Human Rights Film & Arts Festival emphasizes human rights for all

The Exhibit Features Artwork by more than 65 Artists

This story was originally aired on KVRRe on January 13, 2020. The original story can be found online here.

FARGO, ND. (KVRR) – Step onto the third floor of the Plains Art Museum, and you’ll see paintings, photographs, films and letters blanketing the walls.

The images created and words written are intentional.

Their goal is to bring about change within the local community.

“The issues that these artists are talking about in their works are issues that impact every single one of us, even right here in Fargo-Moorhead,” says The Human Family Executive Director Sean Coffman.

The pieces created by local, regional and international artists pertain to some of the most pressing societal issues, including women’s rights, the LGBTQ+ community, healthcare, gun violence and homelessness.

“It’s one thing to be able to read that somebody passed away as a result of homelessness, but it’s another to see the artwork that they created before they passed away, and it’s another to be able to see the memorial casket that’s here on display that has been adorned by people who have lost loved ones as a result of homelessness,” says Coffman.

One local artist wants to emphasize just how much humans and nature are interconnected in regards to climate change.

“Whether it’s the air we breathe, the water, the food that we need to grow from the Earth. The Earth is, you know, we’re part of it. We can’t disconnect ourselves from the environment. We are it. It is us. So I created the piece and then I thought, ‘Well, I would love to exhibit it somewhere where it would be connected to a bigger cause,’ and I did attend this exhibit last year and was just so moved by it,” says Beth Bradley of Fargo.

They say art is one of the most powerful ways of communication.

Coffman adds, “Art has the ability to touch and create tangible emotions within people, and I think that’s really one of the most important parts of the festival, is that it brings an experiential approach to issues that sometimes can be very difficult to talk about.”

An artists’ reception celebrating the artists and discussing their work will be held on January 22nd.

The exhibit is available until the end of January.

It is free and open to the public.

Find business hours at www.plainsart.org/.

Click here to learn more about the North Dakota Human Rights Arts Festival.

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