GO: “stop it!” art show | munky king gallery | sept. 10



A 12-year-old artist, art collector and now curator, Cooper Berella (aka SuperCooper) is hosting his second art show “Stop It!” at Munky King Gallery (7308 Melrose Ave, 90046) next Saturday, Sept. 10th from 6p – 10p.  The show is in support of a cause that I am particularly sensitive to…

The theme of the show is meant to draw awareness to bullying and cyberbullying. Cooper has confirmed over 70 artists from around the world to participate in the show. Paintings, drawings, custom toys, and prints expressing the artists’ view of bullying will be on display. Part of the proceeds from the show will be donated to GLIDE (Gays and Lesbians Initiating a Dialog for Equality) and CHIME Institute (an organization dedicated to inclusive education where kids of all abilities learn together).

What an ambitious project for a tween, especially in the support of anti-bullying!  I, and I’m sure many of you out there, have been a victim of bullying at school.  Grade school (K-8th grade) was the worst for me.  But my first time witnessing any type of bullying or discrimination was when I was just four years young.  I was walking down the sidewalk of my new neighborhood, enjoying the tall palm trees and air until I heard a little girl’s voice, “Ewwww.  She’s Chinese.”  I look up to see a blonde-haired toddler clutching her mom beside her as if she just saw an alien walk by.  Her mom shushed her and told her “that is not nice.”  I remember feeling confused.  A bad confused like I had done something wrong but didn’t know what it was.  Without saying anything, I walked back to my house.  That was the first time I was made aware of my ethnic background and I haven’t forgotten since.  To this day, I identify myself as Chinese before the “American.”  10 out of 10 times I will say that I am Chinese and never even think to utter the word “American.”  The little girl, who I later came to know as Stephanie, was a year younger than I.  We eventually enrolled into the same grade school, befriended each other in ingenuine ways to finally spar in a throwdown with branches/sticks we found on the floor to settle our disputes that were initiated from the first time we unofficially met.  Unfortunately, she wasn’t the only one I had to defend myself from during my unforgettable time in grade school.  I’ll save that story(ies) for another day…

After grade school, Stephanie and I parted ways.  I enrolled in a high school not in our city and her in a high school in our city.  I would still see her walk up and down our street, looking like she was doing hoodrat sh!t.  As years passed, her lonely walks became walks with a baby stroller. The baby stroller grew up to become a toddler boy walking with his mom to the same grade school she attended.

It all stems from kids’ surroundings and parents … you know, the stuff they learn to say, think and do.  Was Stephanie’s parents against Chinese people?  How did Stephanie learn to say such distasteful things at such an early age?  I don’t know.  All I know is that I came out alright and am in a pretty good place in my life right now and that’s all that really matters.

SuperCooper is doing some great things and I recommend you attend this art show in support of this positive initiative.  For me, for you, for your (future) kids.  If you’re into sh!t like this, that is.

For a nice list of participating “Stop It!” artists, click here.


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