At Justice Arts Coalition, we are always working on new ways to engage with our community and share the wonderful work of our network artists. In the past year, we have moved our existing programs to virtual spaces to respond to the pandemic and developed innovative new ways to better amplify system-impacted artists. One of these ways has been through a holistic restructuring of how art is displayed on our website.
At the start of 2021 we launched a redesign of our virtual galleries. You can now view over 200 portfolios with artwork, poetry, writing, and statements from the incredible artists in the JAC network. We have also curated new themed galleries to highlight the many subjects and styles our artists utilize in their work. Take a look at our portrait gallery, landscape gallery, nature and wildlife gallery, and abstract gallery.
Last month, as part of our continuous efforts to better display the diverse works of our over 300 network artists, we launched a new Gallery of the Month series. Every month we will be premiering a new gallery showcasing a wide range of art and writing under a unique monthly theme. Curated with care by a team of JAC interns, the galleries aim to spotlight different artists in our network and enable audiences to connect with the pieces in a new way. With hundreds of remarkable pieces in our online galleries and portfolios, we understand the importance of a guided viewing experience. It is our hope that this rotational showcasing will give our community an opportunity to engage with a wider array of art and artists in our network.
See our galleries page on the first of each month for a new collection of works by the talented artists in the JAC network.
“Working with the Gallery of the Month team has given me the ability to get in touch with my creative side. I’m learning the artwork and each artist of JAC. JAC has so much talent within and being able to design a united theme every month has fulfilled my love for the process of curation. Despite our gallery being online, I still feel connected with each artist. I’m excited to see how the galleries evolve every month.” – Katherine, gallery co-curator
Last month, for our first Gallery of the Month, we featured pieces that depict life inside prisons. With the new year and new presidential administration in the United States, we at JAC wanted to emphasize that while these new beginnings are exciting, much still needs to be done. We cannot forget the lives and stories of those who are cast aside and denied a voice. We must continue to fight for true justice and amplify the voices of those most directly impacted by mass incarceration.
Maia, one of the gallery curators, shared, “The collaborative effort in creating February’s gallery was what I valued most. When tasked with reflecting ‘Life Inside’ through a body of work, it was especially crucial that we give careful attention to accurately preserving and portraying individual artistic intentions while working to create a cohesive set of pieces. I enjoyed our many discussions and believe that a collective voice prevailed.” View our February gallery here.
This month, in honor of Women’s History Month, the gallery features pieces by the incredible women in JAC’s artist network. Jenan, one of the gallery curators, explained, “When planning this month’s gallery, we wanted to ensure that we could represent the wide range of art, talent, and styles from our group of women inside artists in the network. It’s always exciting to display the beautiful art we receive and this month is no different! I’m so happy that we were able to do this theme and am especially proud of the end result.”
The global community has a long way to go before achieving true gender equality, as misogyny still pervades many parts of modern society, including the art world. Women make up nearly half of artists nationwide, yet remain underrepresented in many art professions. A recent study of 18 major U.S. museums found that 87% of the featured artists are male and 85% are white.
Women also represent the fastest-growing incarcerated population in the United States. According to the ACLU, just 4% of the world’s female population lives in this country, yet nearly one-third of all female prisoners in the entire world are held here. More than half of all women in US prisons and jails (56%) are incarcerated for drug or property offenses, and Black women are two times as likely to be incarcerated as white women.
Women’s History Month commemorates the vital role of women in history and honors the achievements and struggles of all women in the United States. It is important that this month and every month we continue to make strides towards equal representation in the art world and everywhere. Check out our March Gallery of the Month, A Celebration of Women Artists, here!
We are extremely proud to have so many talented artists in the JAC network and are honored to be able to continue sharing their work with you in new and creative ways.
“It’s been so exciting to look at all the amazing pieces on our website through a new lens. Conceptualizing themes and putting together new galleries has allowed me to engage with the works in a much deeper way and I hope the galleries allow our audiences to do the same. There are so many extraordinary pieces on our website and I never stop finding works that surprise, amaze, and inspire me. I hope you enjoy looking through the galleries as much as we enjoy making them!” – Isa, gallery co-curator
We encourage you to engage with the galleries by leaving comments sharing your thoughts and reflections. We love hearing from our community! If you have ideas for a gallery theme you’d like to see in the future or any feedback about our galleries, submit them here.