Why does so much art these days lack social, political, and spiritual depth? The idea for this gallery arose from our yearning for images that are deeply moving, nourishing, and provocative.

It often seems that “realism” in any of the arts has come to mean only painful realities: the things we would rather cover over, the rapes and violence and harshness, the dirt and poverty. We’d love to see uses of the term that also referred to love, empathy, wonder, beauty, recovery. Those are real too. They happen. But love and empathy and such are often portrayed with Hallmark-card sentimentalism, or in some unreal way.

This art gallery is a space for images of peace, hope, and social transformation that are fully grounded in an awareness of the suffering that exists in our world. It’s a space for art that critiques the pretensions and cruelties of our materialistic and self-centered culture, as well as photo essays that teach us something new about politics or spirituality.

Please comment on the art! What are you excited about? What doesn’t work for you? Let’s have a lively conversation.

11/2/10: Substitute ‘art’ for ‘poetry’ in this quote from the poet Adrienne Rich, in The Nation in 1996, to understand our hopes for this gallery:

I was looking for poetry that could rouse me from fatigue, stir me from grief, … and poetry that awoke delight….