Wall of Song is delighted to present the multi-channel video installation and live performance “It’s a New Dawn / It’s a New Day” by artist Mel Day in collaboration with Dr. Akilah Carter-Francique, The Institute for the Study of Sport, Society & Social Change and affinity partners at SJSU Natalie and James Thompson Gallery from August 30th-September 30th! Join us for our opening live performance with soprano Danielle Marie and special guests on August 30th from 5-6pm followed by an Affinity Partner Tabling Event and Reception until 7:30pm PST. Press release details below.
GALLERY PRESS RELEASE
Wall of Song’s ‘Feeling Good’ Project (2019-) is organized by Mel Day, Dr. Akilah Carter-Francique, The Institute for the Study of Sport, Society and Social Change, and affinity partners.
San José, California – August 8, 2022 – The Natalie and James Thompson Art Gallery is pleased to present It’s a New Dawn, It’s a New Day, an exhibition organized by interdisciplinary artist Mel Day, Dr. Akilah Carter-Francique, The Institute for the Study of Sport, Society and Social Change, and affinity partners, which will open on August 30, 2022 through September 30, 2022 with a special publication and essay by renowned feminist performance scholar Peggy Phelan.
The exhibition celebrates and advocates for the 50th Anniversary of Title IX, legislation that recognized gender equity in education as a civil right and paved the way for women’s sports on and off the field of play. It features a multi-channel video projection, a live singing performance of the collaborative ‘Feeling Good’ Project, and an invitation for visitors to add their voice and learn more about the ways to become more engaged in the movement of equity and inclusivity, particularly as it pertains to the racial justice and gender equity of women, girls, and non-binary athletes in sport.
As part of the ‘Feeling Good’ Project, It’s a New Dawn, It’s a New Day acknowledges the positive influence of sports participation for girls, women and non-binary athletes and advocates for the continuing struggle for equality in sports. The project was started in 2019 by co-organizers interdisciplinary artist Mel Day and Dr. Akilah Carter-Francique, current Dean for the School of Education, Health and Human Services, Benedict College, former Executive Director of SJSU’s Institute for the Study of Sport, Society and Social Change. ‘Feeling Good’ celebrates and builds on the deep legacy of athlete activism at SJSU. This ongoing collaborative performance, art, and music project has included live singing events at women’s basketball games, panel discussions on sports and activism, and opportunities for the public to add their voices to the project’s ever growing archive.
Through an immersive multichannel video installation, It’s a New Dawn, It’s a New Day explores sports as a platform of empowerment and singing as a collective endeavor which can embolden and engage participants to work for and create a more just and equitable future. Visitors to the gallery are invited to experience and participate in a tableau of collective singing, to learn more about Title IX and the work of sports activists, and to engage in calls to action focused on equity and inclusion in sport and beyond. Building on a legacy of social practice and advocacy in art, this project activates the art gallery, transforming it into a commons in the true sense where participation encourages reflection, connection and engagement. Bringing together art, music, athlete activism and public interaction, the exhibition reflects and furthers the ‘Feeling Good’ project’s goal to “build inclusive community by drawing upon the ways in which song can help connect, amplify, and embolden our voices to work towards positive social change.” Immersed in the sound of the song Feeling Good, made popular by Nina Simone and sung here by a mosaic of voices from across campus and the wider community, the public is encouraged to experience and reflect on what Mel Day refers to as “song as a bridge to embodied action.”
This exhibition draws upon the history of activist art and social practice to create a space and opportunity for visitors to share in a collective embodied experience of song. Through participation, visitors are urged to consider the many obstacles that have been surpassed in the long fight to gender equality within higher education, and the many more challenges and inequalities that still demand action. Building upon a legacy of process oriented and socially engaged practice and sports activism, It’s a New Dawn, It’s a New Day works to affect change on and off the field, in the art gallery, across the university and beyond.
In conjunction with the opening of the exhibition on August 30th, join Wall of Song co-founder Mel Day, soprano soloist Danielle Marie, SJSU Choirs, Spartan Marching Band, and affinity partners for a live performance and affinity partner tabling event exploring the expressive possibilities of art, sport, and song for women’s sports and social change efforts. What is the role of all our voices and how might we draw upon the collective resonance of our voices to help imagine and work toward new possibilities for the next 50 years of Title IX?
Wall of Song Title IX @ 50 limited edition prints and affinity partner ‘swag’ will be given away to those completing a call-to-action, while supplies last.
LOCATION: Natalie and James Thompson Art Gallery, Art Building, San José State University
(Near 9th / San Carlos Streets)
EXHIBITION DATES: August 30- September 30, 2022
Opening Reception, Live Performance and Affinity Partner Tabling Event:
Tuesday, August 30, 2022, 5:00pm-7:30pm
Natalie and James Thompson Art Gallery, Art Building, San José State University
Free and open to the public
GALLERY HOURS: Tuesdays 4:30-7:00 and by appointment
FURTHER INFORMATION: Alena Sauzade, Gallery Director
ADDITIONAL IMAGES AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST