Running now until Saturday, March 9th at ArtRage Gallery is an exhibit called Significant Souls by Utica artist Partick Fiore. It includes thirty-four of Fiore’s paintings along with four prints. This represents less than one third of the full 120 paintings that make up Fiore’s entire project, which was inspired by historian Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States: 1492 – Present. Head to ArtRage Gallery soon and see the socially important and historically relevant Significant Souls.
Patrick Fiore’s work is very much wrapped up in American identity as well as the individual’s relationship with the story and history of America. It casts the unique people, stories, and history of America in a graphic format of bright paint tones. Beyond that though Fiore attempts to force our attention to the omitted stories, forgotten people, and strife that many history textbooks leave out. It is both a recognition of history and a confrontation with the past that reminds us of the many historical injustices and asks us to look forward with hope.
The works you’ll see are inspired by the late Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States: 1492 – Present, a non-fiction book published back in 1980. Instead of taking the outside, elite position, the book investigates and presents American history through the lens of the common people. Zinn’s work was a turning point for historical works, which started the trend of inclusive narratives. Instead of telling one “official” history, the book worked in the previously ignored histories of America. When it came out The New York Times columnist Bob Herbert claimed, “Mr. Zinn was often taken to task for peeling back the rosy veneer of much of American history to reveal sordid realities that had remained hidden for too long.”
These details really help draw the parallels between Mr. Zinn and Mr. Fiore’s work, despite being from different times and presented in totally different mediums. While Zinn’s work reveals the silenced histories of America, Fiore gives color and life to the narrative. I highly recommend checking out Significant Souls if you’re drawn to the many connections between art, history, and American life.
In case you’ve never been to ArtRage, here’s what they have to say: “The ArtRage mission is to exhibit progressive art that inspires resistance and promotes social awareness; supports social justice, challenges preconceptions and encourages cultural change.” ArtRage is a project of Community Outreach and Resources for the Arts (CORA Foundation).
Wednesday – Friday: 2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Saturday: 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
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