“Choice Matters.”

BLACK LIVES MATTER | Notes from Director Leslie Ferrin

Due to the extended run of Nature/Nurture, we have the opportunity to reflect on paths taken, connections made and shared experiences in our weekly series of FC News & Stories with each issue focusing on an individual artist in the exhibition. The ON NURTURE statements written by each artist acknowledges family, artist mentors, education and, particularly for Linda Sikora, reflects upon social and political spaces. 

But… when poised to release this newsletter featuring Sikora’s work, achievements, and writing, all of us at Ferrin Contemporary mutually agreed to pause all programming, social media and online communications in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement while we and the nation mourned the murder of George Floyd and protests took place throughout the world.

Our online stillness was not silence. Instead, we devoted the week to direct, individual conversations about race in America – human to human – within our various communities – our neighbors, families and among the artists, art professionals and collectors with whom we work. Reflecting on the past recognizes that, despite efforts to diversify and reform patterns of exclusion, it has not been enough. 

In this week’s director notes, Leslie Ferrin shares what we’ve learned from these discussions, provides links to what we are reading and the causes we are supporting. We encourage you to join us in our efforts by making donations and committing to support the changes that must take place.

“Silence is complicit.”

During the pause, we read, listened and took a staggering step back as our nation’s social and political spaces again revealed themselves as the stage for something that made everyone stand still…

Silence is complicit. 

Our online stillness and silence allowed us the time to reflect on the past and recognize that, despite efforts to diversify and reform patterns of exclusion, it has not been enough. 

Structural change is underway that will combat these established systematic patterns. During every conversation, we hear of priorities shifting to commitments and to pledges to create new opportunities. 

Choices matter. 

With each choice we make, we prioritize time and resources on who and what we read, listen to, learn from and ultimately choose to support economically through action, donation and purchases. 

While we cannot go back and change past complicity, we are all accountable for what happens tomorrow. The choices we make each and every day are within our immediate control and will lead us to the ultimate change needed in our political system on November 4, 2020. 

I want to personally thank Anina Major, one of the artists in this exhibition, for engaging in numerous, frequent and long conversations about race that began when we first met in 2018. These conversations have helped inform and guide me and continued throughout the past week. She inspires me to speak out and use the platforms we have – our gallery program and our social network – to open up these uncomfortable, difficult, but necessary conversations about race, about how to effect change, and what we can each do based on the commitment to racial justice and equality. 

Leslie Ferrin, director Ferrin Contemporary