Compiled by Flora Rosefsky
Below is a continuation of a series of blog articles about the recent WCAGA Art+Activism show, Art of the Protest”, where several participating artists gave voice to their work with thought provoking statements .
Maxine Hess: “Is This the New America”
My work is driven by challenging personal and current social issues often not openly discussed such as gun violence. I consider myself to be a visual sociologist, seeking to make sense of inexplicable experiences by contrasting repetitive use of patterns as in “Is This the New America,” a poster revealing a combination of the feminine support background with the harsh realities of the content, like the rows of automatic military style guns. That juxtaposition intends to provoke the viewer’s thinking and influence intellectual and emotional dialogue with others.
|"IS THIS THE NEW AMERICA?" by Maxine Hess (courtesy of Hathaway Gallery)|
Betty Juodis “The Women’s March”
I didn't go on the March on Inauguration Day but the one here in Atlanta.
|"The Women's March" by Betty Juodis|
Vivian Liddell: “Love is a Battlefield
The work is a monotype, with spray paint and sewn ribbon. These are common materials in my work; I'm very interested in blurring the lines between fine art and craft and in addressing a hierarchy of materials that seems outdated, but somehow still persists.
The words come from Pat Benatar's song from 1983: Love is a Battlefield. I often title paintings after the music I listen to when I'm working, or use lyrics in a work. I particularly enjoy revisiting songs that I loved as a young person with an adult ear— especially songs that haven't weathered the ages well—lyrics that I happily sang as a child that I now realize are "slightly" sexist, or at least a little creepy
My work is overtly feminist, and for a WCAGA show, I wanted the piece to be for women. I was raised, like many Southern women, to be polite and to keep out of controversial discussion (sex, politics, religion...). This year, I've made an effort to be louder in my opinions—to stand up for myself and for others I felt like this song was a battle cry. We have to fight for the things and people we love. When Pat Benatar wrote this song, it seemed to be about the compromises that two people make when they're in a relationship. I think in order to love each other as a country, we also have to make compromises. That means both sides have to adjust. That also means that both sides have to be heard. To clarify, I don't mean to imply that there is a binary of ideas or views or genders-- but only to further the analogy of a relationship-- there are two people trying to work things out. Politically, I think we need to work things out in this same way- one on one. Specifically, I'd like to hear more women in the South standing up for their own beliefs and opinions, rather than deferring to what they feel like they "should" do or say.
|"Love is a Battlefield" by Vivian Liddell|
Leah Medley: ‘State of the Union”While I prefer to let imagery of “The State of The Union” speak for itself, I do have a comment on its construction. Being greatly inspired by the challenge of incorporating at least one piece of protest material, like poster board, I decided to use not one but only protest materials in this sculpture. The final piece contains foam core board, sign stakes, staples, nails, glue, various paints, a burned flag, and since I stepped barefoot on a piece of that smoldering flag, a little of my actual blood, sweat and tears.
|"State of the Union" by Leah Medley|
Barbara Robinson: ”No ACA?”-“Climate Change”
I have been drawing political cartoons since Junior High where I worked on the school newspaper. From that moment on I was hooked and that became my voice risen in protest. Doing those cartoons throughout high school, college and beyond was such a great training ground for the current political climate. And as I’ve been saying, this stuff really does write itself! The pieces I submitted for The Art of the Protest were actually used in 4 protest marches that I’ve participated in since January 21, 2017 (dare I say, “a day that will live in infamy”?)
|"No ACA" and "What About Don’t You Get" by Barbara Robinson|
Marya Roland: "10 Trying Days" aka "10 Days of Trying".
My piece arose out of a personal desire to transmute my acute distress after #45's election into something positive and to figure out how to resist without "going low." I explored aversion and pro-activity with images and words for 10 days, and felt much better in general - and in particular - about resisting. (And it was fun.)I also did an online version of the book. Click HERE
|"10 Trying Days" aka "10 Days of Trying" by Marya Roland|
Flora Rosefsky: “One Human Race”
The cardboard mail priority flattened box that I painted green while leaving the word priority in red open, became the perfect support for the paper cutout text I used to express a hopeful message in what has become a more divisive and polarized political United States of America. Often accredited to an unknown author, the quote, “There is one race…the human race” has been used by famous people like Ghandi, Thomas E. Dewey and Dr. Martin L. King Jr. Let us stop the deep divisions that unleash so much hate – but rather appreciate and respect those who do not look like us, or who come from another religious or cultural perspective.