Kitchen Table Stories Exhibition
Traditional cultural and healing practices are creative embodiments of a people, and are often expressed through the arts. They have been passed down from generations and are integral to daily life. Few customs and traditions throughout the world have been untouched by colonialism and imperialism, and many have been misappropriated or eradicated. Decolonizing the arts involves reclaiming, renewing and reaffirming these practices. It necessitates critically examining the structures that are in place to oppress and erase people and communities. It is decentering the dominant white narrative and shifting focus to spaces, voices, and stories that represent people who are racialized and marginalized due to their social identities.
The Kitchen Table Stories exhibition is a step towards reimagining the spaces that have historically excluded Asian, South Asian, and Pacific Islander American voices. Despite the current movement towards the decolonization of museums and galleries, artists of color remain underrepresented across the US. The attempts to be more inclusive are often exercises in fetishization, exoticization and tokenization of black and brown artists. Who are the cultural gatekeepers of these spaces? Who decides which stories are told? Who tells them? Who contextualizes them? Who witnesses them?
The Kitchen Table Stories exhibition is a celebration of stories shared by local artists who identify as Asian, South Asian and Pacific Islander. Artists were asked to share the stories that have been passed down to them from ancestors through family and friends, and create work that reflects their own lived experiences. The result is an exploration of the intersections of immigration, citizenship, race, culture, social identity, multigenerational relationships, and family history. In the spirit of stories that are shared at the “kitchen table,” the guest is invited to participate by engaging in discourse that considers the importance of telling our own stories and the power of the arts in that process. The audience is asked to reflect on universal themes such as language, food, home, family, heroes and belonging through the lens of their Asian, South Asian and Pacific Islander neighbors in a space that centers hospitality as an art form that draws on cultural wisdom, lineal healing, and collective care.
Melissa Raman Molitor, ATR-BC, LCPC
Exhibition Dates: July 9 - August 21, 2022
Evanston Art Center
1717 Central Street
Evanston, IL 60201
Mon-Fri: 9am - 6pm
Sat & Sun: 9 am - 4 pm
Galleries are free and open to the public
Click here for more information
Opening Reception: July 15, 2022 6-9pm
Where Are You Really From? A TEAACH Workshop: July 27 & August 10 2022 7-9pm
Story Table Series - Ritual, Art and Healing with Artist/Curator Melissa Raman Molitor and Artist Indira Johnson: August 4, 2022 7-8:30pm
The Art of Tea: Gongfu Cha Tea Ceremony & Presentation on the History and Culture of Chinese Tea: August 13, 2022 2-4pm
Story Table Series - What Color Am I? Exploring Transnational Adoption with Artist Sarah Whyte & Examining the Connection Between Art, Food, and Healing with Artist Sun H Choi: August 11, 2022 7-8:30pm
Story Table Series - Levi Yutuk: August 14, 2022 1:30-3pm
Kitchen Table Talk: August 18, 2022 7-9pm