“We have all had the experience of finding that our reactions and perhaps even our deeds have denied beliefs we thought were ours.”
The way we know is directly affected by what we experience. But what happens when my experience of the world is vastly different from yours? What happens when your idea of truth stands in direct opposition to mine? And what happens when what I say I believe about people, the world, is not the same as how I act, vote, post, etc.?
When two sides choose their concept of knowledge over and against another, humanity gets lost in a race to create sides and draw up battle lines. We spend more time shouting out our positions without ever truly seeing the humanity of those we consider to be “other”, “those people”, “illegal”, “enemy.” Knowledge can so easily become a weapon, and in the process we can lose our ability to see common humanity.
Truth devoid of any other virtue is tyranny.
So, I am inviting people to consider the other side, to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, and in so doing, gain experience and expand knowledge to include the other in a way that values them as a human being. I want to invite viewers into my own struggles, and encourage them to do the work to expand their understanding. My hope is that every person who comes to the show would look at my work, and ask the question, “Who is my neighbor? And can I value their humanity more than my ideology? Can I consider someone else as more important than my beliefs or politics? Am I indeed my brother’s keeper?”
So come and consider.
MEGAN KENYON is an artist and grad student living and working in St. Louis. Her primary medium is oil, but she loves to dabble in everything from pen and ink to ceramics. Her work focuses on making space for empathy and understanding between disparate groups and/or ideas, looking for common language in both words and pictures. Her work draws on religious and cultural imagery to create pieces that are accessible and yet complex, allowing the viewer to set aside presuppositions and prejudice to experience something new. She has shown work with Webster Arts, being one of the selected artists for the Connecting Communities: Meacham Park show, as well as in their Small Works XII show. Megan also leads The Makers Art Group and helped to host its first art show at Crave Coffeehouse, MADE TO GROW, in 2019. Megan is also a graduate student with Fuller Theological Seminary pursuing a degree in Theology and the Arts.
TW: The artwork below deals with important and tough subjects, and may contain words or images that could be triggering to some people.
“This show is a chance to take a deep breath, and then plunge into another person’s world and experience, even if just for a half-hour.”
-Megan Kenyon, “When I Look Into the Face of My Enemy, I See My Brother”
Share Your Thoughts
If you would like to give a response to the work you viewed and have it added to Kenyon’s interactive piece, “See and Hear, Look and Listen,” please follow the link below and fill out the form.