MRH Middle School Artist Holds First Public (Virtual) Exhibition
DJ Schmitt is an emerging artist whose work has already been described as powerful and healing.
This MRH 7th grader is collaborating with a locally-established community artist named S. Jewell S. McGhee for a virtual talk about their works at 7 p.m. on October 16. After that event, a virtual art gallery will also be available through November 16.
The narrative of the project is "I'm in Danger When You Think I am Dangerous." The centerpiece is an image of a maze through which a young black man must traverse. The walls of the maze spell out the word "DANGER" and are lined with various societal and cultural pitfalls: racism, election anxiety, false perceptions by others, etc. The end of the maze leads to a riot of color, African patterns, and graffiti.
DJ hopes that his friends' parents and his parents' friends will view it and better understand how it feels to exist in this world.
"Art is my dream life," he says. "This project will be peaceful and prosperous."
His partner in art, McGhee, creates large and life-sized 3D pieces in mediums ranging from fabric to recycled objects to painted murals.
"I am committed to working for racial justice as a parent, community member and artist" she says. "This piece directly addresses DJ's experience of being black in family, in our city and as an artist."
A physical installation of "DANGER" will be at The Bookhouse on Manchester Road in downtown Maplewood.
To receive an invitation to the October 16 virtual discussion, use this email address.