As an artist, my work encapsulates a personal perspective of politics and poverty through a representational exploration in the psychological and anthropological human behaviors within impoverished communities in the United States. The narratives created through drawing and painting allow art to act as a space for progressive discussions. What I have concluded through research and personal experiences with the communities that I study is that governments release primitive forces in human beings. It’s important to understand the power structure underlying the social order of the world we live in. bell hooks speaks about an imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy to help us understand the systems that encompass the nature of domination that many of us are forced to face every day (hooks, 2000). It is a contagious mental illness of disordered desire that is normalized in our society. It is important to identify and self-interrogate what my contribution is to the oppressive forces that dominate and stifle progress for others while also understanding how, I too, am oppressed.
Privilege allows some, particularly in teaching, to live a non-political existence that prevents an understanding that participating in society is political. Wealth, race, abilities, or gender allow people to live a life in which some likely will not be a target of bigotry, attacks, deportation, or genocide. Many people don’t want to get political and don’t want to fight because their life and safety are not at stake. My fight as an artist and an educator is through my art and in the classroom. With the feminist theory and movement, there is an ability to be radical as an educator. Through critical thinking, we find that theory enables our classrooms to function as a place of healing, rather than a space brewed in pathology.
As a future teacher, my job is to examine and scrutinize the historical role of the American educational system AND the world that we live in. In an attempt to break down the systematic inequalities that continue to exist in education, embracing intersectional feminist theory (Crenshaw, 1989; Oxnevad, 2018) and critical race theory (Freire, 1970) have provided for hope and enthusiasm when considering viable solutions for issues that exist within contemporary classrooms. Being perceptive to the various patriarchal structures set up to marginalize populations of people and their effects is crucial when learning how to interact with students and conceiving concepts that are beneficial to the development of their cognitive and social skills, as well as, their self-esteem (St. Pierre & Pillow, 2000).
"April is a multidisciplinary fine artist - humanist - activist that shares a responsibility in exposing the dire necessity of honest creativity, freedom of expression, analytical reason and the liberation of oppressive forces upon others. One of her truest merits lies within her innate ability to create unique visual "lenses" that transport and expose us to new cultures, philosophies and dynamics within society."