First Friday: “Uniting Voices for Immigrant Rights”

Friday, November 3
6:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Indianapolis Liberation Center
1800 N. Meridian St., Suite 305

We are excited to announce that First Fridays, a monthly event where Indy engages in and celebrates a variety of cultural practices, now includes the Arte Mexicano en Indiana Gallery at the Indianapolis Liberation Center!

The social justice-focused gallery is unique not only because of its focus, but because each month it will highlight political artworks and feature artist talks and/or presentations by those in the political struggle addressed in the exhibit. It is also an opportunity for Indianapolis to build a community of cultural activism.

On November 3, come to our first exhibit in an ongoing First Fridays project we’re calling “Unleashing the Creativity of the Masses.” Our inaugural event features a curated exhibition of political poster artwork from the Indiana Undocumented Youth Alliance, Cosecha Indiana, and the Alliance for Immigrant Justice, amplifying the diverse voices united in the struggle for justice in a world divided by imperialism.

We are delighted to have one of the featured artists, Peter Julian, who is also an organizer with the Alliance for Immigrant Justice, talk about his art and organization, share what inspires his artistic and political endeavors, and allow for formal and informal discussion while we engage in and think about the posters over light refreshments.

Julian’s work articulates the stories of inhumane borders, unjustified detentions, economic uncertainties, solidarity, and hope. The overall exhibition works to unite the many issues within the immigrant community like U.S. border detention centers, women’s rights, racism, and colonialism.

Unleashing the creativity of the masses

The theme organizing the gallery’s participation in First Fridays is “Unleashing the Creativity of the Masses.” We are inspired by and practicing a sentiment Stephen Jay Gould expressed when he wrote in The Panda’s Thumb that “I am, somehow, less interested in the weight and convolutions of Einstein’s brain than in the near certainty that people of equal talent have lived and died in cotton fields and sweatshops.”

Under this social system, art is a commodity to be bought and sold. At the Indianapolis Liberation Center, it is a tool in our struggle for freedom. The vast majority of artists are forced to work outside the arts to support themselves while the rare few who find success must accommodate to the tastes of a select elite few. This could change. If Mayor Hogsett’s proposed 2024 budget, which only allocated $1.2 million to the arts out of $1.56 billion, was adjusted to accommodate people’s true needs and desires, we could solve this problem, or at the very least begin to address it.

We will feature art and artists who engage in community-practice or politically-based art and social justice movements.

Please stop by and see the exhibition and join the reception, both of which are free to the public. Because we are an independent community space that is completely funded by donations and staffed by volunteers, we appreciate any donations one can make at the door. We are also confident those in the pursuit of justice will find much to value in participating and even bringing home one of these works to remind you of the importance of our everyday actions.