SDAM exhibits encourage empathy

SDSU photo: “1 Roof 2 Airs” is on view at the South Dakota Art Museum from now until Jan. 26, 2020, as part of several exhibits with an international flair.

BROOKINGS – This fall and winter, the South Dakota Art Museum is hosting a series of exhibitions and programs that gently challenge its audiences to deeply consider shared, universal humanity and the things that divide us. 

The exhibitions offer multifaceted truths about war, love, hate, values, identities and cultures, and the human reach for life and belonging.

On Nov. 1, two of the seven empathy-building exhibitions opened for South Dakota Art Museum visitors: “Amir Fallah: What it Means to be an American” and “Billie Grace Lynn: White Elephants.” 

These tie to recently opened “1 Roof 2 Airs” and “Into the Great Unknown: Illustrations by Paul Goble” as well as “Harvey Dunn: Imagining Others” and “Afghan War Rugs: the Modern Art of Central Asia.” 

On Dec. 13, a new educational art exhibit from the Center for American Indian Research and Native Studies opens in the gallery where the Afghan war rugs are currently displayed: “Articles of a Treaty: An Educational Exhibit about the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty.”

The public is invited to experience these exhibitions through several free “first ever” programs centered around “1 Roof 2 Airs.” 

From 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7, the museum will host a free public reception featuring “1 Roof 2 Airs” co-curator John Schuerman and a live dance performance broadcast exclusively to South Dakota Art Museum from a refugee camp in the Sahara Desert in Algeria. Sioux Falls native Leila Awadallah is currently on tour in North Africa and the Middle East performing dances inspired by Arabic script. The program will begin at 5:45 p.m. 

From 5-7:15 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21, “1 Roof 2 Airs” co-curator Katayoun Amjadi and several artists from “1 Roof 2 Airs” will share insights and performances to help reception guests better understand the experiences that inform their art works. 

This includes a memoir reading by Qais Munhazim and an interactive performance, “One of Many,” by Pedram Baldari and Nooshin Hakim Javadi. Visitors are encouraged to arrive by 5:15 p.m. for the program. Refreshments and light appetizers will be served during both receptions.


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