temple of story
Stories and Drawings by Neil Kendricks, Music and Sound Design by Mike Mare
october 9, 2021–february 20, 2022
“We need stories now more than ever.
Future generations will ultimately understand our unprecedented times of pandemic, crazed demagogues, and failed insurrections through the art and stories that come out of this period in history. Artists, writers, playwrights, and filmmakers will construct funhouse-mirror reflections capturing the loss, chaos, and bewilderment, along with the courage, innovation, and resilience of human beings finding their way through the confusion of the early 21st century. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, I wrote ‘flash fiction’ (short, quickly written stories) to wrap my mind and heart around the days and nights of contagion, quarantine, and masks in a private vigil for better tomorrows.
In collaboration with composer and musician Mike Mare, Temple of Story offers a fascinating exploration into the process of how my stories are created in a fusion of images, sound, and text. In this exhibition, viewers will take a stroll through a forest of fables with drawings on the walls to illuminate their path. Graphic narratives erupting with bursts of magical realism will be integrated with Mare’s atmospheric music and sound design, allowing them to discover an intimacy with an unseen storyteller.
Temple of Story is dedicated to the memory of my loving and much-loved father Willie James Kendricks (1941–2018), who taught me the power of art and the written word to build bridges of understanding in our increasingly complex world.”
—Artist Neil Kendricks
Neil Kendricks, MLK Takes a Knee, 2021. Water-soluble graphite on print of appropriated, scanned encyclopedia page, approx. 20" x 30".
MLK Takes a Knee developed out the artist’s observations and solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and its links to the earlier Civil Rights struggle in America during the 1960s. The drawing took shape while the artist’s Temple of Story project was a work-in-progress. Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans of all ages, races and ethnic backgrounds joined forces to demand meaningful police reform and accountability in the wake of the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other unarmed African-American men, women and children. From Civil Rights to Women’s Rights, every meaningful political change in American life starts with ordinary citizens making their collective voices heard in peaceful protests and civil disobedience. In tandem with voting, the right to peaceful protest is a healthy sign of citizens becoming active participants in our nation’s democracy. As a politically engaged artist and proud American citizen, Kendricks will continue developing socio-political imagery in his Strange Fruit drawing series. Art can play an important role in our national conversation on the socio-political issues of our times.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ARTIST
PROGRAMMING RELATED TO THIS EXHIBITION
Exhibition Celebration, Saturday, November 20, 2021
Header artwork: Dreams of Lisa (detail) by Neil Kendricks
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