From AMST Director Sara Sells Morgan:

I’ve spent the past couple of months researching how the arts bring healing during times of crisis. Let’s consider 2020 a crash course in creative recovery amid disaster. During my readings, I came upon a quote from Carol Bebelle, co-founder and recently retired Executive Director of Ashé Cultural Arts Center in New Orleans, following Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

“There are so many things that anchor our existence. To lose them all leaves us on a sea without an anchor. So, people were dealing with identity issues. They were dealing with disenfranchisement issues. They were dealing with homesickness. They were dealing with loss in a huge fashion. What we really came to appreciate was the necessity to get some air in the room first before you try to do something else, to get them some oxygen so that they can start breathing. So, art became the oxygen.”

ART BECAME THE OXYGEN. We all learn at an early age that we need oxygen to survive. We breath oxygen into our lungs. Red blood cells pick it up and carry it to the rest of our body. Through various biological collaborations, oxygen fuels our bodies, provides energy, aids in daily cell replacement, enables our bodies to guard against viruses and other invaders, and is crucial for the function of the human eye. In a nutshell, people need oxygen and crises need creativity. I hope you will allow AMST to be your oxygen this season. The arts are absolutely crucial to the successful economic and emotional reconstruction of a community that has been strongly affected by emergency. AMST, struggling just like the rest of you, will be here to ignite that South Texas spirit, bring people together, and to offer a channel for healing through creativity.

All photos are from Target Texas: Drawn Worlds, an exhibition organized by AMST and featuring Ana Fernandez, Suzi Davidoff, Ashley Thomas, Michael Bise, Jorge Alegría, and Kent Dorn. Visit AMST this season to view more from this exhibition.

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