Local artists use talent to talk about social justice

When you think of art galleries, a nice painting or sculpture may come to mind, however, artists David Allen and Doug Kinsey have been taking a different approach to what’s on display for the last 27 years.

“This is one show where the artists are really allowed to let things hang out. It’s very cathartic. It’s not a lovely painting it’s not anything that anybody would want hanging in their living room, but there it is baby it’s in this show,” said David Allen, a local South Bend artist.

The artists wanted their artwork to speak about topics that are commonly ignored.

“Both of us agreed that it would be interesting to have a show that had some limitations on it. It’s about a part of ourselves, and a part of ourselves has to do with our taste for justice,” said Doug Kinsey, artist and former Professor Emeritus at Notre Dame.

The two worked with the South Bend Heritage Foundation to create an art gallery for an Art and Social Justice Exhibition to allow 19 artists to display their work.

“One of our major goals is to bring art to people who wouldn’t normally go to galleries or museums,” said the Art Gallery Coordinator, Dea Andrews.

The difference is that these pieces are introduced during an annual discussion about social justice. Community members come together to talk guns, war, politics, neighborhoods and so much more.

 “Art can be more than barns and puppy dogs and grandchildren. I am aware of the misery and suffering in the world.” said Allen.

Social Justice is justice in terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society.

Kinsey says his inspiration to create this sort of original art comes from visual pictures of things happening around our nation today.

“I use photographs from the New York Times because it informs me,” said Kinsey.

 And Allen names his artwork with no hidden messages.

“I could have called it something more topical, but I like ‘Social Justice’ because it didn’t carry any baggage with it,” said Allen.

The artwork can be seen on display at the Colfax Campus gallery in South Bend. The gallery hours are weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

For more information on the gallery, click here.

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