After the massive response and reaction, and ACTION of women not only in the Women's March on January 22nd, but the continued resistance planned and being organized every since Trump's inauguration, it's no surprise that women artist have responded as well. I was thrilled to personally be a part of both the Knockdown Center's NASTY WOMEN exhibition which reportedly raised over $35,000 for Planned Parenthood but also the UPRISE/ANGRY WOMEN show at the Untitled Art Space. Here are some responses from a fellow artist that did the same, the extremely talented and equality pumped-up and ready for art-action Anna Rindos!
How has the political climate changed how you approach your own work?
I've definitely begun to think of my art as more of a tool.
I've always wanted my work to make people question their ingrained beliefs, associations and stereotypes. With everything going on politically - the hate circulating, the focus on labeling and the heightened feeling of just not being safe, especially as a Woman - I've noticed my desire to highlight powerful female figures more in my pieces.
Like a lot of other women and minorities, I feel scared, threatened and just... weak. And I've really begun looking to my art and the art of others to boost my spirit and drive.
How do you feel Art can make social change?
There have been a lot of amazing shows lately which have been aimed at raising money and awareness for necessary, threatened organizations promoting equity and human rights. The Knockdown Center and The Untitled Space have held/are holding shows benefiting Planned Parenthood and the ERA Coalition. While raising money, these events generate press as well as hope - gathering people in love so that they can discuss further plans of action to promote peaceful change.
And oof- I'm a strong believer that an image speaks can speak a thousand words. It can unite people with different backgrounds, who don't speak the same language - and it may get the attention of those who aren't willing to have a conversation.
In answering this question- I can't stop thinking about the protest signs during the Women's March last weekend. They were CRAZY powerful in relaying calls for women's rights. The images that have been shared on the news and social media gave me such a sense hope and security that I hadn't felt for a while. The signs and knitted hats were so beautiful! Fun! Unifying!
Protest signs, images of inspiring women and minorities and the artworks of any medium asking for change not only help people open their minds, but also help to unify and recognize people who may feel alone and marginalized.
With the threat of the NEA loosing funding, how do you think Art will prevail and surpass these obstacles?
The number of organizations, non-profits and humans who are currently at stake is terrifying. We need to use all the tools we have access to: our artistic capabilities, our connections, our time, our voices. We cannot sit still, we cannot afford to be unheard. We must continue to make known that these labor unions matter, that all people matter, that women's rights are human rights and that we matter.
Do you have any advice to other artists on how to keep that drive and inspiration after all of these feminist art shows and women's marches in the following weeks and months?
Continue to create, continue to connect. If you're finding that these art shows and marches haven't happened in a while near you or if you begin to feel unheard - organize. Start a zine. Plan an event. Someone will have a space that they'd love for you to use. Artists will come forward with pieces they want heard and shown. People will gather to share their feelings and show their support.
Can you share a photo a protest sign from the marches that you found inspirational?
Oh man. There were so so many amazing signs. My friend Cindy Trinh actually has an Instagram account documenting a ton of great ones : https://www.instagram.com/activistnyc/
One of the many things that made me super emotional on the day of the march were also all the amazing speeches. Gloria Steinem talking about "the upside of the downside" especially hit me hard.
Also, Bernie was just amazing. I got goosebumps.
What's next? Do you have any personal shows, ideas and plans for future exhibits?