Break Glass: Facilitating Conversations to End Hate – Featuring MSDC Advisory Board Member V.L. Cox

The Virginia Holocaust Museum will feature the poignant and timely work of V.L. Cox with its upcoming exhibition, Break Glass: The Art of V.L. Cox – A Conversation to End Hate. Cox’s artwork is traveling from the Longwood Center for the Visual Arts at Longwood University and will be on display at the VHM September 28, 2018–February 11, 2019, with a members-only preview on September 27th.

Through her art, Cox aspires to spark conversation about civil rights and equality, while also exploring the persistence of hate and injustice in America today. Her work is often born in cathartic response to contemporary events and shaped from her own personal experiences growing up in Arkansas. “Personal conversations, with respect to one another, need to be had before we can move forward together,” Cox said. “There used to be a time when people could agree to disagree with civility, yet still have things in common. We need to find that place again.”

Cox creates her work from found objects, appropriating them to make pointed criticisms about some of today’s most troubling topics – often delivering a message that is in direct opposition to the objects’ original message or intended use. Conversely, she shines a light on the misuse and corruption of institutions, offices, and artifacts by those who manipulate them in support of their own greed or hateful personal agendas.

Cox first began working on this series in January of 2015.  “I embarked on a path of change with my artistic career thanks to a changing political climate that I believed set a dangerous precedent of discrimination in our society,” said Cox.

Break Glass is complemented by There’s Just Us, an exhibition of photography by Longwood University Assistant Professor of Communications Studies Dr. Alec Hosterman. There’s Just Us depicts the chaos and tension that unfolded in Charlottesville at the Unite the Right rally, a white supremacist protest held at Emancipation Park on Saturday August 12, 2017. Hosterman’s photographs provide a local context to the nationally-based conversation ignited by Cox’s art.

This exhibition was organized by the Longwood Center for the Visual Arts at Longwood University.

About the Artist

Cox received her BFA from Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. She has created large backdrops for organizations including the Dallas Opera, the Dallas Ballet, Los Colinas Film Studios, and the National Civil Rights Museum Humanities Awards in Memphis, Tennessee. Her work can be found in the Morris Museum of Art in Augusta, Georgia, (Julia J. Norrell collection), the Historic Arkansas Museum in Little Rock, Arkansas, President William Jefferson Clinton Collection, as well as numerous private collections.

About the Virginia Holocaust Museum

The VHM first opened in 1997, founded by Mark Fetter, Jay Ipson, and Al Rosenbaum. Housed in the former Education building at Temple Beth El, the museum became an attraction for school field trips. Within a few years, the museum outgrew the space at Temple Beth El, and required additional room to handle the growing number of visitors and school groups. The Virginia Holocaust Museum has grown steadily since 2003, and now has an average of over 42,000 visitors each year. The VHM remains an important location for Virginia

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