“In 2020, I was in a motorcycle accident that left me broken, bleeding, and confined to a wheelchair unable to walk.
There are several symbolic references in this work that describe the feelings I was going through. The bull illustrates my own resistance and fight to overcome the accident so that I could walk and live again.
I painted myself holding the figure of a nun, which to me symbolizes the feeling of ecstasy that pulled me back to life and helped me to resist the pain.
Through my own experience with resistance, I am reminded of others before me who have overcome personal struggle and institutional oppression. My work is expressed through the lens of the African American and Hispanic experience, and I strive to create positive narratives by giving voice and identity to subjects not often depicted in art.”
Emmanuel “Manny” Doublin is an artist raised in the Coachella Valley. His influences are drawn primarily from his environment and from growing up in low-income areas in the Western Coachella Valley.
Doublin’s work often focuses on creating positive narrative, as well as giving identity and voice to his subjects. Environment is extremely important within his work. He captures the sense of place, and both the fragility and extremes within the valley.
Brittney Shelton Price
“When given the prompt ‘acts of resistance’ in relation to the Black experience in America, I looked more into this history. I discovered our brilliance and our resilience against injustice, tracing it back in time from yesterday’s slavery to today’s police brutality. I tapped into the pain, the inequities, and the prejudice.
I asked myself, how can people survive in an environment so toxic and with systems in place that directly cause them harm? What is it that allows the fortitude to withstand such cruelties, and not only survive atrocities but thrive with both style and grace? The answer came to me in the form of a negro spiritual, a song often sung by plantation slaves in fields as a distraction, and to keep up production pace to avoid beatings.
The songs use themes such as hope and a brighter tomorrow to remind the enslaved of the glory that awaits them. That glory is freedom.
The Sankofa symbol adorns the sky as a reminder of ancestral omnipresence. In ancient Ghanaian culture, the image served as a representation that you must know your past to walk into your future. Power, resistance, and resilience are held in one’s ability to see beyond the circumstance. To actively seek and Choose Joy. I can’t think of a more powerful act of resistance.”
Originally from the Coachella Valley, Brittney S. Price is a Los Angeles-based artist and muralist specializing in impactful visual commentary on current events.
As a female Black American, Brittney’s perspective on life is unique, and her art provides representation for this often overlooked demographic. It is Brittney’s intent to uplift, celebrate, and teach her community using art as a vessel.
Voices Moaning Behind the Altar, 1993
Looking Up from The Bottom of Life, 2016
“My art reflects the feelings and thoughts of those who have struggled with experiences outside of their control, those who are pushed to the edge during times of political conflict, and those who struggle to assimilate to a new country.
As a refugee from South Vietnam, I have worn many hats to adjust and strive in this new land. I am an immigrant, an Asian, a female, a mother, and an artist. These elements have mingled together to create my identity, and I express them in my art practice. Although my experiences may be unique, I believe art can be a medium that connects us all.”
Ann Phong is a Vietnamese American mixed media artist known for her paintings depicting her experiences as a Vietnamese American Woman and with environmental issues. Phong currently teaches art at California State University Pomona.
Deborah McDuff Williams
“The Door represents opportunities that are opened or closed to those who turn the handle. A person entering through a door can either be shut in or shut out. This door is a play on words and invites you to consider words that are harmful and those that are constructive. Whether written or spoken, words communicate messages. Word choices can define reality. Words can create action or inaction.
The Door is made from steel, which signifies strength and struggle. Some doors are hard to open, while others are hard to close. The colors represent challenges between differences, as well as unity. Red represents both bloodshed and shared blood. Green is for nature and wealth. Yellow represents fertility, nature, and life. Black signifies massive spiritual energy. The struggle that exists between these colors does not interfere with their similarities that unify them in this door.”
Deborah McDuff Williams earned a B.A. from Antioch University of Los Angeles and an M.F.A. in Visual Arts from the College of Art and Design at Lesley University in Cambridge. She also studied Interior Design at Woodbury University. Williams lives and works in Desert Hot Springs, California.
Deborah McDuff Williams
“Strange Fruit was inspired by the song by Billie Holiday. It was written about the lynching of Black Americans with lyrics that compare the victims to the fruit of trees. It became a powerful protest song against lynching and racism. The magnolia tree is a nod to the flower the singer was often seen wearing in her hair.”
Deborah McDuff Williams
Wash Hate Away
“I have vivid memories of my grandmother scrubbing dirty clothes on the washboard. I can picture her tensed biceps and veins protruding through her hands as she toiled to wash away the innocent soiling of work and play.
How much force and determination will it take to wash away vicious stains of racism and other forms of hatred? Emotional detergents do not exist. Only through persistent struggle and the cleansing of human hearts can wash away the filth of hatred. Washing away hate can save lives.”
Every Black Man Needs a Body Cam
“After George Floyd’s murder, it became increasingly clear to me as a Black man that I need to find a way to speak for myself when I am gone. I asked myself, how can we leave behind a document that tells our story? I thought about a bodycam as a method of testimony, the only voice that could speak for me when I am gone. However, there is no foolproof way, even with a bodycam, that I could ever tell my story.
The man at the center of the work is my great-nephew. He was born in California and knows very little about the South. Surrounding him are images of my father, who was a fearless defender of our family. His images are guardian angels that look over and protect my great nephew and his family. The white and black bars represent the “chain gang” and the oppressive legal system under which people of color struggle.
I asked friends and family members to sign their names as an understanding of the struggles and risks all that Black men and women encounter each day.”
“This work was inspired by my reading of the book The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead. I was fascinated by the idea and images of an actual railroad underground from the southern states to the Canadian border. I couldn’t imagine how enslaved people could risk their lives to get on that train.
The martyrs in this work represent the struggles, foresight, and courage of our ancestors. They had the vision and strength to stand up and usher their people to freedom.
After the end of the Obama administration, I saw “hope” turn back on itself for the many people who make up America, including those who identify as LGBTQ+, women, and people of color.
I wonder, is there hope? I am not optimistic.”
Deborah McDuff Williams
Living in My Car, 2014
My name is Invisible
An imaginary empty vessel
lying by the wayside
thrown away like rags
tattered, torn, and displaced
Hoping to be greeted by a caring face
You walk by afraid to look at my ghostly appearance
Because I live as a vagrant
And contribute to the jobless filth
On the streets looking for handouts
I sleep close to those like me on cardboard
We cover ourselves for safety
Maybe our existence makes you want to cry
Inaction cares less if the invisible lives or dies
Labor laws prevent me from earning an honest wage
Who hires people my age?
Is my value too small to be seen?
Stop what you are doing
Let’s talk to find solutions
Together we can prevent your children from becoming invisible too
Cluster D. Resistance
“In this clustered-up knot of color, clouds, and characters, the piled-up figures feature many representations of resistance.
A hard hat is often worn to protect and prevent injury from heavy objects dropping on our heads. For me, it represents my everyday subconscious hardheaded to resist against taking in ideas that fall around me. The wide eyes resist losing focus to the point that at times they become bloodshot and tired. But they can’t resist being wide because they must witness things life throws in view, things that sometimes hit you in the eye leaving it black and blue.
Even swollen, the eyes resist being closed so that we can continue to see, to heal, and to keep moving forward.
The green plastic army soldiers are a metaphor. Not only do they characterize military resistance, but they are also a nostalgic memory of another time when I would imagine them as heroes instead of soldiers. And to when I would resist putting them away only to have my parents painfully step on one. Yet, they didn’t break! They are an example of youthful resistance in opposition to the teachings of adults and the systematic chain of growing responsibilities.
The whoopee cushion represents my mind gassed up with the pressures of life.
When the weight of the feelings I hold inside creates too much pressure, the whoopee cushion pushes out hot air, crap ideas, and sometimes a few diamonds!
I love superheroes, but I could never fully relate to Captain America. I resisted the shield the same fiery way the prideful shield resisted me. In realizing that commonly shared resistance, I found a flaming common middle ground we both defend!
It’s only when you step back through it all that you can see the knotted-up gnawing head of resistance and resilience.
All these things and more represent my way of moving forward and are a testament to my sticks and stones way of thinking and of powering through the odds.”
Denny Pascasio is an artist and designer who goes by the name Gutterdoodles. Originally from the East Coast, he lives and works in Palm Springs, CA.
Justice for Trayvon Martin: A National Day of Action
“Trayvon Martin was an unarmed African American teenager killed on February 26, 2012, by George Zimmerman, an armed white man.
His death sparked a national debate over racial profiling and the role of armed neighborhood watches. My photographic essay is a response to the history of brutality, patterns of racial discrimination, and the response of the Black Lives Matter movement.”
Alfonso Murray is a humanitarian and photojournalist. He uses his images to tell stories about people and often works with social organizations that focus on issues ranging from health to human development. Murray lives in Palm Springs, CA.
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