In the wake of last week’s election results, a couple of my artist friends gathered together.
Collectively, we were reeling from all the emotions, and asking each other, “What can we do? How can we make a difference? How can we, as artists, stand for inclusivity, love, and kindness when such intense waves of hate and fear are sweeping the nation?”
In that moment of questioning, we decided to do what artists do. We decided to MAKE ART.
We came up with the idea to create downloadable posters acknowledging a list of people we stand with who may be feeling threatened right now: Women, immigrants, muslims, LGBTQ, refugees, indigenous people, all people of color, veterans, survivors, alter-abled, the disenfranchised, and anyone feeling alone and scared right now.
Later that day, we asked some of our friends to join us in this project by creating their own unique versions of the poster. The group overwhelmingly agreed, and we’ve been blown away by their beautiful creations.
What does, “We Stand with You” Mean?
As a person of privilege, I’ve been asking myself a lot of questions these days. “Will making art really fix any problems? What does ‘standing with’ actually MEAN? What more can I do?”
Honestly, I don’t have any definitive answers to these questions. However, I am clear about a few things: I am resolving to become more active in my local politics. I am donating money to organizations that are working for human and environmental rights such as, the American Civil Liberty’s Union, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Dakota Access Pipeline Donation Fund, and the National Resources Defense Council.
I will continue to empower women (and men) through the creative process. I will seek ways each day to be more kind to the people I encounter. I will use my voice when I see injustice. I will speak my truth. And I will continue making art that brings more beauty and truth into the world.
I also know that if one single person who is feeling scared, alone, or marginalized right now sees one of these posters and feels more safe and loved in that moment, this project will be well worth it.
“Words lead to deeds, they prepare the soul, make it ready, and move it to tenderness.” -Mother Teresa
How to Participate
If you’d like to join us in this Artists for Love movement, we would love to have you! In fact, we hope this is just the beginning of something really beautiful that will continue with more messages in the future. There are a couple of ways to participate right now.
- Click any of the images below to download, print at home, and post in your community. We sincerely hope they will be shared far and wide in places where lots of people will see them.
- Share the digital versions on your social media outlets.
- Create your own Artists For Love art to share and encourage others to do the same. Be sure to use the hashtag #artistsforlove so we can find you.
I believe we all have different roles to play right now, This is such a potent time to use our voices. Please join us.
“This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no place for despair, no time for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. This is how civilizations heal.” – Toni Morrison
**UPDATE, November 23rd, 2016** So much has been brought up and learned over the past few days in regards to the #artistsforlove project. Our sincerest apologies go out to those hurt and offended by this project. We are learning so much right now. At this time, we are in conversation and deep reflection as we humbly consider how to take instruction and move forward with the most sensitivity. Thank you for your patience as we take a bit more time with this process (it’s a LOT to process!). So much gratitude to everyone who contributed to the valuable conversations that have surfaced as a result of this project. More coming soon. – flora