it's also partially looking toward the next generation of makers, and how they perceive art not necessarily as a medium as much as an approach or a mindset. They look at a variety of media to express themselves as opposed to sticking with only one area. The blend or overlap between these expressions is a focal point of this event and the question we're asking. Both photography and craft share roots in immediacy, in time and place and everyday life, if you will, as well as in some aspects of current culture and community. Given this area's history with craft, it's also a refreshing way to introduce contemporary craft to a lot of people.
They deal with some really raw material in a personal, emotionally expressive way that addresses issues of significant social concern. Race is one of several issues that Clarissa addresses in her work. She was the lead plaintiff in the 1955 school desegregation case in Virginia (Clarissa Thompson et. al. vs. Arlington County School Board). This set a tone for her life, leading her to continue to be involved in significant issues around equality and human justice, and she has paid attention to that throughout her life in her art.
Alejandro lives in a corrupt culture in Mexico and examines the powerful consequences of that. His artwork looks at the people who feel the collateral damages of drug trafficking and corruption, the people who need to make a living and have suffered the consequences of the power structure there one way or another. He's intrepid as an artist in bringing that material to the viewer not in a didactic, propagandistic way, but as an artist's view of what this looks like.