The New Year will mark the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment protecting the right to vote for women. 2020 is the year to strengthen protections beyond complacency. As an artist, six upcoming exhibitions share this outreach and vision. The work continues.
History is complicated and unjust, from the National Park Service: “Black women’s political engagement from the antebellum period to the opening decades of the twentieth century helped to define their post-1920 political activism. Following ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment, the battle for the vote ended for white women. For African American women the outcome was less clear. Hoping to combat post–World War I anti-Black racial violence and the disfranchisement of Black men, particularly in the South, Black women’s engagement in electoral politics and radical activism continued, indeed, expanded, after ratification. Indeed, an examination of Black women’s post-1920 political life reveals that rather than ending, the Nineteenth Amendment was a starting point for African American women’s involvement in electoral politics in the years to come…”
Upcoming exhibits include two in California: Right Here, Right Now at the Richmond Art Center and Feat to Fire at the Sanchez Art Center. In addition, Finding Your Voice in America Today at Kelwood Contemporary Art in Baton Rouge, The 19th Amendment at 100: Women’s Voices Then & Now at Swords Into Plowshares Peace Center and Gallery in Detroit, Representation Matter: I See Me at Campus Art Gallery at Indiana University Kokomo, and 19th Amendment Centennial Exhibition at Durbin Gallery (Kennedy Art Center) at Birmingham-Southern College.
DANGER OWNER-OPERATOR CONTROLLED VAGINAS will be featured in the Finding Your Voice in America Today at Kelwood Contemporary Art. Description: My art practice investigates symbols of influence and power that impact perception. A standard projecting sign is repurposed by altering its function. Since taking office, President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have systemically hindered women’s rights and choice. The Handmaid’s Tale is a real possibility if religious doctrine becomes law-limiting options. Women, not politicians, should control their bodies.
I VOTED will be exhibited in The 19th Amendment at 100: Women’s Voices Then & Now at Swords Into Plowshares Peace Center and Gallery. Description: In the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton received 2,868,691 more votes than Donald J. Trump. The loss margin was the largest in history with an Electoral College win. One vote in Wyoming equals 3.18 in California. Gerrymandering and voter suppression thrive in an antiquated system built on racism. Mimicking the makeup application process, “I Voted” stickers expose female objectification while confronting oppressive roles. The silent majority must unite for change.
WOMEN will be featured in the 19th Amendment Centennial Exhibition at Durbin Gallery (Kennedy Art Center) at Birmingham-Southern College. Description: Lady Justice is a symbol of impartiality in our judicial system. Standing stoically with a scale in one hand and a sword in the other, she is blindfolded representing that power, status, or money has no influence. A standard braille sign becomes repurposed by altering its function. The art serves as a marker questioning how special interests have weakened the fundamental principles of democracy. Citizens must not blindly follow but question, organize, and demand the highest standards preserving truth and justice.
2020 is another year to create and fight for equality. According to the United States Census Bureau: “In 2016, 61.4 percent of the citizen voting-age population reported voting, a number not statistically different from the 61.8 percent who reported voting in 2012.” Make your voice heard and vote!
Right Here, Right Now. Richmond Art Center. Richmond, CA. December 17 – March 6, 2019.
Feat to Fire. Sanchez Art Center. Pacifica, CA. January 10 – February 9, 2020.
Finding Your Voice in America Today. Kelwood Contemporary Art. Baton Rouge, LA. January 10 – March 9, 2020.
The 19th Amendment at 100: Women’s Voices Then & Now. Swords Into Plowshares Peace Center and Gallery. Detroit, MI. January 24 – February 29, 2020.
Representation Matter: I See Me. Campus Art Gallery. Indiana University Kokomo. Kokomo, IN. February 5 – March 6, 2020.
19th Amendment Centennial Exhibition. Durbin Gallery (Kennedy Art Center). Birmingham-Southern College. Birmingham, AL. March 6-26, 2020.