King Street art exhibit honors Emanuel 9

King Street art exhibit honors Emanuel 9
Source: Live 5 news
Source: Live 5 news
Source: Live 5 news
Source: Live 5 news

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - "An art gallery turned sanctuary." That's how organizer Cookie Washington describes the temporary art exhibit on King Street.

The 6-week show called, "The Holy City: Art of Love, Unity and Resurrection," started Wednesday. 
The free exhibit will run through July 17.

Inside a building, on 414 King Street, 40 pieces of artwork line the walls, from artists all over the the country.

It's a temporary exhibit with a powerful message.

"I think this show is helping to heal the wound that was left," Washington said, talking about the Mother Emanuel tragedy. "It still is a wound, it still hurts."

Some of the pieces in the exhibit once adorned the walls of Mother Emanuel AME Church in an exhibit there a few years ago.

Cookie Washington proudly hung a quilt she made on the wall. The same quilt once hung in Reverend Clementa Pinckney's office.

"Everyday that we had our art show there, he'd come and look at it and go, 'I just love that piece, I just love that piece,' Washington said. "I just felt led to give it to him as a gift."

Shortly before the shooting, the quilt was used in a traveling art show. The plan was to return it to Reverend Pinckney's office June 19, until Reverend Pinckney was killed on June 17.

"It will go back to the church after this exhibit," Washington said.

Other pieces in the exhibit have a different inspiration.

"This is a depiction of the victims in the Emanuel 9 massacre," local artist Georgette Wright Sanders said, describing her piece with clay figures inside a sweet grass basket.

"It was very emotional trying to think of each person as a person, as a mother, a father," Sanders said.

"This is called Mother Nature," local artist Kiante Habersham said, standing in front of her artwork. "I had a vision of mother earth just looking down on earth at everything that's been happening. There just needs to be peace."

Arianne King Comer put a poem, written by a friend, on sheer material with Mother Emanuel's front gate in the background.
The piece hangs from the ceiling in the exhibit.

"Is a house of worship subject to human whim?" Comer read the poem aloud.

She admitted, the piece took time.

"I was numb for a long time," Comer said. "I could not do anything creative."

Comer lost friends on the night of the tragedy.

"We love you, we are with you," Comer said, with tears in her eyes.

People stopped at the exhibit and admired the artwork.
There's a meditation room for people to come reflect on the past, in an exhibit aimed at creating a better future.

"We just wanted to share our love and our unity and remind everyone that we are one," Washington said.

The show runs Tuesday-Sunday, every week through July 17.

It is open from 11 a.m.- 6 p.m. Tuesday- Saturday.

It is open from 1 p.m.-5 p.m. on Sundays. Closed Mondays.

The building, at 414 King Street, was temporarily donated by the owners to be used for the exhibit.

Donations are accepted to help pay for electricity and water.

To give money to the cause, click HERE.

Artists will be on site June 9 for a special event.

For more information on that event click HERE.

The artwork can be purchased and taken after the exhibit wraps up.

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