I was able to attend the opening reception and speak with Haisley, who explained the mission of, successes won by, and setbacks encountered by his organization, Animal Rescue Corps.
I also got to speak with a lot of people who had never given much thought to the welfare of animals that are considered livestock. It was easy for people to express outrage and shock at the`idea of stray dogs being rounded up and shot to death, but coversations about pieces like the one depicting factory farmed pigs were puncuated by discomfort.
Maybe I've been in a bit of an angry vegan mood lately, but I felt no discomfort and was pretty blunt with everyone I talked to. The things you're seeing can end now with you. All you have to do is to live mindfully and with respect for all life in your heart. If you do that, your actions will effect change. Or you can continue to clutch your pearls at the sights depicted, and then continue to do things the way you always did. So let's see what kind of social change art inspires.
The exhibit will remain up through October, so do get in touch with the directors to stop in to see the works. In the meantime, check out this video tour.
For the record, I am affiliated with ArtWorks, and due to that fact, the opening reception featured vegan food exclusively. Future events will always include vegan options as well, but it's worth pointing out that the more vegans who drop a line to the school, the more likely and frequent vegan catering will be featured.
You should also know that I skipped the cocktail hour dress code and rocked my Arm The Animals T-shirt. I was assured by several fashion-minded people that this was totally OK, since the political message was apropros. It wasn't lost on Haisley or his wife.