Do You Hear Us?

One year anniversary group exhibition April 15 - June 5 2011

This group exhibition marks the 1 year anniversary for the Papillion Institute of Art.  We have been honored over the past 12 months to present new works of art by captivating, creative contemporary artists.  We have had an array of art mediums presented in our space from fine art photography to performance art to musical acts.  We look forward to a continuous dialogue between us and our audience for years to come!

Photos from opening night facebooked & tweeted by some of our guest

"The initial inspiration behind this exhibition was inspired by the verdict in the Oscar Grant murder trail.  I wanted to re-introduce or at times introduce the conversation about race, racial profiling and police brutality in the 21st century.  This art show is a visual look at the beginnings of this kind of talk.  Beginning with Victims of Fear by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh where she captures the imagery of two young Black men both murdered by police officers one in New York the other in California, racial profiling is happening in those two places and nearly all points in between.  The photo by Barron Claiborne of Biggie & Guns was included as a way to say there has to be self responsibility taken with the projected images we put out and push in the public forum and media.  Perhaps if these police officers are listening to and watching the things being promoted in pop/hip hop culture than they may believe that the constant talk of guns, drugs, money, etc are recognizable ways that we communicate and treat each other.   But these questions lead me to ask how this might affect one's life on a global setting.  From the time of the Oscar Grant verdict until today so much has happened.  Egypt gained its independence and a revolution ensued in the middle east.  Technology was a crucial part in the making of those events.  People are connecting from all points of the globe on social media sights and ideas & solutions are being discussed and traded around.  When the media reported on something happening in the middle eastern countries during this people's revolution we could easily verify if what they reported was true thanks to camera phones and the internet.  Thus Do You Hear Us spawned into a question about corruption in authority.  Are we to trust blindly the authoritative system put in place to protect the people?  Artist Ronald Hall has two paintings one being The War Zone in it he depicts life in a war zone, a woman runs naked hands stretched out screaming, a child plays soccer as fires and bombs are circulating around him, another person weeps hands on their face.  The painting displays the emotion of disarray, panic and fright.  Their are many questions we can ask and countless other answers go along with that.  What I wanted to ask was DO YOU HEAR US"

Curator Michelle Joan Papillion


Tatyana Fazlalizadeh

Artist Statement:

I'm a portrait painter. I want to communicate social and political ideas to the viewer of my work through the eyes of the other human being shown in my painting.

The black male in America is and, has been, a target of America's fear. America fears him on the news. Fears him on the street at night, fears his ethnic name, fears his clothing, fears that he is a constant danger of criminality. Victim of American Fear (Inspired by Sean Bell and Oscar Grant) are paintings that express this fear.

These paintings, portraits of young black men with targets painted onto their torsos, depict the casual and perpetual killing of black men. They are to express the way that black men are profiled as intimidating, criminal beings who are to be feared, where the use of violence against them, whether provoked or not, is justifiable. The Oscar Grant/Joannes Mehrsele case is an example of this. Sean Bell is an example of this. Countless other unnamed murders of black men are examples of this. 

Victims of Fear Series inspired by Sean Bell (left) and Oscar Grant both 20 x 24 Oil on Canvas

 Screenshot from video of exhibition


Ronald Hall

Artist Statement:

I use art as a means of conveying my feelings about life. My paintings exemplify the embodiment of personal experiences and the world acknowledged. I grew up in the high crime and drug infested neighborhoods of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. I believe that growing up amidst a violent and challenging environment has had  a profound impact on how I choose to express myself as an artist.

I try to demonstrate through my art, my own interpretation of  historical and  or contemporary issues with an emphasis on race and  identity in America. I persist to demonstrate the injurious effects of visual representations and  misrepresentations in society and how it effects people's perception of one another in terms of race, physical appearance or social status. Movies, television, the media, or the internet can also be very influential when I create an image.  

Each painting starts off with an initial idea and then, in most cases, changes as it progresses. For most of the paintings, the computer plays an important role in the development process as far as color and or composition. The images used for the collage comes from various sources such as African American historical books, newspapers, the internet, movie clips or my own drawings. The images are usually scanned and or manipulated using digital art software.

The War Zone oil on canvas 36 x 48                                        Irrational Breakdown oil & collage on canvas 30 x 48

 Screenshot from video of exhibition Screenshot from video of exhibition


Barron Claiborne (BC AFRICANUS)

Artist Statement:

Barron Claiborne is a self taught photographer and began taking pictures at the age of ten after receiving a camera as a gift from his mother Betty Lou. The inspiration for my work is both historical and mythological.  The symbolic imagery represents dreams, stories and the oral traditions of my Southern and African ancestry.

Biggie & Guns mosaic photograph 30 x 40

Jon Genius

Artist Statement:

I used to be afraid of photographing people, my first photographs were of inanimate objects. I have grown to learn that there is an unspoken agreement that exists between the photographer and their subject. I have been captivated by the world around me, which has lead me to record and document it. Like Ansel Adams, “When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.” Whether a still image or a motion picture, the camera is a loaded gun and I seek to become a master marksman who takes care to avoid misuse of his weapon.

All Black Everything Untitled #1 20 x 24 photograph                          All Black Everything Untitled #2 20 x 24 photograph

 Screenshot from video of exhibition