'Break Glass' and start talking again: V.L. Cox in Virginia | Rock Candy

Thursday, October 26, 2017

'Break Glass' and start talking again: V.L. Cox in Virginia

Posted By on Thu, Oct 26, 2017 at 5:29 PM

The Longwood Center for the Visual Arts in Farmville, Va., is just a little over an hour down the road from Charlottesville, but it approached Little Rock artist V.L. Cox about her "End Hate" artwork assemblages before the racist, anti-Semitic crowd (some very fine people among them, Donald Trump said) descended with their tiki torches and chants and killer car on Thomas Jefferson's hometown.

Though I don't usually write about out-of-state exhibitions of work by Arkansans — there are just too many — the show is so appropriate to the times that I thought I'd make note of it here and use the slideshow above as an example of some of the 50 works included in it. Longwood has named the show "Break Glass" for Cox's work "It's Time We Talked" of two tin cans tied together by string in a glass box. “If we are ever to come close to ending hate and its attributes of bigotry, racism, and injustice, we must confront its ugly legacy as well as be able to recognize all of the comfortable places in which hate hides,” Longwood executive director Rachel Ivers is quoted as saying in a news release.

Folks familiar with Cox's work who make it to the show will recognize some of her pieces — including "It's Time We Talked" — from her "Murder of Crows" exhibit in Little Rock. Thirty of the works in the show are new. Cox said she hopes the work will make people "stop and think." The lack of civil discourse, the rise of extremist right-wing groups and the attack on the civil rights of the poor, minorities, women, LGBT people, Jews — all these things make us wonder what the hell is happening to the United States. While we wonder and rage, Cox makes art.

Cox wants people to be able to talk to one another again to find common ground. But she's no pushover: she believes extreme expressions of hate call for confrontation."You have to have the courage to call people out, to say that's not right," when they spew racist bilge about their fellow Americans,  she said.

The show runs Nov. 3 through Feb. 18, 2018, and may tour afterward.

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