Tag Archives: installation art

Spotlight: Interview with the Atlanta TAR (Therapeutic Artist Residency) participants

by Melissa D. Johnston

A few months ago, Atlanta artist and former Creative Thresholds contributor Julie L. Sims contacted me about an exhibition associated with a residency she’d done the year before in Atlanta called TAR (Therapeutic Artist Residency). The TAR project is new to Atlanta and Julie is one of its inaugural artists. The vision of artist and licensed therapist Orion Crook, TAR aims to create a deeper level of support for its artists by exploring the intersection between art and therapy. Each artist in the program receives monthly 2-hour group and individual therapy sessions. The main focus of the residency is to analyze the artist’s process and how that process parallels other life processes and vice versa.

The residency ends with an artist showcase in two parts. The first exhibition, Parallels: Holding Space, held in May 2017, highlighted the work of the artists of TAR as individuals after their year of intense personal and collective art making and reflection. The second exhibition, Parallels: Unfolding Space, takes place in three parts and begins tonight, July 27, 2017. This second exhibition branches out to bring the audience into an experience of TAR for themselves.

The TAR project is a wonderful experimentation with finding the deep support needed to do art as/in dialogue with ourselves, our fellow artists, and the culture at large. In the interview below, Orion and the artists share some of their experiences in the program. If you happen to be in the Atlanta area, check out one of the Parallels: Unfolding events. All are held at Day & Night Projects, 585 Wells St. SW, Atlanta, GA 30312. “Connect” is today, July 27, 7-10 pm. “Unfold” is August 3, 7-10 pm. “Release” is August 10, 7-10. The exhibition is on view from July 27-August 19, 2017. For more information, go to OrionPsychotherapy.org or contact OrionPsychotherapy@gmail.com.



Julie L. Sims, “Coherent Superposition” from Parallels: Holding Space show


1. As part of TAR, each of you participated in monthly individual and group therapy sessions, designed at least in part to explore the relationship between life, art, and therapy. Did anything surprise you in the exploration of that relationship?

ORION: Just tonight I was saying that I am still kind of in awe that this residency actually exists. I had an idea nearly three years ago, and now as we begin to close out the first year I can’t help but think, “This may have changed these people’s lives.”

XENIA: While an obvious concept to me now, it was surprising when I first started realizing that the way I dealt with my art mirrored the way I dealt with life and myself in general. Parallel structures started showing up, which brought forth a more integrative experience of life and art. It became clear that my art was accessing that relationship, using art processing to digest life’s processing.

JULIE: I wouldn’t say this was surprising to me, exactly, but I did realize how alike the mental tools of therapy and the mental tools of being an artist are. I guess there are some artists out there who are completely confident and never doubt their work or have to turn off that nagging critical voice, but most of the ones I know and even the famous ones I’ve heard speak describe their own struggles with doubt over whether their work is any good or not, even if they aren’t people who otherwise have problems with self-doubt in the rest of their lives.

You figure out how to work around that if you want to keep making art, and the most successful ways of doing so have a lot in common with therapeutic techniques designed to defeat negative self-talk and break destructive thought patterns. Therapy teaches you to be kinder to yourself, and you will need to be in order to have the resilience for rejection that is just part of being an artist.

2. Do you believe that empathy is part of the artistic process in general? In your own art? Has your understanding of empathy and its relationship to art changed after your experience with TAR?

ORION: Empathy is part of the human experience. I imagine that it comes across in multiple ways for the artist, but in particular when the artist imagines themselves as the viewer they are digging into how (they perceive) the other feels. This is influenced by what they bring focus to, and highlights their own cognitive structures. Does the artist believe the viewer or peer to be critical, supportive, emotional, aesthetic, and so on? How does this influence their art making process? My hope is that the residents were able to become more aware of their cognitive structures and how they influence their own empathetic viewing. Empathy is a skill that can be honed in on and developed as much as it can be skewed by the mind’s telling of a story. What I find important is that, as the artist becomes aware of their cognitive distortions, they are granted access to more authentic empathy underneath which enhances their relational experience.

XENIA: I think for the longest time I fought empathy in myself, and art process is in a way being in dialogue with yourself. I can’t speak to empathy being present in every artist’s process, but for me it became an element I’ve had to embrace in order to progress in my art. Coming into the residency, my expectations of my work and myself were so rigid, I was being hindered and limited in so many realms. Through the group process of TAR, empathy made its way into my personal work and approach to art, which eventually started opening more creative possibilities.

JULIE: I do believe that empathy is part of creating and understanding art. In general, I think art is a way to give expression to something an artist feels inside themselves, so when a viewer connects with a work of art they are experiencing a kind of empathy to the artist’s intent. Sometimes art takes that even further and is made with a voice expressly meant to foster empathy for specific causes, conditions, or groups of people. In my own series, Uncharted Territory: Anatomy of a Natural Disaster, I reference how we respond to people who have experienced a natural disaster as a parallel for how we should respond to people with mental health issues, and that work is in part intended as a pathway toward empathy for conditions that are often misunderstood or mischaracterized.

STEVE: If empathy is a kind of communication or understanding that is felt, rather than thought, then artists excel at empathy. Artworks can operate both in a realm of language and in the ineffable—and this precognitive space is also where empathy occurs.

Empathy’s flip side is judgement. In a group therapy situation, you learn to stop judging your neighbor, and to listen and allow yourself to experience what that person is saying.


Xenia Simos’s work from the Parallels: Holding Space Show


3. The first TAR exhibition, Parallels: Holding Space, showcased your work as individuals after a year of personal and collaborative art-making and reflection. The second exhibition, Parallels: Unfolding Space, is a collaboration not just with each other, but also with the people attending the show. Your experience with TAR seems to be an ever-expanding circle touching people well beyond the work of an individual artist. What do you hope to accomplish in that connection?

ORION: We are letting people inside TAR, and I hope to establish a lighthouse for the art culture in Atlanta that stands for supporting our artists on a deeper level. The whole year is an extremely intimate experience; therapy comes with a lot of confidentiality. This second show is an expression of what it was like inside TAR. I mean that for better and worse, with expansion and vulnerability. We worked to unfold an experience of art that exists inside a particular container. This residency was contained with therapeutic intent, and this is being brought to the three nights, Connect-Unfold-Release. In the first night, the viewer gets to experience layers of the residency that help them connect with themselves.

XENIA: I think part of the intention of TAR was to build a creative community that saw value in and benefited from the interdisciplinary exploration of art and therapy. Going through the residency magnified the communal aspect, and made clearer that TAR sought to establish a new art culture. Connecting with other artists, viewers and anyone in the community that has an interest, is the residency’s way of doing just that.

JULIE: I am always wanting to normalize conversation about mental health. Between uneven insurance coverage for treatment and societal stigma, many people can’t afford or will never seek out a therapeutic relationship, which is a shame, because it’s something I think nearly everyone could benefit from. This exhibition is an opportunity to share some of that experience, to show how it intersects with other aspects of life, and perhaps overturn assumptions about what therapy can be.

4. “Space”—understood both metaphorically and literally—plays a large role in the description of the TAR program and even appears in the title of both exhibitions. After your year together, how do you understand “space” in relation to the artistic and therapeutic process? Does it play a role in your own individual art?

ORION: Therapy is an art form in the practice and performance of the science of psychology. I see myself as a space holder when I step into the therapeutic relationship. It it my job to curate a space that allows for unconditional positive regard, vulnerability, safety, risk taking, confrontation, and in the end a therapeutic intent. Therapeutic intent is a large concept, but it means in this moment for me that after we process and go deep we gather awareness of what is in front of us and make a choice to move forward, towards the growth work, towards connecting, and often doing what is hard but supports us to be the self we want to be in the future.

XENIA: Space is my medium; and everything I do revolves around the visceral experience of it. Expressing mental spaces into physical ones through metaphor is what I was developing before TAR, even if it was not as clear to me then. After a year in the residency my relationship with space has only deepened more. I now understand it as something necessary to any process. Whether it is artistic or therapeutic in nature, space is what gives room for that process to unfold. It is something fluid that shifts to the process’s needs, and experienced on multiple levels. Throughout this year, I have learned to expand and retract myself accordingly, adjusting to my life and my creative process.

JULIE: When you “hold space” for someone you are allowing them to be just as they are without judgment or trying to change their feelings. You’re giving them room to express their truth. Artists have to remember to hold space for themselves. If you judge every thought and impulse as they arrive, if you try and change what you’re doing to something you think you should do instead of what is true to yourself, you’re not holding space for your work to develop.

Our first exhibition, Holding Space, let each of us be as we are and express our own truths. In Unfolding Space we are opening up a new dimension and creating a wholly new space collaboratively, and we’re inviting other people to let us hold that space for them to step into.

STEVE: When Sun Ra sings “space is the place,” he’s equating Outer Space with the freedom to become what you will be, where imagination is the force that creates the world.

One of Google’s definitions of space is “a continuous area or expanse that is free, available, or unoccupied.” This can mean allowing physical and mental space for your collaborator to do their thing—to trust that your colleague is going to make a contribution that is amazing and unexpected.

Another definition is “the dimensions of height, depth, and width within which all things exist and move.” In this sense, I see the art gallery as that container, and I am covering the gallery walls with burlap as a way to contain, focus, and amplify the energy of what we do in there.


Steven L. Anderson’s work from Parallels: Holding Space show


5. The sacred or language associated with the sacred plays a role in the discourse about TAR’s projects. The visitors to the second series of exhibitions (Parallels: Unfolding Space) will participate in shared rituals designed by the artists, ultimately aimed toward the process of healing. The last show ends with the artist as “sacred practitioner” inviting people to join her in washing away their troubles in a tank of salt water with the intention to begin anew. Do the processes of art-making and/or therapy contain aspects of the divine (however understood) for you? If so, what do you see as the connection?

ORION: This is a great question and one that brings a beautiful tension between the anchor of this series and our perspectives. I come from a poly truth perspective that finds comfort in having a practice that does have a relationship with the creation force. Due to a frontal cortex, I as a human have the ability to believe that the divine doesn’t exist, that it doesn’t matter whether I believe it or not because I can never “truly know,” that it does exist, and that believing has its own affect whether it exists or not. I can hold all of these as truths and still exist, I actually believe it’s how the brain works on its own. We often find ourselves going between things, back and forth questioning our assumptions. The brain struggles to hold onto one side of such a large topic and just stay settled there. When I come from a perspective that makes space for all of the viewpoints around the divine, I get a sense of freedom that deals less with having to choose, and allows me to focus more on how I want to live and act. For me, whether the divine as you name it exists or not, I enjoy practicing from a perspective that is in relationship to a possibility that I can influence change, that my will is worth casting in intentional directions, and that art is a medium for materializing this process.

JULIE: For me art is sacred in the sense that it is the soul of who I am. I experience art-making as a force of creation, which some people associate with divinity, although I do not. I see it as tapping into the systems that drive the universe… creation, evolution, destruction.  Performance art has a very blurry line with ritual, so conflating the two feels very natural. I think rituals have value separate from religious intent—the daily routine performed exactly the same every day is a type of ritual that offers control and continuity in a world that often lacks either. So, I would not say that either sacredness or ritual are divine.

This specific performance will mark a year since my breast cancer diagnosis, and is a performance-art-ritual with the ultimate intent of “letting go.” As such, it sits directly at the intersection of art and therapy, because it is using art as a vehicle to process and release a life experience.

STEVE: More than the words sacred and divine, I’m interested in the concepts like spirit and energy. We encounter these when out in the forest, in the desert, or in the ocean; or when we meditate, or make art, or do drugs. Any situation where we experience flow is when we’re connecting to the energies that are all around us and within us.

The processes that we’re exploring and introducing to our audiences—connecting, unfolding, releasing—are ways of breaking through barriers in our selves. When we can bring down these walls, we find ourselves closer to that spirit that we so rarely glimpse.

XENIA: I do not feel connection with the language of sacred or divinity as much as I do with the concept of being in touch with oneself. I experience this while making art. I believe at times, through our process we can experience moments of calm, and a sense of faith in ourselves and in the work. Those moments could be described as divine; but in no way do I see the artist as sacred or divine. I am simply tapping into something that already exists. As far as ritual, while it often is associated with religion, our intention came from a more meditative approach. The repetition of a task while holding a certain idea in place, the overlay of a movement solidifying it; over and over and over. This is seen in performance often and I think ritual can exist within that realm.


The TAR group, working hard on their new performance and installation-based show Parallels: Unfolding-“Connect.” From left: Xenia Simos, Steven L. Anderson, Julie L. Sims, Orion Crook


Julie L. Sims lives in the Atlanta area and graduated summa cum laude from Georgia State University. Her work has been exhibited nationally and locally, and has been written about in Creative Loafing, ArtsATL.com, and in publications including Possible Futures’ Noplaceness: Art in a Post-Urban Landscape. She is a 2016–15 TAR Project resident, and was a 2014 WonderRoot CSA artist, a 2013–14 Walthall Fellow, was selected by the New York Times to attend the New York Portfolio Review (2013), and was nominated for the Forward Arts Foundation Emerging Artist Award (2012). See more at lensideout.com.

Steven L. Anderson is a founding member of Day & Night Projects, an artist-run gallery in Atlanta. Anderson has been a Studio Artist at Atlanta Contemporary (2013–16), a 2015 Hambidge Center Distinguished Fellow, and a 2014–15 Walthall Artist Fellow. Anderson’s notebooks are in the permanent collection of the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library at Emory University. He has exhibited in Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Miami, and Chicago. More information at  www.StevenLAnderson.com.

Xenia Simos is an installation artist with a background in sculpture and design. A graduate of the University of Georgia with a bachelor of fine arts in interior design, her work explores space and our relationship to it. Through a conceptual and process-based approach, Simos translates the human experience into a spatial composition, manifesting mental structures into physical ones. Her works are often site-specific, and interdisciplinary in medium.

Orion Crook, LPC and TAR:
In the West End of Atlanta, Orion Psychotherapy’s studio office holds space for adolescents and adults who are seeking to engage in a therapeutic-relationship-ritual with a Licensed Professional Counselor. Grounded in his Humanistic foundation from the University of West Georgia, he often encounters the lived struggles of trauma, gender, sexuality, and loss with compassion, an ear for metaphors, and an interest in Expressive Therapies. At the intersection where art meets therapy Orion founded and runs the Therapeutic Artists Residency. orionpsychotherapy.org



Die Schönheit des Banalen (The Beauty of the Trivial)

by Stephan Brenn

Art Tel Aviv

Art Tel Aviv















Photo by Smilla Dankert

Artist: Stephan Brenn

Stephan Brenn is collecting, observing, exploring. He is an explo­rer of the unseen. There are unwanted, wasted and leftover objects, fascinating him.

His work is based on found material, shown as ready made–wire drawing, light projection on house walls and YLOP light-photography.

Stephan Brenn (1961) born in Heidelberg, lives and works in Berlin. Founder of the “museum für verwandte Kunst,” Cologne. His work was shown in the museum für konkrete Kunst – Ingolstadt, luminale – Frankfurt, raum für zeitgenössische kunst – Zürich, contemporary art ruhr – Essen, art tel aviv – Tel Aviv, museum schnütgen – Cologne, museum marta – Herford, preview berlin art fair – Berlin…..


Der berliner künstler stephan brenn, geboren 1961 in heidelberg arbeitet aktuell an drahtinstallationen, lichtinstallationen, anweisungsprojekten und fotoprojekten.

Realisierungen: teufelsberg-berlin; preview berlin art fair-berlin; museum marta-herford; contemporary art ruhr-zeche zollverein essen; art tel aviv-tel aviv; luminale-frankfurt; museum schnütgen-köln; museum für konkrete kunst-ingolstadt; lichtturm-solingen; hörder burg-dortmund; museum schloß burgk-burgk; herz jesu kirche-köln; spichernhöfe-köln; reinraum-düsseldorf; museum für verwandte kunst-köln; kunstverein projektraum bahnhof 25-kleve; raum für zeitgenössische kunst-zürich; POSITIONS BERLIN ART FAIR-berlin; german consulate general-new york city; bedsitter art fair-wien; LAGEEGAL-berlin…….






Stephan Brenn sammelt, beobachtet, erforscht, macht Kunst. Er ist ein Entdecker und Sichtbarmacher von Dingen, die eigentlich schon für immer verschwunden waren. Seine Fundstücke erzählen Geschichten über den Ort von dem sie stammen und über eine Gesellschaft, die Wegwerfgesellschaft genannt wird. Es sind ungewollte, überflüssige und übrig gebliebene Objekte, die in ihrer ursprünglichen Gestalt deformiert wurden. Sie haben Zufallsformen angenommen, die per se jedoch auch logischen Gesetzten folgen. Im Nutzungsprozess werden ihre Gebrauchsformen umgeformt, dekonstruiert. Die Deformation löst sie aus ihrem Funktionszusammenhang und macht sie wieder zu Rohmaterialien der Industriegesellschaft. Gleichzeitig visualisieren sie die Magie ihres Verwandlungsprozesses vom funktionalen Gegenstand zum achtlos weggeworfenem und doch unbewusst gestalteten ästhetischen Objekt. Stephan Brenn öffnet die Augen für die Schönheit des Banalen, indem er minimal eingreift. Er arrangiert, ordnet an, komponiert und unterstreicht die Charakteristik der Zufallsformen, indem er sie zu einem Dialog untereinander führt. Durch die geometrischen Formen Kreis und Rechteck, zu denen er seine Fundstücke komponiert, gibt Stephan Brenn den Objekten eine neue, rein ästhetische Aura. Die Drahtzeichnungen spiegeln also einen doppelten Formprozess wider. Im ersten Schritt werden die Dinge durch ihre industrie-kulturelle Verwendung deformiert und der Aura ihrer Nützlichkeit beraubt, dann im künstlerischen Prozess der Auswahl und Kombination behutsam zu einer neuen Form zusammengeführt, sodass sie im Schutz der selbstverständlichen geometrischen Metaform ihren ganz individuellen ästhetischen Reiz entfalten können.

tobias hoffmann

museumsleiter museum für konkrete kunst ingolstadt



End Hate Series

by V.L. Cox


The series was created in response to Arkansas’s HB1228 which made it out of committee in
March of 2015. This discriminatory bill would have brought back Jim Crow days where hatred
and repression were the law of the land. The “End Hate” installation was installed twice on the
steps of the Arkansas State Capitol as a First Amendment protest of the reckless and unjust
behavior by the 90th General Assembly. Through social media and the Associated Press, the
series helped bring world-wide attention to the struggle. With enormous pressure now being
forced on government officials, HB1228 was defeated.

The celebration was brief. With similar bills being considered and passed across the country, the
“End Hate” installation was then taken to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., where the
“I Have a Dream” speech was delivered by American civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr.
on August 28, 1963. His speech was a defining moment of the American Civil Rights
Movement. With Civil Rights laws now slowly being chipped away or even denied for some, this
was a sacred place where dreams and freedom were born and was the perfect place to once
again, stand for justice and equality for all. To say that the series was well received on that day,
is an understatement. Over 250,000 people were present, and not one negative comment was
heard about the series. Not one. The power and simplicity of the historic content strongly
resonated through the crowd. It brought people that were visiting from all over the world
together in conversation, sharing their own stories of discrimination and injustice, in peace and
camaraderie. And to me, that is where change begins. Separate Is Never Equal.

END HATE DOORS are solid wooden doors from the 1950’s and paint.

3-24-15 V.L. Cox Equality Doors Exhibit at the Arkansas State Capitol.

v.l. cox-End Hate series-doors-Arkcap2

V.L. Cox End Hate series--doors-HB1228defeat

V.L. Cox-End Hate series-doors-Lincolnmemorial2

V.L. Cox-End Hate series-doors-Washingtonmonument



42.5″ x 13.75″ x 3.75 – Mixed Media

Created from a 1896 church roof dormer from south Arkansas, wood from an old church pew,
1930 rope, and worn leather shoes. In the 1920’s, the Klan used to request full church services
and show up in all their regalia. The only way people could recognize the Klansmen was by
their hands or their shoes. A little side note: My great-grandfather was almost killed by the Klan.
He was pulled out of his house and bed by his ankles, tied to a tree, and horse whipped within
an inch of his life after being falsely accused by a man who was sour over a horse sale. My
grandfather and great-grandmother had to cut him down and nurse his bloody wounds. My
great-grandfather later recognized the shoes of a cousin that was involved in the whipping on
Main St. Arkadelphia, Arkansas and swore revenge. They never spoke again.

SOLES is comprised of an 1896 wooden church dormer vent, natural fiber 1930 rope, leather
and rubber shoes.

V.L. Cox-End Hate series-Soles



66” x 20”x 20” – Mixed Media Installation

After working with incarcerated youth and seeing first hand the unjust imbalance of mass
incarceration of minorities in our country today, I find this piece haunting and sad, but painfully
true. The white column is taken from an old craftsman style front porch, where a lot of time is
spent during the hot summer months due to the sweltering heat. Sitting on the front porch
watching the world go by, is a relaxing, cherished moment here in the south. Unfortunately due
to social economic status, lack of opportunity or the color of their skin, many individuals never
get the opportunity to go very far past this setting before being funneled into the lucrative and
politically controlled ‘cradle to prison’ pipeline. They literally spend a lifetime, from birth to
death, ‘looking out’ into the real world.

JIM is comprised of a vintage Crow decoy, rusted barbed wire, paint, epoxy, and wood.

V.L. Cox-End Hate series-Jim



11. “SOILED”

Mixed Media Installation

A 1920 (95 year old) blood stained Klan robe installation. I acquired this piece from an antique
dealer who had a family bring it in after another family member died. I had no idea it was
stained with blood before the acquisition. I believe, after historical research, that this was used inthe Summer of 1919 (“Red Summer”) somewhere in the south. It’s just too stained and the time period is almost identical. I kept the robe intact, created the hood to complete it, and purchased the vintage metal signage to show the true level of hatred this robe and installation represents. The rope is an old bell tower church rope.

SOILED is comprised of circa 1919 authentic Klan robe, natural fiber rope, metal and wood.

V.L. Cox-End Hate series-Soiled

V.L. Cox-End Hate series-Soiled2

V.L. Cox-End Hate series-Soiled3



65” x 52”x 9” – Mixed Media

While driving through Harrison, Arkansas, I passed a dusty ‘compound’ on the edge of town
with a large gate and numerous confederate flags marking the surrounding property lines as well
as the gate entrance. It’s hard to miss.

With the gate and the confederate flags being such a strong visual to me, I picked up this old
wooden gate in an antique shop around the area, and wanted to create a piece that reflects the
entrance into the dark world of White Supremacy. Antiquated, but still standing, in secrecy and
anger intertwined with hatred, ignorance and fear. The two wood boards on each end, as well
as the hinges and barbed wire were not original to the gate but were added. I then cut the flat
tops of the gate pickets into a ‘hood’ image and carved a faded white Confederate Flag into the
wood to represent the same flags from the compound. When I positioned the lighting at a 45
degree angle, it then created ‘ghosts’ behind the gate, lending an element of recognition to the
old term ‘Invisible Empire’ from back in the day.

WHITEWASH is comprised of wood, metal and paint.

V.L. Cox-End Hate series-Whitewash



70” x 28.5”x 4” – Mixed Media

This piece was created after I read about “Klan Camp” for kids held this summer at
the National Ku Klux Klan headquarters in Harrison, Arkansas. The teddy bear is
facing backwards to represent the loss of innocence, and addresses children and early
indoctrination. This screen door is also part of my “Images of the American South”
screen door series. This long running, 24 year narrative body of work is registered
with the Library of Congress and tells the story of the South.

WHITE BREAD is comprised of wood, metal and paint.

V.L. Cox-End Hate series-WhiteBread



41″ x 48″ x 5″ – Mixed Media

“Old Glory” is a sculptural piece made out of vintage steel and cloth. This old blue steel has been
knocked around until it appears ruined and damaged, but is still as strong as ever. I couldn’t
even bang out some of the dents with a sledgehammer. It was then I decided to use it for this
piece. I for one am sick and tired of all the crazy, narcissistic ’Reality TV’ drama that has torn
our country apart. I wanted to do a piece to show that even though we take a pounding,
regardless of our stance or differences, I still believe that we are Americans, our country is
strong, and freedom, equality and justice FOR ALL will prevail.

OLD GLORY is comprised of metal, cloth, and paint.

V. L. Cox-End Hate series-Glory



Mixed Media Installation – 109″ x 60″ x 25″

I created “No Vacancy” from old 9 foot tall church steeple from the Delta after reading the story
the Arkansas Times did on a young man in northern Arkansas who received a letter in the mail
from his church telling him he was immediately being removed from their membership records
because he was gay, and then another story about a man who had to actually move his deceased
partner’s grave due to the threats in Baxter County. The worker for the monument company
who was moving the tombstone was even approached and threatened by a man with a Bowie
knife in a Wal Mart parking lot of “why he had that ‘faggot’s’ headstone in the back of the
truck.” Stories like this are all to common today and I don’t think this is what Christ had in mind
when he told people to ‘love thy neighbor.’

NO VACANCY is comprised of wood, metal, plastic, electrical lighting and paint.

V.L. Cox-End Hate series-1 NoVacancy

V.L. Cox-End Hate series-NoVacancy2



36″ x 56″ x 2.5″ – Mixed Media

Represents the damage the extreme faction of the ‘Tea Party’ has done to our country when the
pages of the Bible are ripped out of context and used to harm others. It’s made up of over six
hundred and six (606) pages of the Bible made into tea bags with real tea inside. I started at the
bottom with Leviticus, with an entire bible being used in this piece as well as part of another

STAINED is comprised of paper, paint, black tea, string and wood.

V.L. Cox-End Hate series-Stained

V.L. Cox-End Hate series-Stained2



74″ x 34″ x 21″ – Mixed Medium Installation

Being a rational, concerned individual is one thing. Reckless panic is another. Created out of an
old Craftsman front porch column “Home of the Brave” represents the ridiculous level of ‘Fear’
that is being intentionally streamed into our homes to separate us as Americans today. Fear fuels
mistrust, repression and hatred among neighbors. Yes, there are things we need to take care of,
but keeping a level head, checking facts, and not taking direction from emotionally charged
individuals or media sources that are bent on monetary or personal gain is the solution. Truth is
the key to our safety, security and happiness. America doesn’t need to “be great again,” it never
stopped being great, and don’t let anyone motivated by self-interest or fear tell you otherwise.

HOME OF THE BRAVE is comprised of wood, metal, and epoxy.

V.L. Cox-End of Hate series-Homeofthebrave

V.L. Cox-End Hate series-Brave2

V.L. Cox-End Hate series-Brave4



54” x 15”x 14” – Mixed Media Installation

“And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the
heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” – Ezekiel 36:26.

This piece represents the convenient loss of humanity toward others in this digital age. While
talking in great lengths to a friend one day about an idea I had for a project on this subject, she
mentioned one of her favorite biblical quotes that went along with the stone heart I had just
carved. I actually liked it. Bottom line, regardless of your beliefs it’s up to all of us to make the
efforts to open our hearts to others before any change can take place.

I chiseled the stone heart with an air hammer, and the old rusted barbed wire came from property blessed by a church. The base is an antique craftsman style porch column representing the foundations and lessons of the South. The light represents hope.

There’s always hope…

PILLAR is comprised of wood, rusted barbed wire, stone, electric lighting, epoxy, and wood.

V.L. Cox-End Hate series-Pillar

V.L. Cox-End Hate series-Pillar2



25.5″ x 33.5″ x10″ – Mixed Media

Represents how careless, reckless and forceful the bible can be thrown around these days here in
the South. At times, it’s as casual as shooting a sign as you drive by it, or hitting the sign with a
beer bottle. Original vintage bible cover over wood with gold leaf, mounted on the end of a
1939 Coca Cola box cooler.

READY, AIM, FIRE AND BRIMSTONE is comprised of metal, wood, paper and Tibetan
gold leaf.

V.L. Cox-End Hate series-ReadyAimFireandBrimstone



57″ x 47″ x5.5″ – Mixed Media

This piece was created after reading about the numerous black churches that were being burned
down through the south after the Charleston Massacre. The stained glass window is from 1896
and the brass fire extinguisher is from the 1920’s. Both come from old churches in South
Arkansas. The wooden background is made from an old church pew from off Roosevelt Road in
Little Rock, Arkansas and burned along with old wallpaper attached to it.

BLESSED ASSURANCE is comprised of glass, metal and wood.

V.L. Cox-End Hate series-BlessedAssurance

V.L. Cox-End Hate series-BlessedAssurance2



23.25″ X 17.75″ X 5.5″ – Mixed Media

When hate escalates to violence, it IS an emergency. It’s time to go back to the basics, start from
the beginning, and learn to talk to one another. This is why I used an image of a simple child’s
toy for the subject matter. The glass front is a resized 1950 wooden window, mounted on a
vintage mercantile display case from the 40’s.

IT’S TIME WE START OVER AND TALK ABOUT HATE is comprised of glass, metal,
plastic, natural fiber, paint, and wood.

V.L. Cox-End Hate series-It'sTimeWeTalked



42″ x 70″ – Mixed Media

Old church chalkboard from the 1930’s with a vintage school bus ‘stop’ light. It represents how
early we need to teach our children about stopping hate.

STOP HATE is comprised of paper, wood, glass, metal and paint.

V.L. Cox-End Hate series-stophate

V.L. Cox-End Hate series-stophate2


V.L. CoxArtist: V.L. Cox

V.L. Cox was born in Shreveport Louisiana and raised in Arkansas. She acquired a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Henderson State University in 1991. Cox’s recent work has been highly active in projects that involve Human Rights and Equality. In 2015, she launched her National “End Hate” Installation Series, an anti-discrimination series that was placed twice on the steps of the Arkansas State Capitol, and then at the base of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Cox understands how to draw the viewer into her work through her experience with working with large audiences. While working as an artist in Dallas, Texas, Cox worked in the scenic industry constructing and painting large backdrops for theatrical organizations such as the Dallas Opera, the Dallas Ballet, and the Los Colinas Film Studios. Some of the productions include: The Nutcracker and Phantom of the Opera. Cox also painted the background for the National Civil Rights Humanities Awards in Memphis, Tennessee where Leah Rabin, wife of slain Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, spoke and presented the award for freedom.

People and surroundings heavily influence Cox’s work. Over the years she has developed
a growing interest in historical preservation while portraying a southern way of life. Cox
currently resides in North Little Rock, Arkansas and has been painting for 26 years. She
works as a full time-artist and her work can be found in international private and
corporate collections. Her progress in the art world has been rapid.

Website: http://www.greatfineart.com/


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