We thought 2020 was going to be "our year". In January, we charted a course for our business that emphasized LIVING OUR VALUES and making sure people saw that clearly. We were so excited to go a little deeper with our customers this year. One of our planned actions included an art show with two women who have a similar obsession as us: COLOR, and it's meaning.
Then 2020 actually happened, not exactly as we had planned. The pandemic forced a postponement of their show about color and the black experience, until an unexpected new canvas materialized: our boarded-up storefront. Black Lives Matter protests indirectly created a fitting, more public venue for the powerful voices of Julia Bond and Christine Miller. Their art on our corner, and the art by black and brown people all over Portland and the U.S., will be seen by more people, will be heard more loud and clear, and is a part of history.
We might have relinquished control over how we get to live and show our values this year, but we're deeply honored to have even a tiny part in this important movement and to have the work of Julia and Christine visible to all who pass by our busy Portland corner.
Christine Miller is a multimedia artist who turns the historically recorded definitions of the word “black” upside down. The Merriam Webster dictionary definitions have included:
“distorted or darkened by anger…” “connected with or invoking the supernatural, especially the devil…” “heavy, serious…”
Instead Christine chooses an optimistic and lived-experience definition of the word. Her black is bright and sunny, hopeful and strong.
Check out her current show at Blackfish Gallery.
Julia Bond is a creative who seeks to visualize the black experience through various mediums and outlets. OTHERLY is a platform she uses to investigate the complexities of blackness. The association of dark skin with criminality and of whiteness with innocence has become one of the most deep-seated stereotypes in American society. This mural, through abstraction of color, seeks to make the viewer look at where whiteness stops, and where blackness begins.