Labor union turns to artists to help raise social awareness

Painting by Ras Terms

The lobby of a union office building in Historic Filipinotown has been turned into a gallery for a show featuring artists whose work reflects their dedication to social change. “Hands on Healing,” sponsored by the SEIU United Long Term Care Workers,  “aims to shine a light on the connection between the nurturing of others and nurturing our environment through our actions and voices,” said SEIU official Sura Hart, whose union represents nursing home and in-home health care workers.

Hertz Alegrio, one of the 15 artists who created 20 pieces for the exhibit, explains what kind of impact art can have on social justice issues:

I see art as an important vehicle for voicing opinions on issues that matter. People hear about issues like Immigration, Health Care or Education Reform or any other important social issue from the cable-news talking heads on their television screens, but a quick sound bite doesn’t do much to change negative opinions. Art, on the other hand, is such a visual and emotional form of communication that people who see an artwork are forced to confront it, to actually look at the piece and be affected emotionally.

“Hands on Healing” will be on exhibit in the union’s office, 2515 Beverly Blvd. through the end of the year.

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