Sheila Pree Bright Commission Art Installation at Boston University Mugar Memorial Library

Updated: Oct 16, 2020


“As I observe the state of the country, I feel art can be a form of activism to create awareness and bring shared communities together too critically look at ongoing social and political struggles across the nation.” - Sheila Pree Bright.”

The Boston University Arts Initiative - Office of the Provost and Boston University Libraries are pleased to announce that artist Sheila Pree Bright has been selected for a commission of a temporary artwork to be installed in the Boston University Mugar Memorial Library on the Charles River Campus in October of 2020.

Bright was selected through a national request for proposals. Artists were invited to submit ideas for a site-specific installation, timed to coincide with the 2020 presidential election, that addressed ideas of equity and access, particularly concepts related to the democratic process, voting rights, institutional change, and equitable representation in keeping with the pedagogical mission of Boston University Libraries.

"In coming to America from Armenia my parents opened the door of Freedom to me. America's public schools & libraries opened my eyes to the unlimited opportunity in this great land, as well as the privileges and obligations of citizenship." - Stephen P. Mugar

Re-Birth is a photographic multi-installation inspired by Stephen P. Mugar's statement about citizenship and Freedom. While in conversations with diverse students from Boston University, I found a common thread among their voices about the complicated relationship with the great American myth. What is the new American Dream that is inclusive to all citizens?

The 2020 state of the Union speech "The Great American Comeback," is reminiscent of the Declaration of Independence, which doesn't fit all Americans--then or today. However, the 2018 midterm elections, a wave of new political blood into Congress and many statehouses—younger, more females- radically are changing the narrative of this nation's democracy, liken until a Re-Birth.

The Democratic process in the era of the Black Lives Matter Movement and COVID19 has a profound effect on generation Z in this country. This summer, the nation experienced a modern-day lynching of George Floyd, a Black man who lost his life to police brutality, which created outrage throughout the world. The impact of George Floyd's death became a symbol of change globally. Young people are rising up, hitting the streets protesting under the banner of Black Lives Matter, searching for a way out. These young visionaries are using their voice in public spaces and on social media platforms holding higher institutions and corporations accountable, hoping these accessible spaces will finally hear their cries for social, economic and political change under the umbrella of Freedom.

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