“Response” Online Exhibition from Kala Art Institute

Two of my recent pieces, “Tenderly, Cheryl” and “When, America?” from The Tenderly Project are featured in a new online exhibition, called “Response,” at the Kala Art Institute. The works featured in “Response” reflect on life in the time of the pandemic, and artists’ expressions in concert with protests against our nation’s ongoing racism that permits police (and non-police) brutality against Black people and people of color. “Tenderly, Cheryl” features a portrait of Cheryl, who was experiencing homelessness at the time of the pandemic. As patients in New York and elsewhere were brought to hospital tents for treatment, Cheryl also relied on a tent for survival. “When, America” features the portraits of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, and asks the question, “When, America, will there be liberty and justice for all?” Please visit Kala’s website to see the excellent artwork that is featured.

The Tenderly Project is a meditation on the sacred beauty and value of each being. (Not all subjects of the Tenderly Project will be people.) Each poster features a representation of someone, along with the word “Tenderly,” interacting with a thick, jumbled tangle of plants and flowers representing the chaotic, exuberant, too-much-to-comprehend fullness of life.

My personal intention is to draw while in a state of prayerful contemplation of the sacred beauty and dignity of the being and a desire for their wellness or healing, extending to other beings whose lives are touched by or parallel their own. My social intention is to share the finished art with others to nurture a collective awareness of holding that being, as well as others with shared experiences, tenderly in our thoughts, behaviors, laws, programs, and institutions, as a necessary component of supporting justice and peace in our world.

If you’re interested in participating in the Tenderly Project please contact me.

Detail from “Tenderly, Cheryl” by Kim Vanderheiden

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