Jenny E. Balisle button art (Zoom image presentation).

On Friday, West Virginia University Libraries presented the Undefeated: Canvas(s)ing the Politics of Voter Suppression Since Women’s Suffrage exhibition.  Despite a pandemic, the online discussion highlighted the importance of how graphic design supports social justice.  Art continues to be a beacon for change!

Text (Zoom image presentation).

The Lead Designer for the exhibition was Eve Faulkes.  During the presentation, she highlighted educational strategies, voter turnout, community engagement, and partnering with organizations.  In addition, Deskins shared her masterful art practice and inspiring student projects.  She stressed the challenge of an educator’s role to stay objective in a challenging political climate.

Eve Faulkes (Zoom image presentation).

From website: “The right to vote is fundamental to a constitutional democracy.  Any action to restrict protections to every citizen’s right to vote, is anathema to our democracy.  In particular during the COVID-19 pandemic era, social distancing is providing more impetus for reconsideration of voter laws and processes.

On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment to the U. S. Constitution (granting women the right to vote), and the 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (enforcing voting rights for racial minorities), the WVU Libraries present an exhibition centered on efforts to suppress the votes of women and minorities since 1920. Unlike campaigning, which attempts to persuade voters, suppression efforts aim to reduce the number of votes cast by specific groups of eligible voters. The suppressors, acting legally or illegally, believe such groups of people will vote against an ideology, issue, or candidate.

Suppression tactics may include: Long lines to vote, Inconvenient voting locations, Misinformation about voting procedures, Reduced absentee and early voting windows, Purging of registered voters, Photo ID requirements.

An advisory committee consisting of regional scholars, creatives, and professionals (listed below) collaboratively curated and contributed the educational content and selected the artwork organized in themes: History and Advocacy; Voter Turnout; Information and Disinformation; Access and Intimidation; Legal and Legislation; Advocacy and Action.

Using the template of the campaign button as a canvas, artists and designers worldwide were invited to respond to these themes and encourage viewers to consider issues that are frequently overlooked…”

Exhibit (Zoom image presentation).

Two of my button designs were selected!  BREAK PATRIARCHY VOTE 2020 description: My art practice investigates symbols of influence and power that impact perception.  2020 will be the centennial anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment allowing women the right to vote in America.  In 2016, Hillary Clinton received 2,868,691 more votes than Donald J. Trump.  President Trump was greeted with the Women’s March, confronted by sexual abuse victims, and ultimately ignited the #metoo revolution.  Sexism is interwoven into systemic discrimination and progress (aka “equality”) feels like oppression to the privileged.  Women will continue to disrupt power structures and reclaim equality.


DANGER OWNER-OPERATOR CONTROLLED VAGINAS VOTE description: 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.


Only 85 days to November 3rd!

Undefeated Exhibit Buttons:

Undefeated: Canvas(s)ing the Politics of Voter Suppression Since Women’s Suffrage.  West Virginia University Libraries.  Morgantown, WV.  August 2020 – August 2021.