"Speaking Volumes: Transforming Hate" coming to Center for Arts & History

The LCSC Center for Arts & History (CAH) presents "Speaking Volumes: Transforming Hate," exploring the work of artists who have transformed thousands of anti-Semitic and racist books into an uplifting exhibition. A dynamic variety of works, many by well-known, national artists, is unified by a common challenge: to respond to hate with the transformative power of art.

According to Angela Weiland, CAH Development Coordinator, the work is "thought-provoking, humorous, challenging, and deeply moving." The opening reception will take place Thursday, August 29, from 4:00 - 7:00 p.m. Tony Stewart of the North Idaho Human Rights Commission will be the first speaker in the Transforming Hate speaker series. His talk begins at 6:00 p.m.

The exhibition will run August 29 - December 13, 2013.

"Speaking Volumes: Transforming Hate" began when the Montana Human Rights Network in Helena acquired 4,000 copies of white supremacist books from a defecting leader of one of the most virulent neo-Nazi organizations in the nation - World Church of the Creator. The Network, drawing on broad-based community support, partnered with Helena's Holter Museum of Art and commissioned 60 artists to creatively recycle the books into works of art. The highly acclaimed exhibition traveled nearly three years to 11 Montana venues, with accompanying curriculum and lesson plans to support public education.

The touring exhibition features the works of 38 artists and encourages viewers to engage with issues of prejudice, discrimination, and identity, including interaction with those who are perceived as "different." This exhibition is visually powerful and thought provoking, and easily engages people of all ages.

Tony Stewart, a longtime human rights activist and prolific public television show host, was one of the founders of the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations in 1981. From 1970 - 2008 he was a political scientist and Pre-Law advisor and faculty member at North Idaho College.

Stewart's TV show, "The NIC Public Forum," has aired 1,800 episodes - the most of any college-produced program in the country. He also organized the Popcorn Forum, a lecture series that has brought leading speakers to Coeur d'Alene for 37 years and the 23-year-old Human Rights Celebration for area youth. In 2006, he produced and aired a 10-week series titled "Celebrating the Twenty Five Year History of the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations: 1981 - 2006."

Much of Stewart's reputation stems from helping to start the task force in 1980 as the leading local voice against the Aryan Nations, a north Idaho-based white supremacist group headed by Richard Butler. Stewart and the task force were instrumental in a lawsuit filed against the Aryan Nations by a mother and her son, resulting in a $6.3 million judgment against the Aryan Nations in 2003, forcing the group into bankruptcy and out of its compound near Hayden Lake.

"Speaking Volumes: Transforming Hate" is brought to the Center for Arts & History through sponsorships from: the LCSC Social Sciences Division; Monastery of St. Gertrude; the Estate of Blanche Frampton Pepi; Dr. Richard & Jennifer Weiland; LCSC Continuing Education & Community Events; Colleen Mahoney; and through grants from US Bancorp, Idaho Commission on the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Admission is free, but donations are welcome.

For more information about the exhibition, visit: CAH or call 208.792.2243.