Fourth Friday: GANGGANG “Perceptions”

Friday, March 29
6:00 – 9:00 pm
Indianapolis Liberation Center
Fonseca-Du Bois Gallery powered by Arte Mexicano en Indiana

Show up for our “Fourth Friday” of the Fonseca-Du Bois Gallery powered by Arte Mexicano en Indiana, located at the Indianapolis Liberation Center. For this event, we are excited to host GANGGANG and the Marion Country Reentry Coalition with their interactive art exhibition, “Perceptions,” a body of work that centers the experiences and emotions of five formally incarcerated Hoosiers.

Featuring photography and charcoal illustrations, “Perceptions” humanizes the journeys of these five previously incarcerated people who focus on themes of identity, grief, overcoming and adaptation to a new normal. This exhibition will showcase the photography of Jay Goldz and hyper-realistic drawings by William Minion, while including voices of our five storytellers through audio voice-over to deliver their messages.

GANGGANG is a cultural development and creative advocacy firm that works to center beauty, equity, and culture in systems and cities, testing new, more equitable models. GANGGANG is moving the global Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) conversation toward that of equity in action, to achieve equity by way of identity and economic justice. They call this, cultural reparations: a sustainable movement toward authorship and away from racism by creating new ecosystems that center care and the economic viability of artists.

In an innovative partnership with the Marion County Re-entry Coalition (MCRC), both advocacy organizations were able to connect with these five storytellers to create a platform them to share their truths. The coalition identified and helped steward these storytellers and creatively worked them and GANGGANG to produce the exhibition. The MCRC is a coalition of organizations and individuals who serve people re-entering the community after incarceration. Since 2009, MCRC has been working to redesign the system and create opportunities for providers to align their resources, collaborate, and share best practices to enhance services for re-entrants in Indianapolis.

The project examines the experience of incarceration and channels healing by welcoming the liberated back to their communities and refortifying their networks of support. In this collaboration, photographer Jay Goldz took the pictures of two stages of emotion, once how the storyteller would like to be perceived versus how society perceives them and artist, William Minion, drew sketches of the false perception in an illustrated drawing. The experience provided our formerly incarcerated community members with a chance to document their re-entry into community with local artists.

Unleashing the creativity of the masses: About our monthly art exhibition and opening

We are honored that GANGGANG is bringing “Perceptions” to our city’s liberated space, in part because it highlights the human connections between the many struggling poor and oppressed citizens in and out of prisons and jails. Expressions of joy in the political struggle for change are as important as the collective work to free ourselves from systems of oppression. More importantly, it is another example of what happens when we unleash the creativity of the masses.

The theme organizing the Fonseca-Du Bois Gallery’s monthly art opening and exhibit, which we are now doing on the fourth Friday of each month, is “Unleashing the Creativity of the Masses.” The theme is inspired by and a practice in what 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 Fonseca-Du Bois Gallery powered by Arte Mexicano en Indiana, art 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 can change; it will change.

As we build up a network of care for those who are locked up on the inside with our new partner organizations FOCUS ReentryFOCUS Families Initiative, and Free Shaka Shakur, we celebrate our victories against the carceral state and turn them into expressions of vitality. The mass incarceration system in the U.S. affects us all, and overthrowing it and creating a new society is impossible without supporting each other even during the hardest times. As hard as the system tries, it cannot steal our joy. Join us in celebrating the art of joy and struggle!

Featured image: Pieces from the “Perceptions” exhibit on display.