The Gate of Action: The Heroes Origami Installation

The Gates of Action are an "origami" (Japanese folded paper) art installation on display in the second floor gallery hallway at the Barton Art Gallery, located on the campus of Martin Methodist's College.

The Pillars: 

The origami pillars represent the black and white races.  The white pillar holds the image of former US Congressman Ross Bass from Giles County, TN, who was one of the few Southern Congressmen to vote for the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The black pillar honors Matt Gardner, a slave freed by The Emancipation Proclamation in 1865. He went on to found three schools for black children in Giles County, serve as a minister to three churches, and become a great humanitarian and revered citizen. His home in Elkton, TN, has become a museum, the Matt Gardner Homestead Museum.

The Call to Action:
The Martin Art Team was inspired when it heard a true story about a man named Neal who accidentally walked into a very threatening situation. It was the late 1970s, in Columbia, TN. Neal . One morning as he arrived at his workplace, Neal came upon an angry crowd taunting a black man that had been tied to a light post.

Walking calmly into the crowd, Neal released the man from bondage, cutting the bindings with a small penknife. Next, the crowd parted as he led led the victim to safety. When interviewed later and asked what gave him the courage to accomplish this action, Neal said simply, “If not now, when? If not me, who?”

The Martin Art Team took up these reflective questions as a call to action, and repeated the phrase many times in calligraphy. In the creation of the exhibit, the students chose to use the dinosaur as a symbol for the project. The comparison is clear: If we don’t take care of one another, our species may also become extinct.

On display April through June

The public is invited to view the exhibition, which is on display April through June at the Barton Art Gallery, located on the campus of Martin Methodist College at 433 W Madison St, Pulaski, Tennessee.