Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

    Laney gallery presents … ‘Circumstance: Social Justice’

    by Sydney Imus

    Laney’s June Steingart gallery is featuring art by several Bay Area locals in celebration of Black History Month. The exhibit hosts collections created by artists Melani McKim, Bill Prochnow, and Leslie Plato Smith. Entitled “Circumstance: Social Justice,” the exhibit brings attention to social justice issues in not only the local community, but in the entire country.

    The colorful portraits and vibrant sculptures line the blank white walls of the gallery. As do black-and-white photo prints, which bring a sense of monochromaticity to social issues — issues that are far less simple and deeply intertwined in the everyday lives of so many.

    The pieces have powerful yet simple names such as “Resist,” “Rich/Poor,” “Virgin/Whore,” and “What’s Done Is Done. I Will Survive.” Each artist explained the message behind their work in artist statements displayed alongside their pieces.

    We learn from these artist statements that McKim’s drawings are highly influenced by the racial prejudices that exist today. “The character of the individual influences our response to the justness of the problem [and the] results of unknown circumstances affect which side we take,” her statement reads.

    From these statements, we also learn that Prochnow’s paintings “propose unforeseen circumstances arising from human interactions,” and Smith’s work “portrays people’s responses to the political environment.”

    Each collection takes a unique, yet collaborative stance on racial, social, and political topics.

    More detailed information about the artists can be found in the gallery.
    Portraits by McKim run for $500, canvas images by Prochnow cost between $50-$1,200, and Smith’s oil painted canvases range from $1,500-$2,500.

    The free exhibit runs Feb. 12 to March 29. The hours of the gallery are Monday 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesday 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Wednesday 12 p.m.-5 p.m. and Thursday 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

    For more information on the exhibit or the gallery contact Dr. Leslee Stradford, art gallery educator, at (510) 464–3267.

    Sydney Imus is a Tower staff writer.

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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