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Eyes on Social Justice at Akron Art Museum

Mark Arehart
Can You Hear Me? features more than 300 works by students, artists and teachers.

An exhibit at the Akron Art Museum explores difficult realities many face across the world. Students, teachers and artists serving as mentors worked together to create work highlighting social justice issues.

In Can You Hear Me?Gerard Berroteran, a junior at Akron's St. Vincent-St. Mary High School explores poverty in Jamaica from the late 1970s to present day.

He uses boxing gloves to pin down Lego figures meant to represent those struggling to get above the poverty line.

“I want people to realize that if you do go on vacation to Jamaica -- or if you think of Jamaica as this great paradise -- that the people actually living there do not think of it as a paradise. They’re struggling there. They’re being oppressed," Berroteran said. 

His is one of more than 300 pieces designed by students, teachers, local artists and Kent State University grad students. The works call attention to everything from genocide to body shaming.

It’s part of a social justice series that started in 2010.

Mark Arehart joined the award-winning WKSU news team as its arts/culture reporter in 2017. Before coming to Northeast Ohio, Arehart hosted Morning Edition and covered the arts scene for Delaware Public Media. He previously worked for KNKX in Seattle, Kansas Public Radio, and KYUK in Bethel, Alaska.