Claremont, Calif. (February 4, 2014)—Pitzer College alumna and mixed-media artistHope Demetriades ’91 opens a new solo exhibition, The North Stars: Canonizing the American Abolitionists, at the Center for Wellbeing in Sierra Madre, Calif. The opening reception with the artist is on February 7 from 5-8 p.m. A second reception will be held Friday, March 7, 5-8 p.m., with a Q & A with the artist. The exhibition, which coincides with February’s Black History Month, runs through March 31 and is open to the public.
Demetriades’ latest works depict US abolitionists as saints, highlighting the bravery, sacrifice and triumph of reformers who helped eradicate slavery in this country. Before, during and after the US Civil War, American abolitionists put aside ethnic and religious differences and risked their lives to end slavery. Portrayed as saints, abolitionists featured in the show include Harriet Beecher Stowe, John Brown, Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman.
As a child, Demetriades visited former slaveholding plantations in the South. Later, after being bussed to inner-city schools, she became aware of the lingering, powerful and destructive effects of slavery and racism.
“Since then I have always wanted to work for the cause of racial unity, and hope that in some small way my artwork can move us in the right direction,” Demetriades said. “We are all one. When racism goes unacknowledged, the wounds fester rather than heal.”
Hope Demetriades majored in art and psychology at Pitzer College. She earned her MFA from Cal State Fullerton.