[-empyre-] Very Belated Resolution Response

Sarah Watson swat at hunter.cuny.edu
Wed Feb 1 15:49:00 AEDT 2017

I began drafting this very belated resolution response while sitting at JFK on January 21st feeling frustrated and sad that I was missing the Women's March due to work travel. Waiting at the airport I took comfort in witnessing incredible moments from the marches in D.C., NYC, Ithaca, and so many other cities and towns through my Instagram feed.  A week later, I finished this response while flying back to JFK, overwhelmed with feelings of heartbreak and anger, but also great admiration for everyone who had taken action since last Friday to resist Trump's inhumane and horrid actions to ban Muslims and refugees. It was a very hard week to be out of the country while there was such an urgent need for action.

In my job as a university curator, I occupy a position of privilege that provides me access to a physical public space and to the opportunity to create exhibitions and programming. Since the election, I have been acutely aware of this privilege and the responsibility and necessity to hold myself and the institution I work for up for critique. We need to invite conversations by a multiplicity of voices in order to enact our mission statement and put words into actions—providing an inclusive space for dialogue for the diverse community of Hunter College, the City of New York, and beyond. To help me stay mindful and present and to channel my anxiety and fear into action, I have created a list of resolutions for myself.

I will...

speak up and resist.

speak out against injustice.

acknowledge my privilege.

open myself to difficult conversations.

welcome critique.

demand we do better for artists, for our students, for our neighbors, for the city to create exhibitions and programs that are inclusive.

foster a safe space and work to make the gallery a sanctuary.

pay artists, writers, critics, and all cultural workers for their labor.


learn to know when to be quiet.

practice compassion.

be loving.

And I will remember to breathe.

Sarah Watson
Director of Exhibitions & Chief Curator
Hunter College Art Galleries
695 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10065
swat at hunter.cuny.edu
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