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Title: The Declaration
Type: Limited Edition Print
Edition Size: 200
Paper: Textured Linen Art Paper
About The Declaration
It was an honor to be commissioned by Appalachian State University to create "The Declaration" for the commemoration of Integration Celebration at the university. The following is my speech for the presentation of the painting to Chancellor Everts:
Esse Quam Videri!
This Latin motto for our Beloved University has been before my eyes many times over the last 25 years. Upon receiving the call to create art for this wonderful occasion, I had to know what it means.
“To Be Rather Than To Seem”
Being the True Mountaineer that I am it resonated in my thoughts and creative process.
Then I needed to examine my feelings about Integration. Most people that I asked about integration have said something similar to the following: “integration occurs when an underrepresented group is forced to fit in with the majority representation.“
My examination was different.
For me, it is knowing that the strength in my uniqueness, is used to Bless those that lack the understanding of my strengths, while knowing that in reciprocity I am being Blessed by other’s strengths in their uniqueness and truths. A concept that is not related to ethnicity or gender, just relationships.
I thought of the Memphis Sanitation workers in 1968 in their march for equal pay. They wore signs that declared “I AM A Man” In other words, In my uniqueness, I am equal. It was not a plea of acceptance but more of a declaration.
When I looked through years of ASU’s yearbooks, I saw beautiful faces of different ethnicities and gender, laughing, engaging being a family. Right there between those pages of the Rhododendron.
A family that wasn’t pretending!
A family united in the love of our Fine Institution of Higher Learning!
A family that was being, rather than seeming to be!
Esse Quam Videri!
It is my pleasure to present to Chancellor Everts and to you, My Mountaineer Family my art, Titled: