Boston University hosts art exhibit exploring various global and social issues – Boston University News Service

By Amanda Bang
Boston University Press Service

On display through March 18, “Life Altering: Selections from a Kansas City Collection” explores and comments on a variety of relevant global issues such as inequality of wealth and power, social justice, race, slavery, environmental issues and more.

The collection, located in the Faye G., Jo and James Stone Gallery inside the Boston University College of Fine Arts building, features works that were collected by Bill and Christy Gautreaux, who have been collecting art for 25 years. , depending on exposure.

Asad Faulwell, 39, is one of the artists who have their artworks in the exhibition. Her piece, “Phantom 2”, 2017, visually explores a variety of concepts with the use of acrylic, pins and photo collage.

Faulwell said it was an “important piece” for him as it was a step he took as an artist to make some changes to his style of art.

“It was the first time I moved from figuration to abstraction after a very long time,” Faulwell said. “It was the first time I showed an abstract painting probably since 2008.”

The artwork uses Islamic textiles to pay homage to its Iranian roots and influence.

“My mom’s family is Iranian, so kind of related to that part of my family,” Faulwell said. “The house I grew up in had a lot of Iranian decorative items, so lots of patterns, lots of meticulous items, very attention to detail…that’s the aesthetic I grew up with that came into my life. work.”

Faulwell has always been very attached to colonialism and gender power dynamics. This is why he used photos of female warriors from the Algerian War of Independence for this piece.

“I have always wanted to link my work to events, people or places in history and this has continued throughout my work,” he said. “These women were largely left out of this story, so it was a way to bring them back into this narrative and bring them back into the dialogue around the topic.”

Faulwell said he intentionally used historic architecture in these collages of photos of women to emphasize the importance of women’s role in history.

“It was like my way of building monuments to them using their own images to build this monument,” Faulwell said.

Helen Li, 20, a student at BU College of General Studies, was surprised and intrigued by the profound meaning contained in all the artworks in the exhibition.

“When you first see the art, you don’t really know what the art conveys,” Li said. “But when you read the description, you can learn more about what the artist is trying to to say.”

Li said it was brave for these artists to convey these social messages through art, as it includes “exposing your heart” to a wide audience.

“With writing, you’re probably not going to get the attention of people who don’t already largely agree with you, whereas in art, because it’s so coded and so cryptic and often hard to decipher what the artwork is originally about, I think that can be an interesting way to capture the attention of someone who disagrees with you,” Faulwell said.

Haneul Shin, 21, senior BU, was another onlooker at the exhibition. Although she felt the exhibit was a “unique experience,” she had mixed feelings about expressing and learning about social issues through art forms.

“Some people might prefer to read and watch videos about it, and others might understand it through art,” Shin said. “I personally prefer to read books, but this one is related to many of my friends and I understand why they were very interesting”

However, Shin said some pieces touched her more deeply than others. Seeing Hayv Kahraman’s 2015 artwork “Kachakchi,” which explores the artist’s personal history as an Iraqi refugee, Shin remembered a book she had read for a class, Exit West. She said she liked seeing related topics inside and outside of the classroom.

“It really reminded me of the perspectives of the book,” Shin said. “The exhibition included different art products that dealt with different important issues in our world that people deserve to know about.”

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