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Laura Shabott

There is a Chinese curse [that] says “May he live in interesting times.” Like it or not, we live in interesting times. They are times of danger and uncertainty; but they are also the most creative of any time in the history of mankind.
— Robert F. Kennedy, 1966

As cultural institutions defend their existence in 2017’s political climate, Susan Reid Danton — artist, gallery director and museum show curator — is responding with “Expressing Freedom: Transcendence through Art” at Miller White Fine Arts. The invitational arts show, with painting, sculpture, interactive installations and poetry, opened on April 28 and runs through June 9. It is one of over 30 events that are part of a new arts festival, ArtSpring Cape Cod.

Miller White Fine Arts is nestled in the back of a commercial building along Route 134 in South Dennis, the middle part of Cape Cod. Upon entering, it’s clear that this is no ordinary gallery. Danton is the greatniece of Dorothy Canning Miller, the first curator for the Museum of Modern Art, New York, who is revered for pioneering the work of groundbreaking modern artists including Frank Stella, Jasper Johns and Louise Nevelson.

“Art has an essential transcendental quality, meaning the work is meant to elevate the consciousness of both artist and viewer,” Danton said. “As natural problem-solvers, we artists are challenged to create hope in a world that is increasingly difficult to understand and navigate. So many freedoms are under imminent or actual threat, and there must be a means to spiritually stave off the overwhelm. Art reminds us of our individual and collective gifts, and what is in our power to counter forces that threaten human and planetary survival, certainly now but often from the time we are born.”

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