Recently the idea of wall art in the theme of "Americana" came up. As I mulled over the possibilities, poked around the internet and considered the current cultural and political climate my questions grew. Couple this with a lens provided through on the job training with my employer, who is deeply committed to serving a diverse group of people in need, along with the barrage of media images and stories it occurred to me, Americana as a theme would make for an exciting series.
Exploring the concept further I wondered about the origination of Americana. The questions kept coming. What Americana might look like to people relatively new to this country, say less than three generations vs. those who can trace their lineage in this country further? How the imagery would be affected by the combining of newer cultures and the current dominant culture. Would the blending of the traditional Americana concepts with the waves of new people from diverse backgrounds or cultures that have traditionally been suppressed be palatable? What would the imagery be? How would I personally discern the pop culture iconography from what each culture holds dear as they jump into the melting pot that is the United States of America? Is it possible for me to depict, in a semi-abstract context, the pride in both America and the strong cultural ties that are not associated with the dominant culture? Can the two concepts be embraced and combined? Can we remain the land of opportunity with open arms for the tired huddled masses? These questions will fuel my upcoming series "Americana Revisited".
With a sense of inclusion and embracing our shared humanity my curiosity begs that I ask you, the reader: "What makes you personally proud to be an American? Do you have strong personal ties to a non-dominant culture? What imagery or concepts resonate with you, swelling your heart with pride, when considering the blending of these two cultures? and "Are you willing to share your thoughts with me and the internet in an uplifting way?".
Update: Images here: www.virginiasumnerart.com/americana.html
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