Equality and Respect for All Exhibit
June 22 to August 19
Stop by to see this powerful display!
Where: River Walk Artists Gallery and Gift Shop
211 DeMers Avenue, East Grand Forks
When: Thursday – Saturday 2-8pm, Sundays 2-5pm
In a response to recent and ongoing events occurring on local, national and international levels, NWMAC partnered with residents of our region to participate in a series of workshops as a platform to let human rights voices be heard. The Equality & Respect for All workshops, led by Trey Everett and Janet Johnson, sought to remind everyone of their importance and equality, despite differences in background, race, gender and sexual orientation. Fifty-six 12 x12 canvases were created and discussed, revolving around our theme of Equality and Respect for All. Along with the canvases, spoken word, poetry and performing arts were also submitted to be viewed on a video screen in the gallery. Through this exhibit, we are striving to inspire people to process current events through artistic expression.
There will be an artist reception on Saturday, August 19 during the Art and Wine Walk from 3:00-5:00pm. Stop by to meet the artists from throughout our region! The exhibit will be closing afterwards.
Here is a listing of the of art with the artist name and explanation of each piece.
1 / Lady Liberty Persists; Stripes of Many Colors. Kristin Eggerling, Hallock, MN
The Statue of Liberty is a beacon, giving us strength; she is standing rm, unwavering throughout this storm with her lit torch reminding us what we stand for. The colors of this piece represent the diversity of who we are and what we bring to this world. This diversity is the depth in our society. Without it, what is the point?
2 / Stop the Hate. Peggy Montebello, Warroad, MN
Stop the hate… one “heart” at a time. My thoughts are… if each person does their part to stop hate, it will fix itself.
3 / As Barriers Break, Freedom of Life Releases and Grows. Michelle Walka, Mayville, ND
When thinking about equality and respect for all, I also think of many barriers that prevent us from embodying this with one another and within ourselves. These barriers are represented in the textured tape that blends in with the background. This “blending in” also signi es how often barriers become a part of a dominant norm, where it is dif cult to “see” how our beliefs, behaviors, and created systems actually perpetuate and solidify these barriers against equality and respect for all. However, as these barriers break open, our hearts also break open for one another. When equality and respect for all is embodied and lived out in our communities, there is freedom for life and freedom to grow. This is represented in the burst of colors and movement within the painting.
4 / All Lives Matter. Margaret Ehling, Red Lake Falls, MN
For so many years, I have thought soon we will realize that we are all created equal. Now I wonder, will that ever happen?
5 / Let Your Light Shine. Joni Anderson, Grygla, MN
My quote is special to me because it come from a Spiritual Leader I enjoy. She promotes positive thinking.
6 / A Forest Steeped in Diversity. Jill Levene, Angus, MN
The strongest forest is the diversified forest
The strongest farm is the diversified farm
The strongest business is the diversified business The strongest diet is the diversified diet
The strongest education is the diversified education The strongest nation is the diversified nation
The strongest people are a diversified people
The strongest life is a diversified life
A rainbow exists through the interactions of water and light A forest exists through the interactions of water and light But, diversified forests do not appear magically
As rainbows do
A diversified forest must be brewed, slowly
From the water and the light
Just as a complex tea must be brewed, slowly From the water, and the light, and the forest
And the rainbow
An explosion of diversified colors
Weaves the individual trees of the brewing forest together Equally
Can you see the forest for the teas?
7 / Untitled Diane Younggren, Hallock, MN
8 / Change the Power Structure. Eryn Killough, Crookston, MN
Only through a change in the structure of power will equality and respect for all begin to take form. America must be honest about its racist history and present in order to move forward.
9 / Use Your Hands to Speak. Beth Vigoren, Fosston, MN
Sometimes we talk about equality, but those words don’t create action. Let us use our hands to create the good deeds that our words fail to produce. Let us embrace everyone with an open comforting hand.
10 / Drowning Together. Trey Everett, Crookston, MN
This piece is about two people with opposing life views, political leanings, religious/spiritual beliefs, etc. etc. who are reaching out to impossibly welcome each other wholly and completely as they drown together rather than saving their own particular ideals.
11 / Join Hands & Heart. Mary Olson Barnes, Red Lake Falls, MN
12 / Untitled Therese Jacobson, Alvarado, MN
As I thought about my piece for Equality and Respect for All, an old song came on the radio with lyrics I hadn’t listened to carefully before. I thought the song, Crystal Blue Persuasion, was about the drug culture of the 1960’s and 70’s, but the lyrics clearly spoke about a new day coming when people would change, and in “every green eld, every town, and all children in every nation would have peace and brotherhood.” This symbolizes equality and respect to me, so my painting collage represents these qualities, showing people of all nationalities, along with the song’s lyrics. (Song by Tommy James & the Shondells)
13 / Wake Up to Humanity. Jodi Peterson, Halstad, MN
The first color I started with was blue, to represent the consciousness of the soul. I then mixed red for a blending of experiences. Drawing on branches for growth with dabs of yellow for enlightenment. At the top is the growing or reaching for balance. The words for how we are connected to each other, but within boundaries. It is when we step outside of ourselves that we can truly embrace each other.
14 / Cosmic Love: One Mother. Alicia Spilde, Karlstad, MN
I created this artwork with the intention of portraying equality for all under one shared mother, one Cosmic Love. I wanted to illustrate the human connection I feel on a universal level. Regardless of background, race, gender, or sexual orientation, we are created equal from this Cosmic Love. I chose a uterus to symbolize the mother – a powerful but loving and nurturing female figure. The painted swirls are the aura or spirit of the mother, spreading throughout the universe. This artwork gives a feeling of inclusiveness and oneness — a feeling I hope that can be spread throughout humankind.
15 / Happy Together. Andrea Thibert, Red Lake Falls, MN
When you’re at the ocean, standing on the coast, and you see that big body of water, you realize that we as humans are very small. There should not be any problems between people, because it’s a beautiful world. We really are all the same, no matter who or where you are in the world.
16 / Not Just Black and White. Kristina Gray, Crookston, MN
On the left are rigid blocks of black and white, like a chess board having equal squares. One the right the lines begin to curve and swerve in a chaotic way. That makes the black and white shapes more diverse. Layers of color and shapes are on the right side showing how the world is much more playful when not having strict rules of just black and white dimensions. The red “X” on the left means that there are other colors to be enjoyed and respected. If we claim the multiplicity of other cultures and backgrounds besides just our own, it makes our lives richer and more purposeful.
17 / Connected. Bonnie Stewart, Fosston, MN
Core to my belief is that all people are connected and the universe is our connector. The yellow background color represents how a smile, a kind word or a random act of kindness can bring people closer together. The rocks serve as a foundation of our connectedness. The single buttons show we are all unique in our individuality while the cluster of buttons show how we can do more together. Lastly, the trees represent how our roots are all intertwined, the tree trunk our individual strength and the branches of how by reaching out to each other we can learn, share and grow.
18 / Dreaming of Equality. Travis Hanel, Warren, MN
Equality and respect, to me, starts with the Native Americans and women. I tried to capture that with the use of colors of all the races and a dreamcatcher. Dreamcatchers allow all the negative to be caught and the good to pass through.
19 / Let’s Be Kind. Janet Johnson, Malung, MN
Mother Earth doesn’t discriminate. Winds blow, rain falls, mountains shift and streams and rivers ow with no regard for our color, gender, orientation, religion, ethnicity, political views or the size of our bank accounts. I like her attitude!
20 / Nature and Human Nature. Ross H. Hier, Crookston, MN
Although a rather “dark” piece, as a biologist it is hard for me to look at today’s world and not be disheartened by the skew in society’s extreme wealth, greed and non-sustainable human activities. We happily predict human population growth at levels that will put extreme pressures on our most basic necessities… clean water, healthy soils and clean air. There will be civil strife over clean water in the future. The breakdown of community speeds this process as those with monetary and political power, whether on purpose or not, push the “have nots” further into poverty with respect to natural resources and finances.
21 / Faces. Stephanie Olson, Thief River Falls, MN
My thoughts went to painting faces– are they the same person? Several people? I left the workshop thinking about what separates us and in what ways are we indistinguishable from each other.
22 / The Gap. Connie Nelson, Hallock, MN
My piece is about equal pay for equal work, regardless of gender, race or religion.
23 / It Was Never a Dress. Jennifer Woolcock, Warroad, MN Superheros come in all forms and live within each of us!
24 / All Life is Precious. Cyd Amiot, Warroad, MN
We may never know what a Life is all about. All Life has a purpose. Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. There is a reason for each and every one of us. He created us out of Love. He said himself in Revelation 22:13 “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the First and the Last.” He is the start and finish in this Life and Beyond. With God as Artist, the words resonate with me that all Life is based on water, we can’t live without it and it is truly a Gift from God.
25 / Respect Me. Debbie Aune, Gatzke, MN
Today I learned an artificial womb was created and was successful at growing an animal, and it was said that “Humans are on the horizon”!? I’m screaming with fear inside. God help us.
26 / Break the Chains. Laurel Bergstrom, Roseau, MN
All my adult life I have dealt with addiction and mental health. I have been working to help others with the same issues that I have battled. My piece shows from the darkness to the light, it is possible to not live in that pit of darkness! But we need help to reach the light. Don’t hate the addict, hate the disease. Don’t hate the person, hate the behavior. If it’s hard to watch it, imagine how hard it is to live it! Please help! Reach out! Break the chain!
27 / Faith is Bigger. Alicia Berard, Greenbush, MN
I painted “let your faith be bigger than your fear” because with God we can do anything. God does not discriminate, just like we shouldn’t to each other.
28 / Evolve People, Evolve! Mara Hanel, Warren, MN
The election results happened. What kind of message is this, America? To the world, to my children? From space our world glows, but within most places on earth, the glass ceiling is still very real; and men with power and control issues are elected into leadership. Nevertheless, she persisted.
29 / Labels. Briana Ingraham, Red Lake Falls, MN
We all define ourselves with many labels: sister, brother, mother, father, Christian, Muslim, etc. These labels are a part of each and every person, no matter our background, no matter how “different” we may think we are from the outside. But as unique as each person is, we all share many of these labels. Since it is easier to love and embrace another who we see as similar to us, this piece represents just how much we actually have in common with every person we meet. We need to do better at looking past our differences and for the similarities and commonalities that unite us.
30 / Torn At The Edges. Zoe Everett, Crookston, MN
My piece is about how the more you open yourself up and accept others, the more the lines that society has made start to blur. My piece is made up of torn and ripped magazine cutouts. I did this to show that people come together as they destroy barriers that create separate groups and categories.
31 / Everyone. AJ Killough, Crookston, MN
Everyone can and must live together in harmony to achieve a brighter future.
31 / Untitled Courtney Shaver, Warroad, MN
33 / Love One Another. Jeanie Peterson, Warroad, MN Loving one another goes a long way!! “Love one another” John 15:12 My faith is important to me.
34 / Unique. Londa Olson, Roseau, MN
Each snow flake is different
This is something one of my uncles liked to say, and it’s important that we accept and respect each other in spite of our differences.
35 / All Blood Runs Red. Ann Piersol, Red Lake Falls, MN
Inside, under the skin, we’re the same. We all have have hearts and livers and blood, etc… We’re all the same underneath.
36 / We Are Better Together. Terri Hams, Red Lake Falls, MN
37 / Love & Light. April Symes, Warroad, MN
Red is a powerful color. Power, passion, hate, love–it represents so many things. The quote used here from Martin Luther King Jr. gives great visualization and direction. It causes me to think twice when responding to hatred, ignorance, ugliness in the world today.
38 / We All Bloom in the Same Garden. Ann Piersol, Red Lake Falls, MN
We are all basically the same, we might look different, but we all grow the same, bloom the same, live the same. We all have the same life. We’re all alive. We’re different in appearance but not in life.
39 / The Elegant Double Helix. Barbara Seeger, Red Lake Falls, MN
Elegant and timeless, the beautiful double helix molecule holds our blueprint. Like a family heirloom, DNA holds the genetic gift of our ancestors and parents. Found in every living cell, all human DNA differs only by 0.1% to 1%. Can equality and respect prevail when we realize all human DNA is 99% to 99.9% identical?
40 / Your Heart, Your Map. Cortney Sather, Warroad, MN
My painting is about trusting your heart, following your dreams, and learning to be who you are. There is so much judgement tossed around. Everyone has expectations for everyone else, including complete strangers. Why should the viewpoints of others define us? We forget who we are and what our dreams are when we live to be what everyone else wants us to be. The point of my painting is that we all have a map drawn in OUR OWN hearts that we should follow. We all have hopes and dreams, go after them. Don’t forget them. Grow within yourself and bloom into the person YOU want to be (symbolized by the flower). Just like real roads, the map in our hearts will have detours. Plans and dreams change, and that is okay! The heart in my painting is sewn on with big gaps because of the detours and change. It won’t always be a set and solid path, but we will make it. SO ALWAYS FOLLOW YOUR HEART!
41 / Awareness. Kat Allen, Grafton, ND
Animals only see the world through their own eyes. A lion does not consider how the tree grows its leaves. A fish does not ask a rock how old it is. But a human child can look to the stars and wonder… As humans, we have the ability to see through our own eyes and the eyes of others. It’s a sort of “magic” called Awareness. If you cannot see the world through another’s eyes, then you are not aware, and you are an animal. It’s that simple. You must try to see –- be it a man, woman, lion, tree, fish, rock, child or star–- to be aware of the environment and understand the capabilities of another. We are all strong in different ways, made of the same particles… to atoms… to molecules…”We are all of dust and to dust we shall return…” My dust will be of magic. Will yours?
42 / Untitled Leslie Brandon-Sondreal, Middle River, MN
43 / All Minnesota. Kim Hruba, Warroad, MN
Celebrating diversity is the theme for my Equality & Respect for All submission. Especially in our more homogeneous communities, it can be difficult to see diversity. But beyond skin tone, it’s in our interests, our ages, our experiences. There is beauty and peace to be found in diversity if we’re willing to see it. Let us see it.
44 / The Root of Grace. Julie Elick, Roseau, MN
John 3:16-17 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (Equality) 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (Respect)
45 / Genesis 9:13. Susan Windsor, Roseau, MN
My piece is about God’s Covenant between Him and all mankind.
46 / The Earth Sighs. Laurel Montana, Warroad, MN
We need to take care of Mother Nature. The Earth doesn’t belong to us, we belong to it and we are responsible to care for this gift.
47 / Love is Love. Paris Sondreal, Middle River, MN
We need to find the love in everything even if it looks incorrect! Sometimes, it’s hard to find.
48 / Circle of Hope and Love. LaVonne Forsberg, Thief River Falls, MN
I did a stained glass window with 24 children for Redeemer Lutheran Church in Thief River Falls, and I wanted to share a smaller, painted version. I feel like the people of the world have to work together, and that goes for everybody. It’s not just about the givers and the takers. When people need help, we need to help them. People also need to learn to help themselves.
49 / Hope of the Future. Jan Osborn, Thief River Falls, MN
If it wasn’t for our own predjudices, our children wouldn’t have them.
50 / Nevertheless, She Persisted. Danica Robson, Thief River Falls, MN
51 / You Are Valued. Paulette Christianson, Badger, MN
We have a lot of turmoil in our world and country with government, law enforcement, racial issues, along with personal self-esteem. Our Equality and Humanity seems to be upset!
Our forefathers came to this country to make new beginnings with the belief in God. It is here there is Freedom of Speech, law and living.
The picture is a branch from the tree of Life. It says that we are unique, valued and important. It also says that there is a choice to make plans but to be open to changes that occur.
We are One under the sun with peace and Freedom. May we continue in unity and work together to keep it that way.
Be Unique – You are Valued – You Are Important – Live It – Love It – One Under the Sun! First, Peace!
Freedom – It’s great to have plans, but it’s more important to be open to the unexpected. That’s the secret to living.
52 / Untitled Bonita Hanson, Hallock, MN
In terms of global equality and respect, it starts at home. From first interactions with each other, our differences are there. Embrace them… Respect them. Orange–Uplifts, Confidence, Socialization Yellow–Positivity, Confidence, Energy
Tree of Life–Our Interconnection Buttons & Circle–Imagery of Optimism
Expect Respect–You need to know it to achieve it
Regional Respect–It starts at home
Maps–Different cities in our area
Material–Different body shapes, cut from “different fabrics” Holding Hands–Together we are stronger
53 / Peaceful Path. Karen Mueller, Red Lake Falls, MN
Thinking about equality, so often, change does not come easy. My hope is that the changes occurring between people and in society happen peacefully.
54 / Do Not Harm. Janet Johnson, Malung, MN
Life would be so much simpler if everyone focused less on themselves and more on maintaining a peaceful life and helping others. Instead, we pry and prod, we judge and condemn. Meanwhile, weeds grow in our backyards. Be good to people!
55 / Love is Colorblind. Crystal Kolden, Gatzke, MN
I painted “Love is Colorblind” on a background of many colors to show and emphasize how love reaches across all people and places.
56 / Life is Your Bullseye. Matthew Nord, Halstad, MN