Wilmington College’s Quaker heritage Center exhibits three to four galleries every year. These galleries relate to the conversations and events happening on campus. In retrospect to the Westheimer Peace Symposium, on display through December 13th, “A Show of Respect” will be on open for students and members of the community. “A Show of Respect” is a collection of oil paintings by artist Helen Broadfoot that embody violations of human rights affecting children in times of war. Broadfoot artistically intertwines the texts of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights in different languages in each of her paintings. This detail brings power to the paintings. “Art is powerful for art’s sake. However, the detail of social statements brings a global perspective from each piece” expressed Quaker heritage Center curator, Ruth Dobyns.
Each painting exemplifies a truth about the injustices against humanity, specifically to children, during times of war. Mixed media and thought provoking images help the viewer understand the power of each piece. Below the work, the translation of the section of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights is translated and then explained for viewers to further their interpretation and worldly understanding of the painting. A very iconic piece of the gallery is a child wrapped in a mixed media black cloth showing just the face. The declaration painted on the cloth is Article 5 explaining that “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act toward one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”
This exhibit has a strong connection to Quaker testimonies- the very heart and foundation of Wilmington College. Dobyns explained that it was her personal goal to highlight the ideals of social justice and respect for all persons through the use of art which is not only the means of a visual representation, but a powerful message.