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VOICES, Abstract Expressions. Richmond VA 2020 Black Lives Matter - BLM


VOICES: Day 19        30 x 40 inches



VOICES: Day 52 



VOICES: Day 12        17 x 27 inches



VOICES: Day 48        24 x 21 inches



VOICES: Day 33-2        21 x 20 inches



VOICES: Day 52



VOICES: Day 39



VOICES: Day 13        18 x 20 inches



VOICES: Day 33        29 x 22 inches



VOICES: Day 28        23 x 23 inches



VOICES: Day 23        28 x 23 inches



VOICES: Day 2        24 x 19 inches



VOICES: Day 45        22 x 15 inches



VOICES: Day 17        24 x 15 inches



VOICES: Day 14        18 x 18 inches



VOICES: Day 18        24 x 16 inches

Abstract Expressions

is a collection of photographic works originating from graffiti at the Robert E. Lee Memorial statue in Richmond, VA during Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests to demand an end to systemic racism and police brutality. The work began on June 8, 2020 and is ongoing.

The graffiti-strewn scene at the statue - now known as Marcus-David Peters Circle - is a visual cacophony of loud and colorful voices expressing a range of emotions from outrage to healing. During my earliest visits to the site, I began to see through the painted words and symbols, to explore the abstract images they unwittingly form; overlapping and intertwining gestures shared in communal outpouring. Each stroke or splatter of paint represents a physical act of expression that speaks to me in ways that the words cannot.

Blue Heart: graffiti at the Robert E. Lee memorial in Richmond VA.<br />Artist unkonwn.My attraction to abstract imagery is born of the enigmatic quality that invites me to connect with the creator and the act of creating. In this series, that connection ties me to the hands and hearts of those who found a place and a way to speak their innermost truths.

I return to the statue often. Each time, I meet new people and find new voices within the ever-changing displays of graffiti. Each time, I sense that I am immersed in a profound, caring energy. It is this energy that I seek to share through these works.

Artspace gallery Members' Biennial Exhibition

Artspace Gallery Exhibition Oct. 23 - Dec. 13, 2020.

An exhibition of works from this project was held at Artspace Gallery Oct. 23 - Dec. 13, 2020. The works can be purchased online at the Artspace Shop. Contact me for infomation about other works from this project,
Limited edition, archival photographic prints, mounted on gatorfoam with UV protectant coating.


On January 25, 2021, the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of General Services was ordered by Governor Ralph Northam to erect fencing around the perimeter of the Circle.


Portraits of some of the people behind the voices

A collection of portraits taken at Marcus-David Peters Circle since June 2020.

Kittle at the Robert E. Lee memorial, Richmond VA. Photo by T.C. Moore.
Photographer, Jere Kittle. Photo by T. C. Moore


Photo: Robert E. Lee memorial in Richmond VA, June 30, 2020
October 15, 2020, the New York Times Magazine named the Robert E. Lee Statue in Richmond, Va. the #1 Most Influential Work of American Protest Art Since World War II.

Photo: Robert E. Lee memorial in Richmond VA, June 30, 2020
Cover of National Geographic “The Year in Pictures,”
January 2021. Photo: Kris Graves

Photo: Robert E. Lee memorial in Richmond VA, June 30, 2020
Cover of ARTFORUM Magazine, December 2020
Photo: Mel D. Cole, June 20, 2020

Pretty Purposed.orgI was pleased to donate proceeds from the sale of works in this exhibition to – a community-based program that works to empower girls in the Petersburg, VA area through mentorship and activities that promote healthy physical, social and emotional development.




Jere Kittle © copyright 2022, all rights reserved