Muslim American/ American Muslim. Mercer Art Gallery. GCCC 08/15-09/27 2017.
We are used to images from war-torn parts of the world like Syria and Afghanistan–often hyper-dramatic, bloody, and unnerving images. In some ways, with a provocative title like “Muslim American/American Muslim” I believe we expect a kind of protest, or an expose of resistance to hate.
What we have here is a much more subtle and sublime series of images. As a group they read more like family photos, or perhaps images of a week in the life of a typical American neighborhood–people going about their lives in a peaceful and devout manner.
If anything, the images in this exhibit help remind us that kids sleeping at church or playing ball or men and women contemplating wise words are a kind of universal thing in America most days. Peaceful days.
When Garden City, Kansas was the object of a planned terrorist attack in October of 2016, our community was rocked by the possibility that folks we see every day, at groceries stores and Wal-Mart and at banks and parks were being targeted for…what? Working? Praying? Paying Taxes?
Most people in Southwest KS were shocked. We held a peace rally. We stood together with our neighbors and reminded them that, yes, you are welcome here. You are helping our economy stay strong and our shops stay open. You are helping enrich our community with the diversity you offer.
I was thrilled that Bob Gerhardt contacted me with the possibility of hosting “Muslim American /American Muslim.” The Administration at Garden City Community College was open and supportive about the possibility of hosting this series of photographs. Bob Gerhardt will visit our Campus on Thursday, September 21st at 7:30 pm. to speak about his work in the Pauline Joyce Fine Arts Auditorium. I hope you are able to take the time to visit us and learn more about Bob Gerhardt, his inspiration and his work.
Here is a link to Roberts Photography website
This is a link to an HPPR interview of Rob and his work by Jenny Inzerillo