Community Roundtables with Heather Hart
Heather Hart (NY) works in a variety of media including interactive and participatory installation art, drawing, collage, and painting. One of her installations was on view at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center. The work is a response to Dr. Charles Smith’s artist-built environment titled the African-American Heritage Museum + Black Veterans Archives.
Hart created spaces designed to generate conversation and interactive reflection about the informal understandings—the unspoken community rules—that govern our behaviors surrounding race.
Workshops began with a brief discussion about her installation, followed by a roundtable or an edit-a-thon engagement activity. Roundtable intergenerational conversations and Wikipedia edit-a-thons brought people together to consider contemporary issues of race, how history is recorded, and the underrepresentation of minority artists in the art historical canon.
Workshop participants explored the intersection between historical narratives provided by Hart and their personal experiences. Important ideas that came into consideration were the relativeness of truth, the idea of “forefatherness” (ideas handed down by family or community), and the need to continually reconsider community restraints.
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