PHOTO: “Isolation” by Lucia Gomez is one of the art works in the “Moments of Silence” traveling exhibit at Gallery Visio, now through January 21. Image courtesy of Gallery Visio.


By Cate Marquis, A&E Editor for The Current

“Our Future!” by Cbabi Bayoc is one of the artworks in “Moments of Silence,” the exhibit on display in Gallery Visio now through Jan. 21. Photo by Stuart Shadwell / Gallery Visio. © 2015
“Our Future!” by Cbabi Bayoc is one of the artworks in “Moments of Silence,” the exhibit on display in Gallery Visio now through Jan. 21. Photo courtesy of Gallery Visio. © 2015

Gallery Visio, the student-run art gallery, opens the semester’s exhibits with “Moments of Silence: A Response to The Ferguson Experience.” The traveling exhibit features the works of artists reflecting on the impact of the events in Ferguson on human relationships and the social fabric in this country. The aim of the exhibit is to spark a dialog on campuses and in communities.

“Moments of Silence: A Response to The Ferguson Experience,” which opened January 14, will travel to four state colleges or universities between now and May 8.

Unfortunately, the exhibit will have a very short run on University of Missouri–St. Louis’s campus, and is scheduled to close on Wednesday, January 21. Gallery Visio will host a closing reception on January 21 from noon to 5 p.m., in which the public can view the works while enjoying refreshments. The reception will be followed by talks by the artists, in the Student Government Chamber of the MSC from 6 to 8 p.m. The exhibit, reception and lectures are all free and open to all.

Opening the exhibit here is especially appropriate, given UMSL’s proximity to Ferguson.

The exhibit is sponsored by the Coalition of Artists for Peace and Gallery Visio. The Coalition of Artists is a St. Louis-based organization of visual and performing artists and members of the arts community, which formed in the wake of the shooting of unarmed teen Michael Brown in August in Ferguson. In a statement that accompanies the show, the artists state that their goal for this exhibit is to “reaffirm the belief that art most certainly comes from everyday life and must, more than ever, continue to confront complex issues to produce important social change in this so-called new post-racial America.”

Most of the works in “Moments of Silence” reflect the artist’s experiences or personal viewpoint on the state of human relationships and preconceived ideas around race, rather than specific events in Ferguson.

Among art works featured in the exhibit are some by artist-activist Cbabi Bayoc, which address stereotypes about Black fathers using an appealing, colorful, graphical art style. Also on display are three works by Lucia Gomez. One of the most striking is “1982,” a photo of the back of an African-American man showing what appeared to be a bar code. Another artist whose works are featured in the exhibit is Fabio Rodriguez, a Dominican-born artist who is also co-curator of the show. Roderiguez’s piece “Exasperation” is a powerful painting that helps underscore the international nature of the struggle against injustice and the kinds of inequalities revealed by the events in Ferguson.

Visually-striking and thought-provoking, this art exhibit is well worth a visit to Gallery Visio before it is gone. Gallery Visio is located in the lower level of the MSC, between the Nosh and Subway, and it is open Mondays-Thursdays. The gallery’s next exhibit, “Aqueous,” opens February 11.

© The Current 2015