Pondering the past while looking at the present and hoping for the future | Cape Gazette

2022-06-15 12:50:18 By : Ms. Jennie Yuan

The second installment of the Lewes Public Art Committee’s 2022 exhibition is on display in George H.P. Smith Park, and keeping with the theme of two, features two series showcasing two works of art each. 

Artis Rose DeSiano focuses her work on highlighting unsung heroes, heroines and underrepresented communities. The Absent Monuments and Armillary Empowerment Spheres are separate series, but uniform in representing those demographic groups that persevered over time while providing a reflection to the person standing in front of them in the present about what they could mean to someone in the future.

Visitors to the park will come across the Armillary Empowerment Spheres first and, depending on the force and direction of the wind, will be treated to a variety of different visuals. A full, round mirror centers the spheres, but crescent metal arches balloon around the mirror to create wonderful imagery. Trina Brown-Hicks, African American heritage commission secretary, gathered photos from as far back as the late 1800s for the project using the Facebook page “Memories of Lewes.” A powerful profile presents itself under the right circumstances, allowing the onlookers to see themselves amongst the women who came before them.

The Absent Monuments are also quite the eye-catcher for visitors. Two large obelisks made of reflective material sit atop two tile platforms that feature historic photographs of marginalized groups throughout the history of Lewes. DeSiano said the idea behind this series was to allow the observer to directly see the past and where they came from while being able to immediately look up and see where they stand in the present day, optimally providing them with hope for the future. 

Playing a key role in the upcoming inaugural Juneteenth Celebration taking place at George H.P. Smith Park Saturday, June 25, the Absent Monuments will be centrally located to allow attendees moments of reflection. 

“I think it’ll help people to think about what once was and maybe they will delve into it and ask, ‘Well, what is that picture from?’ And maybe they’ll do some of their own research as well,” Brown-Hicks said of the favorable location.

The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.