I just want to share a painting of mine at this time since the exhibit selections have been announced now. This was entered in the FL3TCH3R Exhibit for Socially and Politically Engaged Art at East Tennessee State University, and I chose protection of voting rights for my inspiration. I call it “The Guardian/Fill in the Oval”. Here is my artist’s statement.
“The phrase “Fill in the Oval” is drawn from my memories from my fourteen-year career in Elections Administration. Access to vote, voting rights and the ongoing struggle over laws being proposed or enacted which cause more difficulty for some to access the ballot box is a subject close to my heart.
“Two crucial facets stood out to me as I began to create a piece of art regarding this issue. The first is Everyone. Every person of age - any gender, color, shade or blend, young person or elder or in between, level of ability or disability or education, living any distance from the main highway or city center, first time voter or the old hand who volunteers as an election judge, shall be welcome. That means there should be nothing to obstruct or make it unpleasant to register or vote. How will we extend the access to voting to all of our neighbors?
“The second facet is Protector – the Guardian. The duty of all persons in this country is to bring a living strength, as embodied by the eagle, to protect the voting rights of all, guarding both the individual’s rights as well as those of fellow citizens. If our neighbor is denied, eventually we may be. Will we be willing and prepared to fulfill this duty?
“As the concept developed in my mind, I pictured an old-fashioned eagle carving, but quickly decided the eagle must be ferociously alive, ready to stand guard for the nation and democracy. In my composition, the American eagle appears as a symbol of unflagging strength guarding all the voters, who “Fill in the Oval” by voting and participating in our democracy. The beauty of America is shown in the wonderful assortment of people of all sizes and colors, the mountains, the prairies, and oceans “white with foam”, the “ribbon of highway”, lake, city, farm, and open sky.
“The painting is 20x16, oil on canvas, framed with floater frame. Eagle reference photo free from Unsplash by Richard Lee.”
The painting was not accepted in the exhibit, but timing allows it to be hung at my senior rec center for October and November American Pride show (in honor of Veterans Day). I had only shown it to a few people prior to hearing the juror’s results, but now I want to share it with everyone because of the message, and I’m proud of that and my artwork. Thanks for reading if you got this far!
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