How does art transform violence, oppression, and trauma into meaning, resistance, learning, and liberation?
From abolition, to racial justice, to antiwar Aaron Hughes and William Estrada discuss the way their interdisciplinary art practices weave in and out of political movements and drift from individual studio work to collaboration to community engagement to political action. These shifts in spaces of production create opportunities for new poetic connections and inspire new projects. Through sharing a number of their respective art projects and posing questions to one another, Hughes and Estrada share how their art practices position printmaking as a learning tool and act of solidarity. They discuss the relationship between their practices and the powerful work they do with the Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative and Prison + Neighborhood Arts/Education Project.
Aaron Hughes is an artist, curator, organizer, teacher, anti-war activist, and Iraq War veteran. Working through an interdisciplinary practice rooted in drawing and printmaking, he works collaboratively to create meaning out of trauma, transform systems of oppression, and seek liberation. He is currently a Visiting Artist in the Department of Printmedia at SAIC.
William Estrada is an arts educator and multidisciplinary artist. His current research is focused on developing community based and culturally relevant projects that center power structures of race, economy, and cultural access in contested spaces that provide a space to collectively imagine just futures.
William and Aaron are both members of the Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative and the Prison + Neighborhood Arts/Education Project. P+NAP connects artists and scholars to incarcerated students at Stateville Prison. Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative is a decentralized network of artists who believe in the transformative power of personal expression in concert with collective action.