|Gallery co-owner Jo Debusk talks about the upcoming art show. Times-Mirror/Ben Hancock|
July 2 marked the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, and Jo Debusk, co-owner of the Night Gallery in downtown Leesburg, wants to make sure that it isn't forgotten.
“We think that art starts a conversation,” Debusk said. “We'd like this show to start peoples' conversation about civil rights and what still needs to be done.”
The 50th Anniversary of the Civil Right Bill Art Show will kick off at the Night Gallery on Leesburg's First Friday at 6 p.m. and will run through the month of August.
The art will focus on both the Civil Rights Act as well as past and future civil rights milestones.
“Even though that started the ball rolling we still have a ways to go with our civil rights in the United States,” Debusk said. “But [the purpose of the show] is also to honor the unsung heroes: the little people who made a difference.”
At 7:30 p.m. July 11 the show will also have a civil rights speaker, Edward Spannaus.
“Spannaus went during the freedom summers to register voters in Mississippi,” said Debusk. “He's going to share those experiences.”
Debusk said that she would like the show to help people focus of new civil rights issues that are important today.
“Gay rights, disability rights and immigration are the new civil rights issues,” Debusk said. “Civil rights really still has a way to go for everyone to be included.”
The art will come from multiple sources including Kevin Dunn, Debusk's boyfriend who co-owns the gallery, and artists that are local as well as from out of town.
“Basically it's me reaching out to other artists and asking if they want to have a piece in the show,” said Debusk. “Then I have local artists in Leesburg I've shown before who I reached out to and said 'Would you like to paint a piece for the civil rights show?”
Debusk said she thinks the event will be successful and is appreciative of the support the gallery receives in the Leesburg community.
“We're very lucky that we have a loyal base of people who come to the gallery and come back every First Friday to see the art work” said Debusk. “We're happy to see that a lot of people are interested in art and interested in things just outside of what would be considered normal art for Leesburg.”
|This painting, depicting workers in a field, is one of several that will be on display.Times-Mirror/Crystal Owens|