As I've been applying for grants, seeking donations and promoting the Metamorphosis mural project, I've been describing the theme and message as a celebration of diversity and inclusivity, personal and societal transformation, and of individuals becoming their most authentic selves.
That's the nutshell version. Yesterday, I was asked to further elucidate the message of the project for someone interested in organizing a group butterfly-making event. I've been trying to organize the miasma of my thoughts on the subject, but I find it impossible to condense it into one clear statement.
This is in large part because I do not believe in hitting people over the head with art, especially community-based projects. I feel it is my job to amplify the voices of the participants, and to do my best to include marginalized perspectives. This is not a project that was commissioned by an entity to make a particular statement; it is a grass roots project that I felt motivated to offer my community.
|A mock-up of the mural concept on the wall at 425 4th Ave. Olympia, WA|
The foundation of the concept is rooted in my conviction that a diverse society is stronger, richer and more fun than homogeneity. When we embrace each other's differences, we all benefit from the unique strengths that we collectively bring to the table. In the current climate of culture war, I am gravely concerned for the safety and well-being of my LGBTQIA, BIPOC, and Jewish friends and family.
It is not my place to position myself as a spokesperson for any of the above-mentioned groups. My hope is to include as many voices as possible of those who are marginalized and those who support them in a message of solidarity.
|That's my kid at a Monarch Sanctuary in Michoacan during the 2016 migration.|
|All of the giant clusters hanging from the trees are masses of butterflies!|
The butterfly (usually a Monarch) is a ubiquitous symbol in Mexico and for Mexican Americans, representing the act of migration. Immigration policies in the U.S. are extremely problematic, and the results are devastating. It is impossible for me to facilitate this mural without acknowledging this layer of meaning and metaphor.