EVENT: Central Features Set to Host “Artists’ Town Hall” Regarding Responses to Violence and Trauma

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“I opened Central Features Contemporary Art in Sept 2014 because I wanted my investment in ABQ to combine art and business, and I wanted to help promote artists whose work I respect and admire,” said Nancy Zastudil.

Nancy is a local gallery/small business owner, who is hosting a “town hall” style event later this month.

Monday Nov. 14, 7pm [Details]

The event focuses on issues and emotions that surround  violence and trauma in our communities and individual lives. Not only their presence, but the event serves to provide a space for a conversation, about our responses to violence and trauma, alike.

“The current exhibition, titled “Bang! Bang!,” is by Detroit-based artist Margi Weir. The show addresses gun violence, gun use, and the relationship between gun culture and systemic racism,” said Zastudil. In installing this type of work, Zastudil immediately knew there needed to be more than just a show, and an “artist talk,” she just didn’t know what that something more was, immediately – and then it hit her. She decided the answer was, creating a “Town Hall,” event for means of processing and speaking to some of the ills of gun violence, and trauma in communities.

Zastudil said, “I take the responsibility of presenting artworks and promoting artists very seriously, and I aim for Central Features to be a place where any topic can be discussed openly and honestly. Bang! Bang! provides a context for a larger conversation about the artist’s (and the gallery’s) role in current political, social, and cultural issues. Margi Weir gave an artist talk in October during which she described some of her experiences with gun violence and how/why she was compelled to make the artworks on view. And on November 14, there will be a Town Hall Meeting and moderated discussion featuring local performance poets: Ebony Isis Booth and Carlos Contreras, during which the ABQ community, many of whom we imagine might be artists as well, can talk about their own experiences with violence, trauma, and destruction.”

In discussing the “why” behind the chosen topic of Central Features’ current installation, the answer was easy for Zastudil, she said “Artists give material form to ideas, and art workers (such as curators and gallerists) can provide a space where those ideas and materials can be presented to a public audience. Because art and artists often help me find my voice when dealing with difficult or controversial topics, and because gun violence is, unfortunately, a lived complex reality in the U.S., I chose to present this exhibition as a way to consider a myriad of experiences with gun culture.”

OnNovember 14th, Ebony Isis Booth, and Carlos Contreras invite a public audience to consider and discuss a myriad of experiences and how they relate to, revolve around, and are the subsequent creative/residual of traumatic experiences. The evening will move from performances by, Booth and Contreras, and into a community dialogue concerning how, as Zastudil puts it “…we each find ways to process our own experiences and how we can use art to make meaningful connections during times of difference and difficulty.”

Additional topics and questions for discussion will be taken from comments in the Facebook event page. The conversation will begin around and through art, community will be invited to process, question, and converse – resolution perhaps not the aim, so much as collective thought, and community presence.

In regards to topics such as gun violence, trauma, and their effects on our community at large, we can only be thankful that conversations like this exist. ProgressNow NM, continues to be an arm into the community, hoping to provide a helping hand when it comes to visibility, for opportunities and conversations like this one here. We will be there, and we hope to see you November 14th, at this incredibly important, and completely FREE community event.