What does it mean to be compassionate and welcoming in a diverse community? 

We asked Roanoke area artists to share work that reflects on that question. The wide-ranging responses came from professional artists with long-established careers and from emerging voices just setting out. 

Not surprisingly, the answers involved their own processes—for an artistic practice can be a space for contemplation and connection as well as communication. Better understanding themselves helps them seek to better understand other people. You’ll see the results reflected in the work on these walls.

Here, works of 16 artists consider the people and places that have shaped them and continue to shape all of us. Through their works, they linger in moments of true connection while aspiring for greater compassion. They challenge us to reach out and touch the lives of others. For there’s no greater way to truly feel that we belong to a community than to welcome others into it.

Published by Douglas Charles Jackson

Roanoke VA based writer and community coach.

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