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SCCPSS students, teachers create #BlackLivesMatter art exhibit

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*(WTOC)
Updated: Feb. 5, 2021 at 5:28 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - A new art exhibit has debuted in Savannah to celebrate Black History Month.

The pieces vary in mediums, but all tell a specific story - that Black lives matter.

The artists are not well known or renown, but local Savannah-Chatham teachers and students with a message.

Stepping into the Beach Institute you’ll see a new exhibit, “#BlackLivesMatter.”

“It celebrates so much culture and that just brings me so much joy just looking at it. So, art has a healing power,” said Sharonna Ray, an Art Teacher at Humanities at Juliette Gordon Low Elementary School.

The past 12 months have been heavy, this exhibit displays how some have processed the tense moments, the pain and how they hope to celebrate Black History Month. The artists all come from Savannah-Chatham’s art teachers and K-12 students. They not only made the art but discussed it too.

“It doesn’t have to be so forceful; it doesn’t have to be this is what happened, and this is what happened and this is one side and this is one side. It really should be very gentle conversations and really you know we need to get down to their level and talk to them about what is their reality, like what are their life experiences,” said Daria Collins, Visual Arts Teacher at Garden City Elementary School.

Those conversations led to some moving pieces, all with a different message meant to honor the experiences of African Americans. Teachers say there’s a lot we can learn from their students.

“Celebrating the fact that we’re all different and that we’re all unique and celebrating all of the things that make us beautiful as opposed to all of the things that make us different. You know let’s celebrate the things that make us the same and I think that younger students understand that just, just period- like naturally,” Collins said.

The artwork displayed was created as students learned virtually from home and is the first time they have been able to be featured because of the pandemic. Teachers hope you’ll engage and experience these stories.

“When they come to look at this work, I want for them to immerse themselves in the symbolism behind all of these pieces. There’s just so much culture when you look at all of the work that is presented in this show I want for them to immerse themselves and just kind of place themselves in our shoes,” Ray said.

If you want to see the #BlackLivesMatter exhibit for yourself, it will be open at the Beach Institute through April.

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