“Seeing The Other: Sacred Listening & Portraits” Exhibition
A traveling exhibition & educational program that creates “Sacred Listening” experiences to dismantle our misperceptions of those we consider to be “the other.” Created & curated by Gina Alicea using the content of the Portraits in Faith documentary project.
What is it?
Gina Alicea, Corvus Gallery Director, first encountered Daniel Epstein’s work through the Portraits in Faith website and book. She was immediately inspired to bring this artwork to the children in the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools to enable deep engagement in the concept of “the other” for Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion week in January 2023.
Gina envisioned the Corvus Gallery with this content as a space for inspiration and conversation about the idea of the other and how humanity judges each other. Ms. Alicea worked with Daniel to curate the exhibition featuring large-scale portraits with QR codes linking to the subjects’ video interviews, a world map with portraits representing the 28 countries where the interviews were conducted, and a montage of 35 other portraits, and questions on the wall to evoke reflection and curiosity. The questions on the wall above the large portraits were meant to drive reflection and discussion:
Who do you see as “the other?”
When have you felt like ”the other?”
How well do you listen to others?
What have you learned from listening to others’ stories?
What can we do to dismantle our misperceptions of others?
Ms. Alicea created the exhibition to end with the photo montage and the ultimate question:
“How do we create more unity amongst humanity?”
The Seeing The Other exhibition opened on January 3, 2023, and ran through March 7th, 2023, at the University of Chicago’s Corvus Gallery.
Tye Johnson | 4th Grade Teacher – The Laboratory Schools
“I just wanted to take a moment to share my 4th-grade student’s experience with the artist Daniel Epstein. As you know, we met with him for two days for workshops. On the first day, he spoke about his work and led us through an activity where we were challenged to bypass our biases and our concept of ‘other’. My students left with so many brilliant thoughts and action steps. The second day we met, Daniel took us through the process of sacred listening. We practiced listening to each other and will use this regularly and in an upcoming project. We were all inspired by this artist!”
Holly Johnston | High School World Religions Teacher – The Laboratory Schools
“I think it just affirmed that this is what the kids want to hear; the stories of other people, and be inspired by it, and moved by it. I would recommend this program to any other school. This is high schoolers who are 14, 15, 16, who are in this massive stage of their life journey of figuring out ‘who are they?’ Daniel is asking the same questions of everybody and I think the more the kids can hear people’s stories, the more patience and empathy they’re going to have for everybody around them. That they know that person has their story, so I should listen first before I just to any conclusions.”
Cameron Grant | 11th Grade Student – The Laboratory Schools
What stood out the most for me is really just the curiosity that I had in the interviews. I usually like to talk a lot, like, during conversations and stuff, but during the interviews, I was very, almost silent because it was just really interesting. It was a new depth of like… The people I interviewed, it was a new-like level of vulnerability that I… That they have not shared with me. I felt very privileged to have them share with me.
Upcoming Exhibition | Muhammad Ali Center | Louisville, KY
“Seeing The Other” will be starting a 12-month exhibition and educational program in the Muhammad Ali Center’s 3000 square foot Ina B. Bond Gallery in June 2024. Daniel Epstein & Gina Alicea will be working with the community, including the Ali Center’s MACCS youth corp in Sacred Listening and other activities, to dismantle misperceptions of those we perceive to be “the other.”
Book The “Seeing The Other” Exhibit & Educational Program
The Portraits in Faith Foundation, LLC (a 501c3) is open to bringing the ”Seeing The Other: Sacred Listening & Portraits” exhibition to other galleries, museums, and educational institutions. Gina Alicea and Daniel Epstein will work with your team to design and implement a combined arts and educational program that is age-appropriate. For further information, please contact Daniel K. Epstein, firstname.lastname@example.org.