A Statement on Black Lives Matter
on Friday, June 26, 2020
The Des Moines Art Center believes in the power of art to inspire personal, political, and social transformation and stands in solidarity with our community – staff, visitors, artists, and neighbors. We acknowledge that we have sometimes faltered in fighting the systemic racism and violence faced by people of color in this country and our own community. We commit to a conscious effort to increase equity for all, and invite our supporters to join us on this journey. While no statement can fully address the pain Black Americans have experienced and continue to feel, we can use our platform to support Black Lives Matter, recognize injustice, and raise the voices of Black artists and community members. Many works in our collection address racially-motivated violence. Des Moines-based artist and professor Mitchell Squire’s Gladiators calls to mind the tragic death too many men and women like George Floyd have faced in America. The trauma and lost lives are depicted through layering and repeating of the stark image of a paper shooting target.
The following links are meant to share some of the resources for awareness, reflection, and actions that Art Center staff have found helpful, and spread information about organizations in our city that are working towards equity.
(Above) Mitchell Squire (American, born 1958)
Lithograph on paper. Printed in multiple shades of black from two aluminum plates.
43 1/2 × 29 5/8 inches
Des Moines Art Center Permanent Collections; Purchased with funds from the Edmundson Art Foundation, Inc., 2014.5