Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Planned Parenthood's newest exhibit focuses on consent

Posted By on Wed, Dec 5, 2018 at 1:00 AM

click to enlarge Friday  Planned Parenthood Art Show: We Too, Opening reception, 6-9 p.m., on display through Dec. 31, The Gallery Below, 
718B N. Weber St., - JANSEN HOWARD
  • Jansen Howard
  • Friday Planned Parenthood Art Show: We Too, Opening reception, 6-9 p.m., on display through Dec. 31, The Gallery Below, 
718B N. Weber St.,
Last year, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains presented its first community art show, on display only at The Gallery Below in Colorado Springs. The Thread That Binds Us sourced artwork from all over the nation to address the theme of reproductive health care. Paintings, prints, altars and mixed-media works presented a diverse range of voices weighing in on what reproductive health care meant to them and sharing their experiences through art. In its second such exhibition, PPRM has made some changes, including featuring entirely local and regional artists, most — like Christine Flores, Jansen Howard and curator Jasmine Dillavou — from right here in Colorado Springs. While this change was intentional, co-curator Nico Wilkinson, PPRM’s Health Center Advocacy Program organizer (and occasional Indy contributor), says they noticed another shift as submissions came pouring in. “Last year, there was a lot [of artwork] that was around the body,” Wilkinson says, “and more of a focus on health care ... But this year a lot came in about consent — consent and respect. And the whole idea of choice has shifted more to not just be choice in the sense of reproductive rights and abortion, but choice in terms of having a say over our bodies and the way that they’re treated, and the way that we’re treated.” Wilkinson says the title of the show, We Too, is based on the #MeToo movement, acknowledging what they call “an overall cultural shift” toward having honest conversations about consent.
At the First Friday opening, expect entertainment by local poets and musicians, plus a variety of art to both enjoy and purchase. “The art [is] for sale, [and] a portion will be going to Planned Parenthood, but it was really important to us to ensure there was something for everyone,” Wilkinson says. Recognizing that not everyone can afford to drop $500 on a piece of artwork, they’ll offer a selection of zines, prints and smaller art pieces as well as the main pieces of the exhibit. The event is meant to welcome all members of the community who support Planned 
Parenthood and care about autonomy, consent and choice.

“The history of Planned Parenthood in our community, and of the growing progressive community in Colorado Springs, is one of resilience, and showing not just survival, but growth in the face of difficult circumstances,” Wilkinson says. “So every time we get to do this gallery, or get to convene with other progressives and supporters, is really just a celebration of that fact.” (Disclosure: This reporter volunteers with Planned Parenthood as a health center advocate).

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