Of Love and Riots

In a time of a riot, artist collective, Trust Your Struggle, installs reflections of love at the city capital of California.

Of Love & Riots
July 11- September 8, 2015

Gallery Hours: Tu, Weds, Th 2-5pm and by appointment only.
SolCollective Gallery
2574 21st Street, Sacramento, CA 95818

Special Events (free and open to the public)
Throughout history and around the world, young people have often been the ones to stand on the front lines of movements for social justice. They are quick to be judged for their unapologetic rage and impatience in the face of injustice and slow to be recognized for their courageous disruptions of the status quo and direct challenges to power. When they make their voices heard, it is often their truth that most sharply exposes the true nature of the system. Poor and working class Black and Brown communities are daily experts of the system’s brutality and are the first hit hardest by state and economic violence. They, along with their family and community members are being locked up, brutalized, deported and exploited. From immigrant youth coming out as undocumented and unafraid to demand a path to citizenship to Black youth taking to the streets under the banner of Black Lives Matter to demand police accountability, it is undeniable that young people of color are shifting the terrain of struggle with their urgency and leadership.

In 2007,Trust Your Struggle (TYS) Collective created an exhibition titled Of Love & Riots at the 58 Gallery in Jersey City, NJ. The exhibition focused on an international perspective of repressed young people who face countless obstacles and trauma but who survive, react, organize and most importantly- love.

Father, artist and TYS member, Robert Trujillo states, “We’re doing this work around the term Of Love and Riots to illustrate what the hell is going on in a way that the mainstream media do not do. The police state don’t give a damn about none of us or our families. We create art to speak out. To fight back. To teach our kids to look around and think for themselves. We create this work to let them know there is more to life than the shiny trinkets that the rich dangle on front of their eyes. I want kids to know that police murdering Black and Brown people didn’t just happen yesterday, but that there is a history of genocide behind these boys in blue. And I want them to know that our communities have always fought back, if we didn’t, we would not exist today.”

The manifestation of love and riots in the current time has gathered enough momentum to once again make TYS collective speak out and create another exhibition on the same theme 8 years later. 8 years later TYS are sadden to see our Black and Brown youth being murdered by law enforcement with impunity. 8 years later TYS are angered to see young people of color denied basic human rights, separated from their families and detained because of their immigration status. 8 years later TYS are revived and inspired by movements such as Black Lives Matter and The Dreamers that have youth at the vanguard. 8 years later several members of the collective are now parents themselves and cannot deny our deeper connection and empathy with youth that are in distress and murdered. Of Love & Riots is not simply a visual reaction to injustice but a visual interpretation and discussion based on healing and dignity. Collectively the exhibition will question and examine the contrasting notions of the riot and of the emotion love all within the context of youth activism and survival.

Benjamin “Mincho Vega” Rojas, another TYS member adds, “Of Love & Riots speaks to me in so many levels, especially as a parent because this exhibit has a strong focus on youth and children who are angry, hurt and are reacting to a larger force. I can only imagine this children as my own who are fighting for their lives and their communities.”

“Trust Your Struggle exemplifies the power of art to reflect, motivate and spark action to empower our communities in a time when it’s urgently needed,” says Estella Sanchez, Founder and Director of Sol Collective Gallery.

Of Love & Riots in 2015 will re-envision the original exhibit in 2007 birthing new creations fueled by modern inspirations. Our collective’s vision will be revealed in the Sol Collective gallery through several mediums such as large scale paintings and installations, illustrations, sculptures, and prints.