Sarah E. Jerauld (Prochownik), Untitled (protest), 1983-84; pastel on paper, 22 1/8 x 15 inches; Gift of Prochownik, 2015
Sarah E. Jerauld
Riot, 1984, pastel on paper, Gift of the Artist, 2015
Untitled [protest], ca. 1983-84, pastel on paper, Gift of the Artist, 2015
Labels by Sarah Drozda, MST 622, Researching & Presenting Museum Collections, 2020
These two drawings by Sarah Everett Jerauld visualize the efforts of unarmed peaceful protesters in the fight for Civil Rights in both America and South Africa. In Riot, these protestors are being challenged by armed and brutal police officers disrupting the peace and safety. Untitled [protest] showcases the protestors banding together with their raised fists of solidarity. The movement and tension between the protestors and outside groups can be seen through Jerauld’s use of intensely colored, frenetically drawn lines which are more prominent than the people themselves.
Have you ever worked in a group before? In these two drawings, Sarah Everett Jerauld is showing how people worked together for a cause that was important to them. Do you know what a right is? Everyone is born with rights which make them equal to one another. However, there was a time when not everyone was seen as equal because of the color of their skin. In order to correct a wrong, people worked together with the goal that everyone would eventually be equal. Their hard and sometimes dangerous work took years to complete, but it was so important that every day was worth it.
Sarah Jerauld’s works from the 1980s revisit the struggle for civil rights in America and South Africa during the early 1960s. In particular, she focuses on police violence against peaceful, unarmed protesters in Alabama associated with the Montgomery bus boycott, and apartheid protests in Johannesburg. —Nancy Weekly, 2015