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"Quanice Hayes" (left); and "Christopher Kalonji"
Three prints by Ameya Okamoto ’18 are featured in the current exhibit “The Art Is Ours” at the Portland Art Museum, including her piece “Quanice Hayes” (pictured). The exhibit features local artists of color responding to another current exhibit, “Constructing Identity,” with pieces that deal with race and identity. The exhibit runs through June 18.
Ameya Okamoto artist's statement:
"I am a 16-year-old artist, activist and student. I’ve always been passionate about social justice. Through art, I express the need for change. My art is a call to action against inequality.
Last year, I was shocked and angered by police shootings all over the country. I felt helpless to stop the killings of hundreds of unarmed black Americans on the basis of race, and was inspired to make digital illustrations out of the images I saw. I felt the need to honor those who lived with stigma and died a statistic.
We live in a complex world at a challenging time. While few things can help deal with this complexity, art uniquely allows us to influence society by changing opinions, instilling values and translating experiences across space, time and culture."