Crossing Borders at Artspace

On Saturday, April 2nd, Artspace welcomed Rodjaraeg Wattanapanit, an International Visitor through the U.S. State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP).

The IVLP is a professional exchange program designed to provide firsthand knowledge about U.S. society, culture, and politics, while cultivating lasting relationships.

Wattanapanit met with Artspace artist Linda Ruth Dickinson, who had this to say about the experience:

“One of the many great things about Artspace is the welcome extended to visitors from around the world!  Recently one of the 14 winners of this year’s State Department globally awarded Women of Courage prize stopped by to tour.  She was interested in our concept as an Non-profit Art Center helping to promote arts culture as well as benefit the community in other ways.

We discussed the ability art plays in messaging; as in the role art can take to move hearts and minds towards positive change in the environment, underserved communities etc.  A “simple” statement has power and can be used for good.

Her visit was another reminder of how blessed we are in this country to be able to pursue our individual callings and not to take our freedoms for granted but to use them in constructive ways to make our city, state and country a place where we all can flourish.”

"Reconcile II" is an acrylic on canvas, (40"x30") by Linda Ruth Dickinson

“Reconcile II” is an acrylic on canvas, (40″x30″) by Linda Ruth Dickinson

Linda Ruth Dickinson is a self-taught artist born and raised on the island of Taiwan to Midwestern American parents. Drawing on this Transcultural heritage she seeks to bridge seemingly disparate worldviews by expressing the intangible through universal iconography in a synthesis of Eastern and Western thoughts, traditions and values.

Translating her vision primarily through paint on canvas or panel, Dickinson’s explorations result in abstracted imagery that is both familiar and otherworldly.

Her art has been exhibited in museums, art centers and galleries throughout the United States and can be seen in numerous private, public and institutional collections.

Rodjaraeg Wattanapanit

Rodjaraeg Wattanapanit

Rodjaraeg Wattanapanit is the co-owner of a bookstore, Book Re:public, and co-founder of Creating Awareness for Enhanced Democracy (CAFÉ Democracy), an association dedicated to creating political awareness, empowering citizens, and promoting the free exchange of ideas.

Since the 2014 military coup, she has been summoned twice to military camps for “attitude adjustment,” during which she was asked to sign an agreement to refrain from political activities.  Despite being forced to close her bookstore for a year, she remained undaunted in efforts to engage her community on democracy, freedom of expression, and women’s rights.

Since re-opening last fall, Book Re:public has become an indispensable public space for neighbors to gather, discuss societal problems, and develop solutions to Thailand’s political challenges.

About Mary Kay Kennedy

Development & Communications Manager

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