Today from our sister publication Art Practical, we bring you Thea Quiray Tagle’s article from issue 8.3: Art can’t do anything if we don’t. Quiray Tagle highlights the importance of teaching art in its most intersectional and inclusive form and actively engaging with politics and current events. She states, “For those teaching art and social change in the ongoing aftermath of this election—thank you. For those joining political actions and using arts as a platform for the first time— fantastic. In all of these endeavors, consider your politics of citation: who you turn to and give credit for as sources of artistic and intellectual expertise.” This article was originally published March 23, 2017.
(some thoughts for other instructors and artists)
when will it come finally clear
in the rockets’ red glare
after the ceremonial guns salute the ceremonial rifles
saluting the ceremonial cannons that burst forth a choking
smoke to celebrate murder
will it be clear
in that red that bloody red glare
that glare of murder and atrocity/atrocities
strangling every program
to protect and feed and educate and heal and house
(talking about us/you and me talking
—June Jordan, “Poem to My Sister, Ethel Ennis, Who Sang ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ at the Second Inauguration of Richard Milhous Nixon, January 20, 1973”
Listen to Black women. Listen to women of color. Listen to indigenous communities. Listen to queer and trans people, especially QTPOC. These are the things, above all else, that I want my students to learn, in the art schools where I’ve been one of the few instructors of color, in “diversity” classes at the public university I teach at now. Listen. Look. Learn.