Gallery of the Month: May

Welcome to the newest gallery in JAC’s Gallery of the Month series, where we showcase a wide range of art and writing under unique monthly themes. Check back on the first of each month for a new collection of works by the talented artists in the JAC network. To view past galleries of the month, see our Gallery Archive

With Summer approaching and temperatures rising, buds are beginning to bloom and the sun is starting to shine. Many of us at Justice Arts Coalition are working from home, so we’ve been especially appreciating the beautiful change of the seasons this year. As Winter melts into Spring, new colors emerge and nature comes to life! Many JAC artists have shared that they find inspiration in nature and we are endlessly moved by how profoundly they capture the vibrancy of the natural world. For many of our network artists, creating is a window to the outside — an opportunity to experience vivid beauty and light and color. In the words of JAC network artist Chris Trigg, “We evolved in the sun. We take it for granted cause we get it here, there, and everywhere. Except in the darkest corners of America. Certain prisons.” 

This gallery takes a walk through the changing of seasons, from the warm tones of Fall to the bright blues and greens of Summer. We hope this gallery will inspire you, as it has inspired us, to slow down and appreciate the wonders we are lucky enough to witness in the world around us. 

Enjoy this month’s gallery: The Changing of Seasons.

(Every First Snow) by Jordan Earls 

the snow is soft;
each flake gently
falling
and changing direction
until it finds its
designated place.
I watch as, with
each passing moment,
the earth dons her
wintery white gown.
her song is silent,
her dance is slow.
and then there is me
falling
in rhythm;
falling in
love
Finding the Fall by Chris Johnson

Impressive is the rainforest; rich, colorful, and bright;
As I walk through it, I feel I might just take flight. 
All of the sights and sounds; full of majesty, charm, and grace; 
I’m lost and wandering, but with an eager and meaningful pace.
Trees so great, intimidating in their power; 
Surrounding me on all sides, like a city full of towers.
I’m blinded by the rays of the sun through their canopy;
Look up as I see it is only the shadow of the vulture’s wings
Empty and menacing they keep circling above;
Taunting me, tormenting me, like a fearful caged dove.
Scared! I flee the waterfall in my view;
My place of tranquility, my peace may be renewed.
I make it to the fall, my heart breaking so fast 

More and more vultures smelling my baked skin 
Circling around in the sky wanting to dive in.
Hopeless I shuffle dying of thirst;
Will I find a waterfall, or will I have to die out here first? 
I begin to collapse as I have no reason to fight.
But as I fall, something over the hill graces my sight.
An oasis it looks like, shimmering on the sea,
My heart pangs, is this a mirage or could this really be? 
I pick myself up and find fire inside
Fuel so strong, death couldn’t even stop my stride.
An oasis it is: majestic, beautiful, and true;
As I saunter, something extraordinary comes into my view.  
There is no denying, this is as real as it can be,
The most breathtaking waterfall is right in front of me.
As I get close, I begin to repose, 
The radiance melting my pain, melting my sorrow.
Roaring waters, its voice melts away
All the anxiety and suffering I’ve experienced today.
As I get closer, the mist caresses my face,
And now all of my problems certainly have no place.
Invigorating the waters bring refreshment to my heart,
Loosing my worries that I’ve had from the start.
Intoxicating the waters bring satisfaction to my soul,
Giving me joy and contentment I left back of the roll.
Exquisite in its beauty, elegant in the grace,
I never thought the desert could bring me to such a magnificent place.
I finally found my waterfall and I thank the Lord above,
He led me to the place of my dreams, to the waterfall I just may learn to love. 

Do you have feedback or an idea for a future gallery of the month? Submit your suggestions here.