Friends of Congress Square Park has partnered with the Maine College of Art during our 2018 season to feature temporary student artist work. Athena C. Lynch is the first artist in the series. Her work, “REQUIEMS TO SEPIA EXISTENCE”, will be on view in Congress Square Park from April 25 through May 5, 2018.
To learn more about this partnership, see our blog post.
REQUIEMS TO SEPIA EXISTENCE
REQUIEMS TO SEPIA EXISTENCE is in homage of Tamir Rice, 12 and Aiyana Jones, 7, who were both victims of police shootings. The piece will lay in state for 9 days* in illustration of the length of time (9 hrs) taken for Tamir to receive medical attention after being shot. Aiyana’s time was much shorter and therefore fit within his time frame. This installation is confronting the violence and lack of empathy towards African Americans locally, as well as, nationally. Systemic racial disparities that perpetuate said indifference and, in some instances, fueled violence towards that community. This work is a calling to SEE US! See us as human beings, not just as an outline of who we used to be.
*Initial time frame was for 9 days (April 25 through May 3, 2018), but deinstallation has been extended to May 5 in order to be on display for First Friday
“I never categorized myself as a political artist. However, due to the political and social climate of late, that changed. My work has been about social-isms. Specifically, being black and how that skin is viewed in society. My work conjures visceral reactions that speak to the climate of the world on both a local and national scale.
I let the narrative tell me how it desires to be illustrated. To me, my art serves as the voice of my ancestors speaking through me and guiding my hands. I feel it is my responsibility to tell those stories. My passion is education and I take up that charge of informing youth and even peers who simply aren’t aware. The best way to describe who I am as an artist and a black woman in the present climate of America can be articulated by two artists I look up to:
‘To be a negro in this country and be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time.‘ – James Baldwin
‘I choose to reflect the times and situations in which I find myself. That is my duty. And at this crucial time in our lives, when everything is so desperate, when every day is a matter of survival, I don’t think you can help but be involved.‘ – Nina Simone”
– Athena Lynch, 2018
Athena C. Lynch was born and raised in New Jersey where she was constantly surrounded by creativity. Her mother was an artist and fashion designer. That, along with her appreciation for multiculturalism, are what influence her work today. Currently residing in Richmond, Maine, Athena is a student at Maine College of Art in Portland. There she is pursuing a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Sculpture and eventually a Master of Arts in Teaching for art education.