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“Protest Portraits” Photographs by Maundy Mitchell

Over the weekend, New Hampshire photographer Maundy Mitchell installed our first-ever outdoor art exhibition on campus in front of Weld Dining Hall.  The exhibition consists of twenty-one life-size images of people from Black Lives Matter demonstrations that took place on the Plymouth, N.H. town common this summer.  Each eight-foot structure holds three portraits and a quote about why each individual supports the Black Lives Matter movement.
When Maundy Mitchell watched protests this summer firsthand from her photography studio in downtown Plymouth, N.H., she decided she wanted to get involved. “It is not enough to simply declare oneself not a racist. I believe each of us has to actively do something to reverse the course of racism in this country. It will be different for each of us. I decided to support the Black Lives Matter movement with this traveling outdoor art exhibit.”
Director of Equity and Inclusion, Jini Sparkman, helped secure a stop for this traveling exhibit at Holderness School. “Each of the portraits represents someone from our local community -- their story, lived experiences, and care for others. My hope for our campus community is, as we stand in front of each portrait and bear witness to that story, that we are able to reflect on our own narratives and the ways that we might live out the motto of our school -- For God and Humankind -- as we confirm and commit to our role in ensuring that Black lives matter.”
As written by Head of School Phil Peck to our community this past June, “Holderness asks each of us to be empathetic, to take initiative, and to serve others in the creation of a caring community.  How might we act to express empathy and to take initiative in order to build a community, a city, a nation that shows that Black lives matter? What steps can each of us take today? There are so many questions that we must constantly ask ourselves and answer.” 
Jini Sparkman continues, “This exhibition is an extension of our motto’s call to action and a means of continuing a conversation with the lives, stories, and experiences of our local community at the center.”
Visual Arts faculty and Edwards Art Gallery curator Joseph Sywenkyj described his intention in bringing this work to campus. “My hope is these magnificent images engage the Holderness community and inspire conversations about history, social justice, and how to be an anti-racist school.”
The show will be on Holderness campus September 13 – 23. Due to public health restrictions, this show is not open to the public.

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