Philadelphia / Political / Shows


I am taking a quick break from our annual summer hiatus to post this work by Proximity Arts’ members Megan Segre, Ilene Spiewak, Beth Cody and Jessica Padilla along with their classmate Hong-BichVernon. These five thoughtful artists collaborated on a collective show titled, “Pre-Judices”. Each artist submitted two works that are displayed on opposing walls. Below is the project statement, which challenges expectations and asks us to take a deeper look.




Inspired by Ai Wei Wei’s Fences throughout New York City, Pre-Judices examines how our backgrounds, belief systems and culture serve to shape how we see the world.  These perceptions are quite naturally shaped by our own prejudices.

Psychologists call it “myside bias.” Myside bias, or confirmation bias, occurs when we embrace information that supports our beliefs, and reject information that contradicts them. We are all blinded by our own positions and look at the world from an egocentric perspective. We tend to evaluate evidence, generate evidence, and test hypotheses in a manner biased toward our own prior opinions and attitudes.

In these works we  examine how this confirmation bias separates us.  We examine how words, images, and/or ideas can perpetuate divisions.  Subconcious bias screens our understanding of others in subtle ways that can have profound consequences.

In Pre-judices, five artists created a pair of art pieces that highlight how visual cues can serve to define viewpoints. Installed on the left wall of the exhibition is the first of two pieces by each artist.  The second piece is hung directly opposite on right the wall.

Pre-Judices  illuminates how an image, word, or object when first observed can be received one way, but then modified and paired in a second setting, it presents a different lens, an opposing or varying interpretation.

As artists, we want to challenge and question our already formed frameworks by which we tend to define ourselves and express our opinions.  By highlighting focal biases, we aim to reduce human divide and use dissension as a means of communication and unification.

BethCody, Jessica Padilla, Megan Segre, Ilene Spiewak, Hong-Bich Vernon
Read more about our artist-authors on our contributors page


“Pre-Judices” is on view in Gallery 128 at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts through July 28th, 2017

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