White on White

In 2015, artists Rebekka Goldsmith and Diana Falchuk began talking about how white artists can make artworks designed to engage people (particularly white folks) in issues of racism, white supremacy and whiteness. They talked about concerns such as:

•What does it mean to be white artists making art within the movement for racial justice?
•How can we use our work to maximize anti-racist reflection and action, particularly by other white people who experience our work?
•How do we avoid reinforcing racist power dynamics through the production and presentation of our work?
•How can we maintain accountability to friends and loved ones of color throughout the artistic process in a way that doesn’t burden them (that leaves our learning and growth to us)?

White on White is an attempt to explore these and other questions in a creative process with other white artists who see themselves as part of the struggle to end systemic racism and are committed to supporting one another in this work.

White on White began in January, 2016 with a three-month process. A handful of white artists working in a variety of genres and media came together to learn, dialogue and provide feedback to each other in the creation of works-in-progress that explored our relationships to whiteness and the movement for racial justice.

There was no set format for how the works will take shape – artists could choose to collaborate within and across disciplines or to work solo. While it’s possible that some artists would create a finished work, the goal was to use the experience to workshop a new piece, a work-in-progress or a project concept and design. The only requirements were that participating artists experienced the same set of preparatory materials, attended all scheduled sessions and brought their full selves to the project.

•To create a space for white artists to explore what it can mean to act against racism from a place of personal, social and historical awareness.
•To critically examine our connections to whiteness as artists within the broader movement for racial justice.
•To begin to articulate a practice of accountable, anti-racist art making among white artists in Seattle.