in the arts. More explicitly –to raise awareness of the lack of representation and make an effort to change that. Being an American and a Person of Colour (POC) it meant that elements such as police brutality and racism have been very relevant to Senah’s upbringing. This has motivated her to start this fundraising project as changing the lack of representation in York is something she is really passionate about. The York Anti-Racist Collective Society was created in direct response to the BLM movement to start moving towards a more represented York. The collaboration between the Norman Rea Gallery and the York Anti – Racist Collective aims to inspire change and bring it about in our environment and we need your help to do this!
The Norman Rea Gallery has already been working on an exhibition with the university art collection. The University has an incredible amount of art works; there are 650+ pieces all around campus. Although the University has a breadth of variety in artistic style, the lack of representation of black artists and People of Colour (POC) is striking.
The lack of awareness of the minimal representation in this grand art collection by staff and students signifies something greater. It represents the silent oppression of black lives and black talent not just in our community but in society as a whole. The Norman Rea Gallery and York Anti – Racist Collective are working together against this. As they start to diversity the arts at the university of York, this will hopefully set a precedent of representation across all departments.
We need your help to establish a firm sense of representation across the York University community. The goal of this project is to fundraise in order to commission works of art by local, representative artists. These artworks will be donated to the university’s campus collection and also donate the rest of the money to a racial justice network. This will be a small but very significant addition to the university arts collection.
It will set moving towards black and POC representation in our York community in motion. It will also act as an encouragement to acknowledging the diversity in our community. This fundraising initiative signifies the university arts being more representative in the future, starting in the arts and extending elsewhere. Both societies are personally connected to this cause which motivates the project even more as representing the diversity of York is important to both of them. If it is important to you as well, make sure you get involved with our project and donate to diverse representation!
Check us out on our website here.