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NORTH AMHERST — Artist, activist, and Amherst-based kidney doctor Shirley Jackson Whitaker is shaking up the Mill District Local Art Gallery with her etchings, paintings, and storytelling in the front-window gallery. The quarterly opening reception was April 28.

Whitaker weaves her love of art into all aspects of her life, connecting medical conundrums to trauma, racism, ongoing lynchings, then to canvas and the page. Social justice and a healthy community are her goals.

“We are thrilled to have Dr. Whitaker’s original works made available for this exhibition,” said Shannon Borrell, gallery coordinator. “Her passion for justice and truth is evident through her prolific production of art, multi-media projects, and storytelling. Gallery visitors can expect to be inspired and are encouraged to support the Shirley Jackson Whitaker Foundation.”

Whitaker’s Ashes to Ashes film and book of etchings focus on bringing funeral closure to the 4,000-plus lives lost to lynchings, and the connection between trauma and medical conditions.

Additional artists making their formal Local Art Gallery debuts this quarter include Judy Vazquez of Northampton (mosaic art), Lee Gray of Bernardston (folk art), David Dickinson of Leeds (mixed media), Yellowdog of Haydenville (sculpture with found objects), Michele Diamond of Hadley (acrylic pours), Camille Tahar of Belchertown (jewelry), Kaitlin Scutari of Orange (ceramics), Sara Deponte of Petersham (watercolors), and Fabio Deponte of Petersham (oil/acrylic).