What does hate look like? Art gallery, local organizers seek artists

MARQUETTE — Organizers of the Building Love: IMAGINE event series in Marquette are calling all visual artists, sculptors, photographers, sound artists, filmmakers and others to submit original works depicting an experience with hate and/or an experience of countering hate with love.

Judy Kitchen of Marquette is spearheading the event series. She and a number of local community organizers felt inspired to create Building Love: IMAGINE after witnessing the hate, violence and death in Charlottesville, N.C., in August when a white nationalist rammed his vehicle into a crowd of people.

“We wanted to create opportunities for people to come together and raise our voices to stop this hate, to insist this is not normal, and to support those who are feeling especially targeted,” Kitchen said.

Works of art selected through call for submissions will be featured at a Feb. 2 showing at The Creative House art gallery in Marquette. Lali Khalid, co-owner of The Creative House, said she immediately agreed to host the showing.

“I feel it is essential to address the hate happening all around us right now. It is relevant,” she said.

Khalid noted she’s working on a project titled “Muslim Immigrants” and she’s finding it difficult getting Muslims to participate because they don’t want to draw attention to themselves. Khalid is a Pakistani Muslim and said she came face-to-face with hate in Marquette while she was in an area doctor’s waiting room just after the 2016 general election. She said a man who was also in the room loudly declared it was time “for all the brown people to go back where they came from.”

With that experience in mind, Khalid said, “My hope is that with a show like this, we can create awareness and try countering the hate.”

Artists who submit works should be residents of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula or have strong ties to the region. Deadline for submissions is Jan. 5; winners will be announced Jan. 15. More details and specifications for submitting are available at www.facebook.com/buildingloveimagine.

The official call for submissions states: “What does hate look like? We’ve seen the heat of it rise and bubble up in the United States over the last 18 months, threatening strides our country has made in justice, equality, safety and tolerance. In order to counter hate, we must identify it, call it out by name, and return it with love and compassion. We cannot let hate boil over. Together, we can help build love for world cultures, diversity, community, the environment and the next generation.”