Visual Arts

‘CTRL-ART-DEL’ exhibit aims to reset political activism through art

Patrick Meyers said that after attending the Women’s March in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 21, he was inspired to create an exhibit of political protest art, “CTRL-ART-DEL: Mechanisms of Control and Pieces of Protest,” showing Friday at The Parachute Factory.
Patrick Meyers said that after attending the Women’s March in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 21, he was inspired to create an exhibit of political protest art, “CTRL-ART-DEL: Mechanisms of Control and Pieces of Protest,” showing Friday at The Parachute Factory. For The Washington Post

You can add Lexington native Patrick Meyers to the list of citizens who attended The Women’s March in Washington, D.C., and brought the momentum and message of the march back home.

Meyers, 27, decided to call on the skills he learned studying art history at Transylvania University to organize “CTRL-ART-DEL: Mechanisms of Control and Pieces of Protest,” a group exhibition of artists challenging the current political and cultural climate through the lens of a millennial. The show is open Friday, one night only, at The Parachute Factory on Bryan Avenue.

He says the march inspired him to think of ways he personally could make a difference in his community.

“I wanted to do something, anything I could to bring awareness to our current political climate, which I see evolved so quickly from the feeling of an uncomfortable laugh track in a reality television show into an increasingly grim dystopian novel, neither of which seems to be believable but unfortunately is real life,” Meyers says.

“I wanted the show to be inclusive of people’s own concerns and their personal grievances with our political climate to create a pastiche of opinions on issues such as governmental control on individual liberties, women’s rights, treatment of military veterans, social equality, moral and civic decay, into a unified howl of unrest.”

He got the word out on social media that he was looking for boldly political pieces for the show, which features work from a dozen local artists and a wide range of work: multi-media installation, paintings, graphic to sculpture, fiber, music.

“I wanted pieces that were boldly political,” Meyers says. “I feel as if at least in my generation, friends and a lot of millennials in general felt extinguished by Trump’s election, and it seems as if things have gotten regressive, and a lot of people’s voices haven’t really been honored. There’s a growing protest movement going on right now.”

Meyers says viewers can expect to see a variety of protest pieces. In his project proposal, he describes the gallery space and the orientation of the work as indicative of forced systems of control.

“The exhibition will be designed to make the viewer perceive the gallery as an institution of power, the observer to become obedient to its rules,” Meyers wrote.

“This metaphorical experience linking the gallery space to a restrictive government and the active observer to either a resistant or a complacent member of said government is meant to amplify a personal connection to the works exhibited, as well as to unite the multiple gallery members into a sense of a psychologically affected but more particularly, an emotionally charged community.”

Meyers collaborated with videographer Doug Williams to create an interactive multimedia installation that incorporates participants’ works in a surprising way, to be revealed and modified in real time every 30 minutes.

“It’s great to go out and march and occupy physical space and show you are lending your body to a certain cause, but the takeaway from that is you have to go home and keep the momentum going, keep spreading the word, keep doing other things that will inspire change,” he says. “This is my attempt at providing a platform for others to do the same thing.”

Candace Chaney is a Lexington-based writer and critic.

If you go

“CTRL-ART-DEL”

What: Exhibit of political protest art by local artists.

When: 5-8 p.m. April 28

Where: The Parachute Factory, 720 Bryan Ave.

Admission: Free

Online: Parachutefactorylex.com

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