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Home Sweet Home: Is a Home a Sanctuary?


Thursday, December 19, 2019

Children's Museum of the Arts

103 Charlton Street, New York, NY, USA

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Noun: the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household

Noun: a place of refuge or safety

Children's Museum of the Arts presents Home Sweet Home: Is a Home a Sanctuary?, a group exhibition featuring Emilie Clark, Tom Fruin, Todd Hido, Lucia Hierro, Ann Toebbe, Shinique Smith, and Letha Wilson.

Is a home a sanctuary? Throughout history, we have built shelters to protect from the elements, intruders, and animals of prey, but at a certain point, people wanted more than just a hideout or shelter. Issues such as privacy, family needs, and personal comforts began to influence the types of residences that were built and lived in. The idea of home moves beyond the concept of a place to live or a place of shelter, and connects to ideas of identity, safety, one's place in the world, as well as a foundation for a lifetime, and a place to leave…and possibly return to. When does a house provide the sanctuary of a home? When is home really a sanctuary?

The idea of sanctuary, whether physically, emotionally or intellectually, is important in shaping a sense of self-hood and community. However, in our current political climate, the right to a safe haven is threatened, and the necessity for compassion is greater than ever. For many, sanctuary can signify a sacred place, a refuge, a ritual, a haven or an oasis, while for others, it can also mean home, family, community, religion, and identity, or even a place for thoughts, ideas, hopes, dreams, and a form of comfort in times of trouble.

We can take sanctuary in our memories, habits, and routines, and we can seek sanctuary for not just for our bodies, but for our hearts and minds as well. Sanctuaries can be created for ourselves, those we love, or those fleeing conflict, prejudice, and persecution. We create sanctuaries to protect and preserve ecosystems and the flora and fauna dependent on them. Seeking to address these issues and ideas, this exhibition offers a multiplicity of perspectives on the idea of home; shelter, protection, sacred ground, identity, sense of place, community and belonging.

What does home mean to you: is it only four walls and a roof, or is it something more?


This exhibition is supported, in part, by the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, by the New York State Council on the Arts with support of Governor Andrew Cuomo, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

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