This is my maternal grandfather Isaac Davis. I never knew him but I knew a bit about him: He was a Russian Jew who escaped the pogroms and came to the US in the 1890's, settling in St. Louis Missouri with his wife Sofia Goldstein Davis. They had nine children, and a few are shown here. My mother was the youngest, and is the smallest child. Isaac was a chicken farmer and a tailor, and made all the clothing for his children. I love the way he looks - a kind man with a definite hint of Asian or Siberian or Chuchki Russian.
At a post Trump election meeting many months ago a meeting was called by a fellow artist with this question in mind: what can we as artists do in the face of the new travel ban and the divisiveness promulgated in our country right now?
One colleague said she had an idea that could be called "one house." It would be a house like structure built of 12"x12" panels, and each panel would be created by an artist about a family member who came from another country. Clearly, if one was not 100% Native American, that included all of us. I loved that idea! and offered to be on the team that would make it happen. I knew people I wanted to invite to participate, and who could come my studio to create the work. The idea seemed simple yet enormously powerful. I could imagine it happening here in the DC area, and in cities and communities all over the country. In many cases the artist herself or himself is the immigrant. Many images have been posted on facebook and instagram.
Now we have 220 art pieces, each about an immigrant person or group of people close to the artist. The image above is my contribution. It feels gratifying to have an opportunity to give visibility to an otherwise invisible man.
Several events are planned for One House during the month of November. All will take place at Touchstone Gallery in Washington DC
Reception: Friday November 3, 6 – 8:30 pm
Genealogy Workshop by The Labs @DCPL: Thursday, November 9, 7 - 9pm
Artist Talk: Saturday, November 11, 2 - 4 pm
Art Workshop: Saturday, November 18, 1 - 3 pm
Watch this space for more information!