RRBJ made it to Saturday's opening of the hottest show in town -- Debbie Buchanan Engle's Judge Not one week installation at West Edge Artist's Co-op at 725 Milam. It was created in collaboration with Alan Dyson and Tony Reans. Even before the show opened it attracted heavy media attention from The Shreveport TimesandTrudeau's Shreveport Blog. Radio station KSCL did an interview with Deb and also posted pictures on their blog.
An artist makes art from the pieces of their daily life, and for the last ten years Engle's life has been consumed with a custody battle for her two children. In addition to being an artist and mom, she's also president of the board of West Edge Artists' Co-op and Director of Serving Ministries at First United Methodist Church in Shreveport. How could a woman with those credentials lose custody of her children? That's just one of the questions her artwork explores.
Judge Not is a brave show and one not to be missed, but it will be on display for only one week. It comes down at 4PM June 16. WEACo is open Tuesday through Friday from 10AM to 6PM and Saturdays from 10AM to 4PM.
This quote from the invitation for the show sets the tone for what you'll experience -- "A serious problem exists behind the closed doors of the First Judicial District Court," says Engle. "The chief judges and Judiciary Commission should consider the hundreds of mothers, fathers, and children who continue to suffer at the hands of this judge and his cronies."
Engle's exhibit takes care not to name the judge who decided her case. But RRBJ used that sneaky device called the Internet to determine who could rip a child away from a mother with a so many letters of recommendation, including one from a minister. By Googling words taken from the show (Caddo Parish District Judge Filing of a stalking report with Shreveport Police) RRBJ discovered two stories: KPXJ has a story on the judge's personal relationship and even The Inquisitor weighs in.
"I found bliss early. It was reading or thinking in the spread out trunk of a pink flowered mimosa tree in our front yard.
I made my freest art back then. When I was a little kid alone in my room, I danced to music from a tiny record player. I had a built up platform in the bottom of my closet, so I would push the clothes back on either side and dance away in funky costumes I found around the house. Now when I create art, I am seeking to go back to my bliss." Usher May 24, 2010