Artists are used to expressing themselves.
They tell the world what they think and feel through their work. They evoke emotion and provoke conversation.
So it makes sense that artists are often the first and loudest to speak up about politics, said Davin Diaz, founder of DrewBoy Creative.
“All the great artists were engaged in politics in one way or another,” he said.
His DrewBoy Creative gallery is holding the latest Don’t Panic community art show Jan. 20. It’s called State of the Union, and it’ll feature art that speaks to the country’s current political landscape.
The show starts at 6 p.m. at the gallery, which is at Confluent Space Tri-Cities, 285 Williams Blvd., Richland.
It’s no coincidence the show falls on the day of the presidential inauguration.
“I’m hoping people come to have healthy conversations and a healthy exchange of ideas — and to gather and support each other as our nation is transitioning (to a new administration),” Diaz said.
The show is nonpartisan and all are welcome to submit work. However, Diaz won’t accept pieces that are discriminatory or similarly inappropriate.
There’s no entry fee and artists may bring pieces the day of the event, although they’re encouraged to reach out to Diaz beforehand at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Diaz, a painter, expects to show some of his own work.
“My art has always had a political theme to it. Almost every piece I do has a political message in it — sometimes it’s buried in the piece and sometimes it’s pretty obvious,” he said. “I believe artists should be engaged in politics. Artists as whole, a collective — whether you’re a painter, a poet, a sculptor, a musician, an actor or actress — I think all of us are mirrors of society.”
State of the Union is a one-night only event. It features several speakers, including Diaz, Benton County Prosecutor Andy Miller, immigration attorneys Tom and Eamonn Roach, community leader Jazmin Hallowell Santacruz and poets Ty Mulholland and Joseph Brightside.
Live music by Drew Thomas Gale, Marie Philomena, Micki Perry, Mary Hartman and March Fox also is planned.
There’s no cover, and the show is open to all ages.
Diaz hopes the community will check it out. It’s a time of political upheaval, and “artists should reflect the times,” he said. “It’s the artist’s duty to be politically active.”
For more information, go to drewboycreative.com.
IF YOU GO
What: The latest Don’t Panic community art show, called The State of the Union.
When: 6 p.m. Jan. 20.
Where: DrewBoy Creative gallery at Confluent Space Tri-Cities, 285 Williams Blvd., Richland.