For nearly two years, a diverse group of 11 women have been meeting to ask a lot of questions.
“We meet to discuss who we are within the context of America,” said Christiane Leach, a member of the artist group Not White Collective. “As bi- and multi-racial and [multi-]cultural people, immigrants and descendants of immigrants, where do we fit? Do we need to fit?”
Now, Leach said the collective’s inaugural exhibit, “In Between the Middle,” encourages audiences to continue that dialogue through the work of 33 artists, including some collective members. She said the stories of bi-racial and multi-cultural people are not always heard.
“If there’s anything spoken about us, it’s usually from the perspective of the dominant culture,” said Leach. “I say 'no' to that. I say 'yes' to ‘we decide who we are.’”
Leach said it’s especially important to her that their message reach young people who are experiencing many of the same challenges she did growing up as a multi-cultural and multi-racial person.
“I really hope to reach the youth, and have an impact on them, and let them know we are here, we’re not invisible.”
The exhibition is on display at the Brew House Association on the South Side until Feb. 23.
The Not White Collective is also planning for more community events and performances throughout 2018, including a Chinese New Year celebration in February.