two years ago(2016)….. A year before we moved to 2nd & Lead I had started reading about the relationship between artists and gentrification. I had spent the past 8 years on my hands and knees setting tile in local Mcmansions to dump any and all income into creating a sustainable art space. Shortly after moving into the space a neighbor business owner said, “Let’s make this the next Wynwood.” I didn’t mention I had just returned from Miami a few weeks ago and had stumbled among the remnants of an industrial, working class neighborhood turned art party- Wynwood. I can’t ever seem to shake my nostalgia around work- people made things, they made a living, built a business. Developers want us to believe in transformation.
in progress …(summer 2017) on our street, twice a day- a steady stream of people travel to and from the Albuquerque Rescue Mission for food and additional resources. In my mind, it is a welcome reminder of the deep disparities thickening in our communities. Occasionally, it’s a little more than just passing by, I get to know their name. For women living on the street finding a safe place is a huge challenge. It was the beginning of June, a young woman we will call “D” started using our bathroom about twice a day. A few, short days later another artist was completely alarmed by D’s presence in the building. It always surprises me when progressive activists engaged in #metoo, #blacklivesmatter readily assign threatening stereotypes to people. Reflexively, D was labeled as a threat. It was the summer we hosted our first social practice visiting artist. Christine Wong Yap’s project, Belonging was an outsider’s foray into one’s sense of belonging in a community. “The goal of Belonging is to reveal the pivotal experiences that shape one’s sense of belonging and connectedness to a place and country, and how it ultimately defines our authentic selves; and to say, We All Belong Here. http://christinewongyap.com/work/2017/belonging/index.html the experience made for great conversations …….