Speaking Volumes: Transforming Hate

Mia Tocas, Head Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

The Holter Museum in Helena, Montana is currently hosting one of the most captivating exhibits in recent times. “Speaking Volumes: Transforming Hate” is an exhibit created by 46 distinct artists who collaborated and generated artwork from various white supremacist books.  

These books came into possession when a defecting white supremacist called the Montana Human Rights Network in 2003 and claimed he wanted out of the movement. Since leaving the group meant that people would treat him as a “race traitor,” he reached out to the Network for help. The Network then helped him leave the hate group safely and purchased a storage unit from him. When the network opened the storage unit, they found over 4,000 white supremacy books. The purchase of the storage unit played a major role in eliminating the hate group’s financial mechanism and thus, helped end the hate group’s presence in Montana.  

After sending multiple sets of books to allied organizations across the nation, hundreds of the hate books still remained.  

The Montana Human Rights Network and Helena High’s very own teacher, Katie Knight, then decided to use the books in artwork to prevent white supremacy. Together they sent pages of these hate books to artists in different states and with their work, the exhibit has traveled across the country for the past decade.  

The show has become one of the country’s most adored art exhibits in recent times. From painting, to plastering, and printing, it’s almost impossible to not fall in love with this art show. 

Savanna Thornock, a junior at Helena High School, described the exhibit as “an emotional, beautiful, and life changing experience.” When asked what she pulled from the art show, Savanna said. “It reminded me to breathe. Life is so busy and hard already, adding unnecessary hate doesn’t benefit anybody. I also realized that those who have hearts that are filled with hate really need help. Even if they’re mean people, you gotta be the bigger person and acknowledge that they’re ill.” 

Speaking Volumes: Transforming Hate will be displayed in its hometown at The Holter Museum until December 30, 2018.