HuffPost - September 2016

Some might say that the world is a mess right now. Others point out that it could be worse. In our war torn world, it depends on who you are and the place that you live. In light of the ever-growing list of crises crossing all borders and cultures, the curatorial partnership of Guttfreund Cornett Art has mobilized a group of 86 artists to address this escalation of violence, human rights violations, and environmental concerns. Throughout history, art has reflected its time. Art mirrors the aesthetic standard of the day and also provides a window into the historical context of the time. Works such as Andy Warhol’s, Big Electric Chair or Picasso’s Guernica serve as iconic reminders and powerful statements on social issues of their time. Artists often see their place to provoke, to voice, to enlighten. This long-standing role of the artist as activist is at the heart of “Social Change: It Happens to One, It Happens to All”, an art exhibition taking place at Saint Mary’s College of Art in Morago, CA September 18 - December 11, 2016.

Gutfreund Cornett Art’s mission is to create exhibitions in venues around the U.S. on themes of “art as activism.” Karen Gutfreund believes, “There is much that is needed to be said, to make people stop, look and listen, to confront social injustice issues. Art can often say what words cannot. We want to bring powerful artwork to the general public that reflects on these issues and encourages change.”

This exhibition focuses on a broad range of human rights violation issues which have risen dramatically to the surface in the last few years. The exhibition’s statement explains,

“Human rights can no longer be thought of as separate and belonging to a privileged few, but rather that these rights are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible for all”

This exhibition entangles such hot-button issues as wealth disparity, immigration, racism, gender and equality issues, reform of the criminal justice system, and gun violence. Voice and visual image combine to form a powerful commentary.

Eric Almanza, an artist and a teacher for Los Angeles Unified School District, has witnessed too often the chaotic aftermath embedded in students’ experience, following their parents who have made the dangerous journey across the border, hoping to give their children a better life. Eric has observed, “They don’t come here to mooch off a broken welfare system. These migrants cross the border to work, not one, but two and sometimes three jobs.” His piece In Search of a New Home is dedicated to those who have made that journey. ...
Read full commentary and experience the art at HuffPost