Charlottesville Artists Turn Aug. 12 Violence into Activist Exhibit

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A photo at the art exhibit A photo at the art exhibit
Photograph of the torchlit rally Photograph of the torchlit rally
An artist chooses photos An artist chooses photos

Charlottesville artists are taking the terror that rocked the city on August 12 and turning it into a new exhibit on activism.

The "All Rise" exhibit includes protest signs collected from the streets after the Unite the Right rally and deadly car attack.

The exhibit stretches the entire hall at McGuffey Art Center with the work of 12 artists.

Mixed in are mirrors for "whites only" with messages that read "complicit" and "I benefit from systemic racism" to propel people to take a hard look within.

The exhibit features artwork that shows intersectional activism - which brings all kinds of social justice movements together.

One display is made of recycled tea bags and dryer lint to show ecological activism.

Another installation shows the resistance of people of color.

Signs collected from counterprotesters to the “alt-right” rally in Charlottesville are placed throughout the hall.

Planning for this exhibit started back in February, but changed after the events on August 12.

“Artists are people and we live in the greater world, so everything that happens to us or around us affects our work,” says Nina Burke, an artist and organizer of “All Rise.” “Even if we don't make overtly activist or political work, it sinks in and becomes part of what we do.”

The exhibit also includes three photos from the community's impromptu candlelight vigil at the Lee statue in May, September’s Pride Fest, and the vigil at the University of Virginia in response to the “alt-right” torchlit march that happened at the university.

The exhibit runs through October 29 at McGuffey.

An opening reception is this Friday, October 6, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.