Heritage & Opportunities Lost.
Can we express our affinities and mutual feelings without labels? Are labels getting in the way of an equitable society? Even when someone is trying to be sympathetic with regard to a person or community there is often a label attached.
I am an artist and grew up in a family where just about everyone practiced one or more art disciplines. We spoke about art as much and maybe more than say, sports. In fact sports were never as important as art and literature. This is also a family that spoke Spanish at home and only at home, never in public. My family emigrated during the era that if you wanted to succeed in America you changed your behavior in an effort to blend in. Although you would never blend in, still the effort had to be made. You ignored the insults, you kept your head down and your mouth shut. Publicly celebrating your cultural identity was not an option.
I learned how to behave “white”, how to get things done with patience and hard work. I learned that you can get a lot accomplished if you don’t care who gets the credit.
I am an artist, not a Brown artist, just an artist.
I am of Mexican and Indigenous North American Indian heritage. Growing up in that home environment has influenced my work in countless ways. But I cannot say that my art represents that heritage.
My art represents the confluence of two cultures. The small river of my family washed white by the larger river of America. Heritage & Opportunities Lost.
I love seeing the current generation of BIPOC artists openly celebrating their heritage. These artists are like pebbles gathering at a bend in the river forcing it to change its direction: This too will take time.
I heard someone say in a very sincere way that to change the status quo we need to look at the situation through the “equity lens”. My heart sank in disparity. That lens will never come into focus if the eyes looking through it haven’t lived the experience. My heart sank because the people that can affect change are holding this lens.
Equality is equity. Fairness, impartiality and acceptance of identity are equity. Economic fair practice is equity.
Art is a great communication device. Images and sounds of social injustice are flooding our senses through art right now. How will the world respond? Can we step into a new America?Art is one of the metrics by which we measure the diversity of society. Will society respond?An equitable environment leads to diversity. Diversity is the major factor in the success of any organism.
I am an artist.
I am your brother/sister
I am your father/mother
I am your son/daughter
I am a brown man
I am Ron
Just so ya know.
Ron Piercy is a sculptor, painter, printmaker, jeweler & gallery owner.
You can reach him by responding to this blog.