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Artist Statement: Joan Myerson Shrager

Moral Compass: Artists Respond to Crises

Temple Judea Museum exhibition

January – March 2021

Having spent the past 16 years running an art program for mainly Black teenagers, I have had the incredible experience of coming to know wonderful kids and parents. The Black Lives Matter Movement and marching for justice during this pandemic has great meaning for me as a grandmother, teacher and artist. It has inspired many of the more than 200 digital works of art during this time, expressing my fears, sadness and pain. Many artworks are of my students in The Stained Glass Project who are profoundly affected by our unfair system of injustice. My work speaks to my anguish that had the invaders of the Capitol been Black they would have been treated differently than the white supremacists who were greeted by little or no show of force. As a Jew, I am increasingly fearful that “never again” might only be wishful thinking. Since my forced confinement, I have worked at my computer everyday creating hundreds of expressions of my state of mind. For me, the moral compass of this country is desperately damaged with an excess of citizens ready to deny the rights of those they hate. The patriotic slogans of America have lost much of their meaning for me these days.

Joan Myerson Shrager