Somerville Museum is hosting the exhibition titled “Sanctuary City,” organized and curated by Julia Csekö, the recipient of the museum’s Community Curator Grant. The exhibition is a group show that includes emerging and well-established local artists. Invited by Csekö, artists were requested to present contemporary artwork that resonates with the theme by exposing sensitive considerations, challenging the idea, the significance, elicited by individual interpretations of the term sanctuary and the concept of a sanctuary city.
In 1987, Somerville’s City Council adopted a resolution establishing Somerville as a sanctuary city. It seems appropriate for the museum to serve as a platform for artists to express their understandings and communicate personal experiences associated with the theme. The concept becamehighly polarizing and has been questioned nationally.
Csekö is a Brazilian-American dual citizen and a Somerville-based visual artist with extensive experience in the United States and global art worlds. Recognized as one of the most prominent contemporary artists in Brazil, Csekö has worked with numerous celebrated artists and is not intimidated by any obstacles or restrictions that prevent artists from speaking out. She currently has work hanging at Boston City Hall’s Atrium titled “Furthur,” and it doesn’t stop at there. Csekö has several pieces inside Mayor Michelle’s Wu office. The work titled “Speaking the Truth to Power” consists of Csekö’s signature series of words from women, BIPOC, Latinx and LGBTQIA thinkers who question structures of oppression and domination.