Political Art

Take Up Space


Here is the most recent Female Power Project Positive Protest Principles Poster, honoring Rosa Parks. It’s called “Take Up Space.” I am here and it’s wrong to make me move. This is from Wikipedia: “Rosa Louise McCauley Parks (February 4, 1913 – October 24, 2005) was an activist in the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. On December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, Parks refused to obey the bus driver’s order to give up her seat in the colored section to a white passenger, after the white section was filled.
Parks’ act of defiance and the Montgomery bus boycott became important symbols of the modern Civil Rights Movement. She became an international icon of resistance to racial segregation.”

The design is based on a photograph of Ms. Parks on a Montgomery bus on December 21, 1956, the day Montgomery’s public transportation system was legally integrated.
The stripes in this design are inspired by the shirt Ms Parks wears in this photo from 1955.

TAKE UP SPACE — #FemalePowerProject poster honoring Rosa Parks

The Honorable Kamala Harris knows her place


Female Power Project Positive Protest Principles Poster: INSIST, honoring Kamala Harris, who knows her place

Here is my latest poster production honoring Kamala Harris. Kamala Harris is the junior Senator from California. Previously she served as Attorney General of California. Harris was born in Oakland, California. She is the daughter of an Indian mother, a cancer researcher who emigrated in 1960, and a Jamaican-American father who is an economics professor.
On June 7, 2017, two Republican senators (Sen. John McCain of Arizona and Richard Burr of North Carolina) tried to silence Sen. Harris at a Senate Intelligence hearing as she attempted to get a yes or no answer out of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. She wanted to know whether he would grant full independence to the investigator of possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. She was told “to give Rosenstein ‘the courtesy’ to answer or not answer her question as he saw fit.”* Male senators had not been similarly silenced in this hearing. It was as if those two senators were trying to remind her of “her place”—women should be polite and people of color should show deference—at least that is how the Twitter-sphere interpreted the comment. Rosenstein would not answer her yes or no, and he rambled on about why it wasn’t necessary, and maybe a bad idea, for the investigator to have full independence. This could be called “mansplaining.” Sen. Harris gazed (what is the word for looking both amused and appalled?) at Rosenstein as he spoke. When he stopped, she asked, “So, is that a no?”
Yes, women in power should insist.
From Wikipedia; *Christina Cauterucci’s reporting on Slate.com; and the video clip “Kamala Harris Interrupted at Intel Senate Hearing” from CNN. The image of Ms. Harris is based on a screen shot from the CNN clip.

Three New Poster Designs


I’m now calling these #FemalePowerProject Positive Protest Principles Posters. With these three, the total number of designs will be ten. (Click here to see the first seven designs.) They are: DISSENT honoring Ruth Bader Ginsburg; be marvelous TOGETHER honoring Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton; and FIGHT honoring Hillary Clinton. Two sizes are available for sale and the digital versions can be downloaded here for free (be marvelous TOGETHER is designed for larger sizes). 11 x 14 inch prints are $30 and 16 x 20 inch prints are $45. I can send them in the mail for flat rate $5 or you can purchase them at my retail studio, Black Lab, at 716 Monroe Street NE, Studio 16, Washington, DC 20017. Read below the thumbnails for some text describing these characters.

Click on the blurry thumbnail image to see a higher resolution version!

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

(born Joan Ruth Bader; March 15, 1933) is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Ginsburg was appointed by President Bill Clinton and took the oath of office on August 10, 1993. She is the second female justice to be confirmed to the Court (after Sandra Day O’Connor) and one of four female justices to be confirmed (with Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, who are still serving). Following Justice O’Connor’s retirement and prior to Justice Sotomayor joining the Court, Ginsburg was the only female justice on the Supreme Court. During that time, Ginsburg became more forceful with her dissents, noted by legal observers and in popular culture.
Ginsburg spent a considerable portion of her legal career as an advocate for the advancement of gender equality and women’s rights, winning multiple victories arguing before the Supreme Court. She advocated as a volunteer lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union and was a member of its board of directors and one of its general counsels in the 1970s. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter appointed her to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit where she served until her elevation to the Supreme Court.
Ginsburg has been referred to as a “pop culture icon”. Ginsburg’s profile began to rise after Justice O’Connor’s retirement in 2005 left Ginsburg as the only serving female justice. Ginsburg’s increasingly fiery dissents, particularly in Shelby County v. Holder, led to the creation of the Notorious R.B.G. Tumblr and meme comparing the justice to rapper The Notorious B.I.G. The creator of the Notorious R.B.G Tumblr, then-law student Shana Knizhnik, teamed up with MSNBC reporter Irin Carmon to turn the blog into a book titled Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Released in October 2015, the book became New York Times bestseller. Ginsburg herself admitted to having a “large supply” of Notorious R.B.G T-shirts which she distributed as gifts. Her family and close friends claim that Ginsburg herself does not have a “pop culture” personality and find the whole thing bemusing.
Mostly from Wikipedia

About the Dissent Jabot
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg has a fabulous jabot, or decorative collar, collection to wear with her black robe. During an extensive interview with Yahoo News’ Katie Couric, Ginsburg showed off her assortment of collars. She has a “dissenting collar,” which she explained to Couric “looks fitting for dissents.” She also has a collar for when she writes the majority opinion, which was a gift from her law clerks. Ginsburg was seen wearing her dissent collar on November 9, 2016.
Partly based on http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/ruth-bader-ginsburg-dissenting-collar

 

Hillary Rodham Clinton

I based this design on classic boxing posters. If you don’t know who she is, look her up!

 

Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony

Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony “worked marvelously together”
Stanton and Anthony are “foremothers” of the struggle for women’s equality. In 1851, Stanton started working with Susan B. Anthony, a well-known abolitionist. The two women made a great team. Anthony managed the business affairs of the women’s rights movement while Stanton did most of the writing. Together they edited and published a woman’s newspaper, the Revolution, from 1868 to 1870. In 1869, Anthony and Stanton formed the National Woman Suffrage Association. They traveled all over the country and abroad, promoting woman’s rights.
Anna Howard Shaw, another suffragist, wrote a description of the relationship between Stanton and Anthony in The Story of a Pioneer: “She [Miss Anthony] often said that Mrs. Stanton was the brains of the new association, while she herself was merely its hands and feet; but in truth the two women worked marvelously together, for Mrs. Stanton was a master of words and could write and speak to perfection of the things Susan B. Anthony saw and felt but could not herself express.”
From: http://www.americaslibrary.gov/aa/stanton/aa_stanton_friends_1.html
HISTORY
In 1851, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton embarked on a collaboration that evolved into one of the most productive working partnerships in U.S. history. As uncompromising women’s rights leaders, they revolutionized the political and social condition of women in American society. Stanton was the leading voice and philosopher of the women’s rights and suffrage movements while Anthony was the powerhouse who commandeered the legions of women who struggled to win the ballot for American women.
During the early 1850s, Anthony also longed for involvement in the abolitionist and women’s rights movements. In the months following her first meeting with Stanton in March 1851, the two women not only developed a deep friendship but also helped each other prepare themselves to change women’s lives. Anthony thrived under Stanton’s tutelage—soaking up her knowledge of politics, the law, philosophy, and rhetoric. Stanton, confined to her home by motherhood (she gave birth to her seventh and last child in 1859), was stimulated by Anthony’s thoughtful critiques of her ideas. Anthony became the propulsive force behind all their activism. She did not permit Stanton to be idle, always pushing her to write one more speech, one more manifesto.
As would become customary, Anthony, who was unmarried and free of family demands, organized and ran the campaign. She traveled statewide, speaking throughout 54 New York counties. Stanton did the legal research, drafted the literature Anthony distributed, and wrote the speeches for them both. Finally, in 1860, following Stanton’s eloquent speech before the New York state legislature, the Married Women’s Property Law of 1860 became law. Married women gained the right to own property, engage in business, manage their wages and other income, sue and be sued, and be joint guardian of their children.
In 1856, the American Anti-Slavery Society hired Anthony to be its general agent in the state of New York. Until 1861, she and her troupe of antislavery orators (including Stanton) crisscrossed the state, confronting hostile mobs wherever they spoke.
In May 1869, Anthony and Stanton formed the National Woman Suffrage Association, a woman-led organization devoted to obtaining a federal woman suffrage amendment.
From 1868-1870 Anthony and Stanton published the radical women’s rights newspaper The Revolution. Stanton was the principal writer and editor, Anthony the publisher and business manager. Although the paper was a financial failure, it provided a much-needed forum for Stanton and Anthony to broadcast their views to their allies and the public.
During the early 1870s, Anthony and Stanton pursued a strategy that they believed would enfranchise women. The “New Departure” was founded on the premise that the 14th and 15th Amendments guaranteed all citizens the right to vote regardless of gender. Anthony and at least 150 other women tested its constitutionality by casting ballots in the 1872 presidential election. Several weeks later, Anthony was arrested. She was indicted by a grand jury in January 1873 and in June went on trial in Canandaigua, New York. The judge ordered the all-male jury to render a guilty verdict. In her comments to the court, Anthony exposed the trial for the travesty it was. (See excerpt from comments below)
Anthony and Stanton abandoned the New Departure in 1875 when the Supreme Court delivered the Minor v. Happersett verdict. Anthony then focused NWSA suffragists on the campaign for a woman suffrage amendment. In 1878, Stanton wrote and submitted NWSA’s proposed amendment to the U.S. Senate. For the next 40 years, it would be brought before each session of Congress.
In 1891, Anthony made a home with her sister Mary at the family household in Rochester, New York. She hoped that Stanton would come live with them, but her old friend declined, deciding to live with two of her children in New York City. In the 1890s, Stanton was writing to her heart’s content—submitting articles and essays to leading national newspapers and magazines. Her celebrity was at its peak.
In 1895, Stanton published the first volume of the Woman’s Bible, the culmination of her life-long interest in correcting biblical passages that are demeaning to women. It became an immediate bestseller and aroused widespread controversy. Within NAWSA, it ignited a firestorm. Despite Anthony’s protests, the conservative leadership rejected Stanton’s book and voted to censure her.
Two weeks before her 87th birthday, Stanton died of heart failure on October 26, 1902. Anthony was inconsolable. “I am too crushed to speak,” she told a reporter. Anthony’s health was failing, too. In 1900, at age 80, she had suffered a stroke. Though her doctor had warned her to take better care of herself, she decided it would be better to “die in the harness” than to abandon her work. She was no longer president of NAWSA but still supervised most of its management.
In February 1906, the 86-year-old Anthony, ill and weary, delivered her final speech at the annual NAWSA convention in Baltimore. She reminded NAWSA suffragists that the day of women’s enfranchisement was at hand—that “Failure is Impossible.” Weeks later, Anthony succumbed to double pneumonia and heart failure. She died on March 13th. Fourteen more years of ceaseless agitation would be necessary before the 19th Amendment enfranchised women on August 26, 1920.
About the Author: Judith E. Harper, author of Susan B. Anthony: A Biographical Companion (ABC-CLIO, 1998). A graduate of Wellesley College and Boston University, Judith E. Harper specializes in the history of nineteenth-century American women. She is the author of Susan B. Anthony: A Biographical Companion (ABC-CLIO, 1998). She is currently writing The Encyclopedia of Women During the American Civil War. She lives in the Boston area.
Excerpted from:
http://www.pbs.org/stantonanthony/resources/index.html?body=biography.html

Susan B. Anthony, from comments to the Court, 19 June 1873:
“I shall not sit down. I will not lose my only chance to speak.”
Court—”You have been tried, Miss Anthony, by the forms of law, and my decision has been rendered by law.”
Miss Anthony—”Yes, but laws made by men, under a government of men, interpreted by men and for the benefit of men. The only chance women have for justice in this country is to violate the law, as I have done, and as I shall continue to do,” and she struck her hand heavily on the table in emphasis of what she said. “Does your honor suppose that we obeyed the infamous fugitive slave law which forbade to give a cup of cold water to a slave fleeing from his master? I tell you we did not obey it; we fed him and clothed him, and sent him on his way to Canada. So shall we trample all unjust laws under foot. I do not ask the clemency of the court. I came into it to get justice, having failed in this, I demand the full rigors of the law.”

 

Introducing Female Power Project Positive Protest Principles Posters


I’ve made this series within a series, I suppose within TWO series. Isn’t everything connected anyway? After the devastating slap of the election, the Women’s March was a tonic. With so many people who came from all over—and the sister marches around the world—it is clear that progressive action is becoming more potent than ever. And it is fired by female power. Like I’ve been saying. There are many more protest graphics free for download at WokeGraphics.com. These Female Power Project Positive Protest Principles Posters are available at Black Lab Art Studio in 16 x 20 inch ($45) and 11 x 14 inch ($30) sizes. You can also order these printed on canvas and stretched on a frame AND SHIPPED TO YOU for $70 (11×16) or $100 (16×20). These stretched canvas versions are ready to hang on your wall, no framing necessary.  Contact me if you would like me to ship and I’ll send you an invoice. Wouldn’t one of these make a great gift for a “Nasty Woman” in your life?

PRESENCE: Honoring Ieshia Evans

PRESENCE: Honoring Ieshia Evans (Female Power Project)
PRESENCE: Honoring Ieshia Evans (Female Power Project)

Here is the most recent addition to the #FemalePowerProject, a multi-media triptych called PRESENCE: Honoring Ieshia Evans. This is one of two pieces with “PRESENCE” in its title. I will post about the other soon.

Now showing in the studio windows at Black Lab, you can view these works any time of the day or night (until I decide to take them down or show them somewhere else) at 716 Monroe Street NE, Studio 16, Washington, DC.

The three panels, based on a striking photograph by Jonathan Bachman, honor Ieshia Evans who was arrested in Baton Rouge on 7/10/16 protesting the murder of Alton Sterling. The writing on the pieces quotes parts of an interview with Ieshia Evans in which she describes her thoughts and feelings surrounding the event captured in the photograph. Her physical presence in the image holds immense power. I felt that this event and this person should be memorialized in some way since “viral” images have a tendency to be forgotten, their memory eroded by time and replaced by new viral images.

Multi-media assemblage and collage, triptych. The three images (below) show the left, middle, and right panels of the triptych. All pieces are collage, spray paint, painting, and drawing on museum board nailed to painted plywood with plaster decorative molding and writing in silver ink.

Left 18” x 24” x 2.5”
Text says: I’m a woman. I’m Here. I love my people.

Middle 18” x 24” x 1.5”
Text says: Ieshia Evans was arrested in Baton Rouge protesting the murder of Alton Sterling by police. “I’m human. I’m a woman. I’m a mom. I’m a nurse. I could be your nurse. I could be taking care of you. You know? I’m here. We all matter. We don’t have to beg to matter. We do matter … I never really considered myself to be in the definition of brave. But sometimes, jobs are given to you that you’re not really—you didn’t apply for. You know?” (Based on a photo by Jonathan Bachman)

Right 18” x 25.5” x 1.5”
Text says: 7/10/2016 – It is more than me, it is more than myself. So here I am, I have a responsibility to do something.

$750 each panel

Here they are in a gallery. Click to see a larger picture of each panel.

About the Female Power Project

The Female Power Project is a multi-media performance and series of physical expressions (shawls, scarves, pins, prints, multi-media wall pieces, assemblage sculpture, photographs, and—coming soon—assemblage boxes, a print publication, video…) I’ve created these objects and designs inspired by the power of women, both human and mythological. I’ve asked friends and strangers about their female heroes and deities. I’ve researched these females and tried to find the center point of their power or gift. I document this process here on this blog. In each piece I have tried not only to represent the person, but to represent the attributes and message—the power—of the person (or spirit) in words and/or in images. The females represented so far: The Virgin of Guadalupe; Malala Yousafzai; Harriet Tubman; Maya Angelou; Erzulie (the Haitian spirit of love); and Marie Curie. Coming up next: Frida Kahlo; Virginia Woolf; Aun Sang Suu Kyi; Rachel Carson; Nellie Bly; Simone DeBeauvoir; Rosie the Riveter; Ruth Bader Ginsburg…

Information on how to order pieces in the Female Power Project

You can order them directly from me! Just send me a message here to discuss your request (include your name, email, and the address you want me to ship to, as well as which pieces you would like to buy) and I will send you information and/or a Paypal invoice which will include the shipping cost (likely to be $5.00 for scarves and shawls and pins for U.S. destinations). I will ship when your payment goes through. If you are interested in purchasing a Female Power Pin ($48, some are $38) let me know and I will email you a picture of the ones I have in the studio right now. These are one-of-a-kind, so there’s no other way of telling what designs I will have when you want to get one.