Raising Two White Boys in the South is a collaborative, multi-media installation created by artists Michael Dickins and Dawn Martin Dickins. This installation is a reflection of contemporary Southern thought that has been influenced by deep-rooted tradition, a troubled past, and a desire to both embrace and dispel common stereotypes.
The artists currently live in a small, rural, north Georgia town that is predominantly white, conservative, and Christian. According to the Dickinses, “We started this project as a way to understand and discuss topics such as diversity and southern identity with their children. The main question we started with was, “How can we expose our children and educate them about other cultures, races and ethnicities while living in a homogeneous community?””
The installation, on view at the Harlow through October 29, 2010, consists of 64 16″x16″ wood panels on facing walls in a 13’x5′ grid pattern. 52 panels are drawings that feature the alphabet with their corresponding images (Dawn) and notable Georgians throughout history (Michael). 12 panels are blank and provide surfaces for video projection. The installation also features two 24 min. sound scores that feature environmental recordings integrated with soundbites of speeches, music, newscasts and readings from the Georgians featured in the portraits.
The public was invited to meet the artists at the exhibition’s opening on Friday, October 1st from 6-9pm at the Harlow Gallery, located at 160 Water Street in downtown Hallowell. The opening was streamed live on Michael Dickins’ website at www.michaeldickins.com.
While visiting Maine, the artists worked with art students over a four-day residency at the University of Maine at Augusta coinciding with the exhibition’s opening at the Harlow Gallery.
The cost of creating this exhibition and shipping it to Maine are considerable. The artists have set up a fundraising site at Kickstarter to help fund the project. Those interested in contributing can visit http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1220452862/raising-two-white-boys-in-the-south.
For more information on the project and to view some of the completed panels, visit Michael’s Facebook fan page Michael Dickins – artist.