Build Hope, Not Walls

 Found brick.

Found brick.

 Finished brick. "All We Are", ink acrylic, gold pigment and wax on found brick, 9"x2.75"x3.25", 2017

Finished brick. "All We Are", ink acrylic, gold pigment and wax on found brick, 9"x2.75"x3.25", 2017

You may be asking yourself, "is that a brick?". Yes, it's a brick, my first one to paint in fact! I was invited to participate in Build Hope, Not Walls, a fundraiser to help immigrants and refugees in Texas through donations to American Gateways, Casa Marianella, Preemptive Love Coalition and Refugee Services of Texas.

When asked to participate, I woke up the next morning with a clear image of what I would do. I went straight out to my yard and this is the first brick I picked up. Surprisingly, it had the word "Mexico" boldly embossed across the front. It was perfect!

I set to work on the disintegrated parts to make them look and feel like a geode or deposits of turquoise. Quickly, my humble brick was transformed into one with a message that will speak in unison with the other 150 artists participating in this event.

I was thinking about how the US relationship with Mexico is crumbling. Then, I began listing all the beautiful things that would be walled up on the other side starting with the people, then onto a geological perspective and then the Gulf of Mexico, the Mayan ruins, all of it. This brick represents the power of beauty that comes from the inside and how it can overcome both decay and barriers. I hope some of that comes across. I am not sure if that's a maker's mark on the side, but it does look a lot like one.

To learn more about the project, visit https://www.buildhopenotwalls.com/or come to the exhibit October 13-15 2017 at Big Medium Gallery in Austin, TX.