[vc_row][vc_column][vc_hoverbox image=”6411″ primary_title=”” hover_title=””]Dawn in Light by TJ Reynolds

Brighter Connected 2020[/vc_hoverbox][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

This installation by artist TJ Reynolds features portraits of people of African descent “drawn in light” on black surfaces. Just as the lights of Hanukkah represent hope, so do these illuminated portraits of local sculptor Fern Cunningham, Rabbi Tiferet Berenbaum, and biblical figures Adam and Eve. By drawing a connection between the holiday and the current Black Lives Matter movement, we are reminded that we must study and understand the past to truly make progress as humankind.

To see more from this artist: https://www.instagram.com/tjreynoldsart/


Location:  Freedom House Inc, 5 Crawford Street, Dorchester MA

On view December 9 – March 15
No preregistration required
Click here for the map


Rabbi Tiferet Berenbaum is the director of Congregational Learning and Programming at Temple Beth Zion in Brookline. In her multifaceted career, she has always worked at the intersection of race, racism and religion, giving her valuable insights into how different groups of people see the world and refining her powers of empathy. She believes, “At this time, we need to reach out to vulnerable groups in our society. We need to model overcoming ignorance and fear in favor of understanding and relationships. When we genuinely ask questions and seek understanding, we build trust that leads to strong relationships.”



Fern Cunningam (1949-2020) was an American sculptor with Boston ties who is best known for her public works of art, which beautify spaces throughout the City of Boston and honor Black history and experiences while celebrating families and relationships. This piece features Fern in front of her sculpture Step on Board, the first statue honoring a woman on city-owned land in Boston. The memorial depicts Harriet Tubman, leading a small group of people while holding a Bible. Cunningham later said that one of her aims in creating the piece was to raise the question, “Who is a hero?” 




Quotes from participating teens:

“It’s a strange experience when you grow up in the Jewish community, especially in Boston which is already so segregated. You never have a chance to get to know other Jews of color unless you seek them out. It’s a super alienating experience.” 

“I’m the only black kid in my class. When people are talking about anything to do with race, everyone looks towards me. But I can’t speak for everyone, I can only speak for myself.” 

“It’s annoying and difficult to be in Jewish spaces that don’t represent you. It can be so frustrating, all these microaggressions can build up over time and you can’t even put a name on what they are or why they are affecting you so much.” 

“I don’t feel like I fit in black spaces in the same way I don’t fit in Jewish spaces. You can tell I grew up with white people, I stick out. Even when I have a chance to make more black friends, it doesn’t happen because I don’t feel accepted.” 

“I think this was a super important topic to discuss. I have a lot to say but no one ever asks. I feel more represented when I see and hear other people talking about it too.” [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]