Sugar Land resident Karim Farishta founded #ArtForJustice, a virtual art gallery, following the death of George Floyd as a way to energize the community in the fight for racial justice, Farishta said in a statement.
The virtual exhibition launched June 8, the same day George Floyd’s public visitation and memorial was held in southwest Houston. Although the call for submissions was put out just days prior, 155 artists from 14 states and five countries responded.
“What started as a local effort to show support turned into an expression of love, celebration, and solidarity starting in Texas and gaining submissions nationwide and globally,” Farishta said in a statement.
The virtual gallery, which people can walk through and view online, was designed and curated by Afreen Ali and Giangtien Nguyen, co-founders of INVI, a minority-owned architecture visualization company in Houston.
In the architectural perspective, Ali and Nguyen say the gallery pays “tribute to the countless Black brothers and sisters we’ve lost to police brutality” and invite the community to use the space for thoughtful reflection.
“Due to the current global pandemic of COVID-19 and its cause for physical distancing, we have created a space that will allow us to be virtually connected, express our solidarity in the form of art, and let our creative imaginations be seen,” Ali and Nguyen said in a statement.
#ArtForJustice was done in partnership with Fort Bend County Judge KP George and made possible in part through a contribution from Sri Preston Kulkarni, the Democratic candidate for Texas Congressional District 22, according to the gallery’s website.
Floyd grew up in Houston’s Third Ward and was killed in the custody of the Minneapolis Police Department on May 25. His death as well as the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and other black Americans have prompted days of demonstrations across the country and renewed conversations about police violence and systemic racism.
“George Floyd was a part of our community. #ArtForJustice started as a way for our local residents to remember him, but it is clear this memorial symbolizes broader solidarity and a communal celebration,” the county's George said in a statement.
View the full virtual museum here or see some individual submissions in the photo gallery above.