The Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Auditorium, Chattanooga Tennessee
September 24 – October 8, 2015
Opening Reception Thursday 9/24 5:30-7:30 pm
The Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Auditorium Lobby
399 McCallie Ave.
Chattanooga, TN 37402
It’s painful to contemplate. The rotted husks of what were once our cultural institutions are profoundly failing to serve their vital role in civil society.
Fortunately, when the institutions have succumbed to corruption, it gives the people a chance to rise up, and take matters into their own hands.
We are seeing a dramatic shift in the ways the American people respond to the systematic failures of our government, media, and academia. One upcoming event shows this new direction, made in response to the existing establishment’s wholly inadequate response to a horrific act.
On July 16, 2015, a man named Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez opened fire on two military facilities in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Before he was finally killed by the police, he had inflicted fatal injuries on four US Marines and one sailor. Sergent Carson A. Holmquist, Gunnery Sergent Thomas J. Sullivan, Lance Corporal Squire K. “Skip” Wells, Staff Sergent David A. Wyatt, and Navy Petty Officer Randall Smith all died as a result of the attack.
Killed in the line of duty, right here in the United States
The Islamic shooter researched “martyrdom” as recently as a day before his murderous spree. However, we are fortunate to have government officials and media around to assure everyone the degenerate killer’s motives were unknown. Such a mystery!
Within days of this horrific mass murder inflicted on American service members right in the heartland, the story sunk from sight. It’s a terrible reality that does too much to disrupt the happy talk narrative the entire establishment class is so invested in: that the results of their corrupt pursuit of unaccountable power for themselves on one hand, and abject capitulation before our enemies on the other, means peace, happiness and pet unicorns all around.
Barack Obama, the Commander in Chief of our nation’s armed forces, didn’t even order the ceremonial lowering of American flags to half mast until days after the incident, and only after being confronted with intense criticism.
Burying the story was easy, because most media, academic and cultural elitists engage in dogmatic hostility towards the US Military anyway. But outside of the insular, incestuous Beltway/Ivy League Axis, and their coastal strongholds of Post-Modern magical thinking, there are still those who understand the sacrifices our fighting men and women make on the behalf of the rest of us. We want to show our gratitude to not only the warriors, but to their families as well.
Before the visual arts became a plaything for the decadent crypto-Marxist glitterati, there was a time when the arts served as a force for communal bonding and communication. There are signs that this function, art’s traditional role in our civilization, is undergoing a resurgence.
The grassroots had to step in where officials were failing to lead. Local artists in Tennessee were moved to create an art show in tribute to the fallen, hoping to be able to raise some funds for the loved ones left behind. They devised the idea of a Patriotic Art Auction, not the sort of thing you would ever find in today’s typical establishment-networked galleries and museums.
I was invited to take part in this DIY show through my social media connections with Liberatchik founder Frances Byrd, a culture warrior in her own right. Frances took some time to describe the art show and her larger mission:
What is the Patriotic Art Show Event?
Frances Byrd: Following the July 16 shootings in Chattanooga, a fellow artist from Tennessee reached out to me for help organizing a tribute to the fallen. He then contacted Hart Gallery in Chattanooga, offering to donate art to the families of the fallen service members. This gesture turned into a full-scale art event that will run Sept. 24 through Oct. 8 at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Auditorium.
More than 30 pieces of art—sculptures, paintings and mixed media—will be on display and for sale during the event. All proceeds from the auction will benefit local veterans and first responder support groups.
Frances Byrd “Chattanooga 5”
Why is it important for artists to show support for our military and veterans?
FB: It is important for everyone to support our military and veterans. They put themselves in harm’s way to defend our country and our freedoms. Often, they come home to a hostile and misunderstanding civilian community. There is entirely too much art out there portraying our soldiers as monsters or opportunists. It is crucial for those of us who support and appreciate our military to step up and create art that is positive and patriotic. In the wake of incidents like the July 16th terror attack in Chattanooga, it is imperative that we find ways to show support for the individuals and communities affected and remind the survivors of the reasons our military makes those sacrifices.
How did you come to be involved with the show?
FB: A fellow artist on Facebook who is familiar with my work organizing libertarian and conservative artists and events contacted me with his idea. He wanted to ask our artist networks across the country to donate something to send to the families or the recruiting centers where the attacks took place. Once he found a gallery to host the show, it was just a matter of asking for the art and organizing the event. If you are interested in learning more, or attending the event, you can get info on Hart Gallery’s Facebook Page and a local paper’s pages.
What is Liberatchik?
FB: About six years ago I partnered with Christopher Cook from Western Free Press to create Liberatchik.com. Our initial concept was to start an art movement that would disrupt the status quo in the arts and unseat the elitist progressive power structure controlling the culture. Over time, our concept of providing an online gallery, blog, and networking forum for pro-American artists has blossomed into an organized group from all across America who are beginning to show their art collectively. Liberatchik is now home to over 30 artists and writers who showcase their work in an online gallery format and maintain several avenues for discussions regarding culture and society; both as a group and as individual artists. Our artists showcase their work at Liberatchik.com in order to promote America, limited government, and patriotism through a wide variety of mediums and styles. We are currently working on a group show for early 2016.
If someone is concerned about the state of the culture, what should they do?
FB: Get involved. If you’re an artist, make conceptual art. Inspire people to learn more, educate them about the things that concern you, and discuss the work with them. Start at the community level. It is difficult, but be patient. It takes time, though there is far more interest and support than there was 12 years ago when I decided to focus on political and conceptual art promoting America and Constitutional principles.
Find networks for interacting with like-minded artists. Liberatchik is a great place for libertarian and conservative artists, but there are other groups as well. If your focus is on purely technical work or a return to classicism in the arts, there are groups for that focus also.
If you’re not an artist, become a patron. That means finding artists you agree with ideologically and buying their work. Every sale, however small, makes a difference. Share work by artists and groups you support. We can’t work in a vacuum, and it is difficult to balance creating art with promoting art.
Finally, become part of the discussion. Follow artists and groups online and via social media. Interact with the artists. Express your concerns and give feedback. If you don’t take an active role in the culture, like the left has done for generations, you won’t get the culture you want. It’s simple economics. Use your money and support to invest in work that appeals to you, get it in front of as many people as possible, and take the time to go to events in your area and interact with the artists directly. Become an active participant in our struggle to #TakeBackOurCulture.
Update: Welcome Instapundit readers! In the fight to change the culture, it starts in the art. Please look around to see other posts about the renewal taking place in the visual arts.