Here’s Where You Can Find ALL the #SignsOfSolidarity Banners Around Philly this Weekend!
After two very long days of installing with my Signs Of Solidarity co-organizers Eric Preisendanz and Aubrie Costello, along with some additional help from Arch Enemy Arts‘ Patrick Shillenn, we’re so excited to share with y’all the locations for all of our artist-created #SignsOfSolidarityPHL banners!
Signs Of Solidarity is an Inauguration Day public art protest in opposition to hate and in protest of any and all that embolden divisiveness. It was planned and organized here in Philadelphia by Eric Preisendanz, Aubrie Costello, and myself with some original help with the idea from photographer Conor Gray. In addition to the 30 ‘Signs’ dropped from buildings and businesses here in Philly, there are 30 more Signs Of Solidarity that have dropped in Atlanta!
All of the Philly Signs Of Solidarity will remain up through this weekend, and some will remain up for a week or even longer. Because it’s ultimately up to each and every building and business’ discretion how long the ‘Signs’ will remain, we can’t give you a master list of how long each banner will be up. But again, ALL will be up through this weekend!
Artist Statement: “The message I was trying to get across with this piece is that America is strong as a country because of its diversity and cultural diffusion, and not in spite of it. This country has a dark past, and to this point, we’ve struggled to move forward. We still have systems of oppression in place, and the fact of the matter is, some of these old wounds will take a long time to heal. But we as a nation have to come together and find commonality. We have to learn from each other, and use our diverse experiences and cultures to build a better society. We are stronger united than we are divided. We have to become agents of change…and create a paradigm shift. In order to truly ‘Make America Great Again’, we have to create a society where all men and women are treated as equals…regardless of their race, gender, sexuality, class or religion. If we can do that, we truly will be a beacon of light for the rest of the world. To quote Aristotle, ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.'”
Because of the incredible speed at which this effort was planned, organized, and executed not all artists were able to write an Artist Statement, but I suppose the ‘Signs’ can quite literally speak for themselves.
Artist Statement: “‘CHOOSE LOVE – CAN’T STOP, WON’T STOP!’ I am CHOOSING LOVE, and love is strong AF. And even mightier in number. We CAN’T STOP, WON’T STOP. You will feel us, hear us, see us… HARD. TOGETHER. With LOVE and UNITY we will OPPOSE hate and fear. We will cause reACTION. We will be your voice to stand for protection of our Social Justices. With LOVE, Amberella.”
Note: This sign is MUCH easier to read in real life, but with the tree it’s a bit hard to photograph, so I included a photo of the sign with one of its artists from our drop off day!
Artist Statement: “Angela Davis’s quote reminds us that though discrimination, racism, hate, intolerance and other tools of societal oppression manifest in many ways that the fight for societal liberation also takes place in our minds. ‘She has struggled bravely and with great dignity for decades to demonstrate that education is a form of political intervention in the world and that learning is not about processing received knowledge but actually transforming it as part of a more expansive struggle for individual rights and social justice. She has worked in difficult and shifting circumstances to remind us of the power of education as a central element of inspired self-government. Her scholarship and activism demonstrate the educational force of political and intellectual commitment in its attempts to enlighten the mind and create powerful social movements against a wide range of oppressions.’ -Henry A Giroux ”
OLD CITY AREA
Artist Statement: “Growing up in Philly, you get to experience a lot. You are able to be divided, breed hate and choose to fall into the shadows of the skyline. Or you can choose to love. Love what you are, what you do and accept all others as who they are as individuals. ‘I Love You, Stranger’ is a personal reflection of the love I have for you until you break my heart.”
Artist Statement: “I’m fueled by heartbreak and inequality, ignorance and injustice. My work work channels both positive and negative energy into something bold and tangible and aims to speak to the audience in a way that is uniquely special to each individual. I will forever be influenced and always thankful to the movements of punk, existentialism, 1960s counterculture, and the working class.”
Artist Statement: “We have arrived at a time that only by embracing each other as people, our differences, cultural backgrounds, sexual orientations, etc. can we progress. Let’s UNITE! And by holding and uplifting one another step into the future unafraid, TOGETHER AS ONE.”
Artist Statement: “Sometimes I meditate on everyone in the world being safe and free. This started to happen after I watched a 60 minutes episode about children who were raised to perform sex acts on adults in certain cultures. I was shocked and felt afraid for those children and everyone who was in some kind of slavery. When I thought of the word safe my mind was transported to a beautiful, warm, place that had a burnt orange earth, bright sun, and the bluest sky. When I first moved to Sydney, Australia I found that place I had imagined. Silently, chants I said when I walked around Sydney are now uttered in Philadelphia, “May every living being be safe and free”. Considering what is happening in the world now creating safe spaces filled with art creates a wider more inclusive space for everyone to live in.”
CURVE at 13th and Gerritt Streets
Artist Statement: “In the early 1930s, the artist Ben Shahn made a poster with this quote from Bartolomeo Vanzetti, who, in 1927, along with Nicola Sacco were pinned and then executed for a crime they didn’t commit. I used Shahn’s unique lettering style. Ben Shahn wrote the quote with misspellings. Vanzetti had a thick Italian accent. The words feel powerful and very relevant today. Especially when I learned about what happened to these men. 1920s, Sacco and Vanzetti were immigrants, and also labor rights and anti-war activists. Here is the quote, made before they were both executed under a false accusation, amidst worldwide protest.”
BELLA VISTA / SOUTH STREET / QUEEN VILLAGE AREA
Artist Statement: “The day after the election I felt an overwhelming amount of shock met with sheer disbelief. But in a moment where I felt utterly lost and hopeless I was quickly overcome by the strength and courage of those who had much more at stake than I did. We can’t go back and change the outcome of the election, but we can make sure that we stand up, speak out and are heard every day rather than sit by idly watching the next four years unfold. We need to continue to act when we see injustice; this is not the time to turn a blind eye because this isn’t about the singular, it is about the collective. This election can be a catalyst to create positive change from the ground up, but only if we work together. Historically, grassroots movements have paved the way for social change by organizing and taking a stand for their own and other’s rights on a national and local level. So it is our job to continue to face hatred with open eyes and immense love as we work together for progress for all people. There is power in numbers and I have hope and trust in my fellow Philadelphians to challenge those who fight to bring us down.”
Seper A. Torcasio at Headhouse Square
Artist Statement: “My peice is inspired by the Keith Haring banner that was placed on the 990 building for truth to power show. I made the silhouette of our country out of the positive words in my message. I clearly want my canvas to represent the message to the fullest. Im not finished yet but here is my progress.”
NERO on Bainbridge Street (Between 6th and 7th)
FISHTOWN / NORTHERN LIBERTIES / KENSINGTON
Artist Statement: “As a visual artist/ skilled muralist/ community arts educator I use my art as a vehicle to represent people and communities whose histories are often lost or co-opted. My works tells stories using richly crafted and emotive imagery to claim and transform spaces into a visual affirmation that reveals the strength and spirit of the community. At this moment when our communities of color are at a higher risk of being targeted in this country, it is crucial that we remember how beautiful, resilient, and powerful we are. That when others fail to see our light, we continue to shine brighter and be a beacon to our families, our children, and our communities.”
Artist Statement: “Audre Lorde was the embodiment of strength, insight, tenacity, and artistry. Her words stay put. They do not fade into the abyss of a conversation. They sit on your skin until you acknowledge their relevance; they force you to recognize their weight.”
Aubrie Costello at Master and American Streets
Artist Statement: “My best friend’s husband is an undocumented immigrant who has lived & worked in the US for over 15 years. She is a US citizen. They are now going through the arduous, emotional legal process of trying to get him his citizenship. He left Honduras when he was 22 years old to come here to make money for his family, specifically his beloved mother and younger brother, who would remain in the dangerous, poverty-stricken country without him. His father, a truck driver, was murdered in Honduras before he came here to the US. His baby brother, who he tried to get to come here many times over the past 15 years ‘illegally’ and legally, was murdered just this past year, shot by a man who tried to steal his cellphone from him as he locked up his shop. Because he is undocumented, he could not fly back to Honduras to attend his own brother’s funeral. He had to watch it on FaceTime. We held him up as he wailed in front of a cellphone held in front of his face, watching the casket rolled out and his mother sitting along in front of it. In his life, he has watched horrific things in his home country, lost his father, his little brother, and saw people get killed on his trek to the United States. But he remains to be one of the most hard-working, selfless, thoughtful, gentle men I have ever met. He is my brother. This phrase is taken from a longer quote by my best friend during a candid conversation we had where I asked her what she would say to other undocumented immigrants facing the same challenge they’re facing. ‘We may act quietly and with kindness,’ she said, ‘but that kindness does not indicate weakness.’ She is scared in the face of this new administration, so is he. There’s no guarantee things will work out for them. But together, in love, they are brave and as she simply puts it, ‘trying to fight for what is right.'”
Joe Boruchow at Frankford Avenue and Hagert Street
Artist Statement: “‘Awash In Effluent’ effluent |ˈefloōənt|nounliquid, waste or sewage discharged into a river or the sea : the bay was contaminated with the effluent from an industrial plant. Soon after election day, as I was brainstorming ideas in my notebook, I wrote the phrase, ‘awash in effluent.’ It stuck with me because it described exactly how I felt watching the President-elect make his foul appointments and spew bellicosity and narcissism every time he opened his cloaca of a mouth or used his rectal Twitter feed. And because they are all such rich shits, I love the punning relationship between effluent and affluent. So, for my ‘Sign of Solidarity’ I wanted to show people that they are not alone in feeling ‘Awash in Effluent.’ Plus, it goes great with my previous piece, Trump Shit Bigly!”
Artist Statement: “‘Seeing hate for what it is; unwelcome here. Seeing love for what it is; within every one of us.’ The goal of my message is to show the importance of seeing things as they truly are — unfiltered. How rare that seems to be. We, as a society, tend to only focus on the negatives. I think it’s vital not to ignore all the hate in our country. However, I think it’s of equal importance to remember all the good that happens here too by ordinary people doing extraordinary things. This project reminded me of that; a collection of people coming together to remind our country of love and unity, in a time we need to stand up against hate — I wanted to be a part of that.”
Martha Rich at Thompson and Leopard Streets
Alexandra Sayer at 2219 North Front Street
Created by members of the Mt. Airy neighborhood through a community project and hung at High Point Cafe‘s storefront and wholesale facility
CHINATOWN / SPRING ARTS AREA
Artist Statement: “The concept of my banner is to promote the fundamental aspects of peaceful protest. There are ways to exclaim ideas or passions without violent vocabulary or actions. In the midst of a loud, frantic , and most often times hateful post-election environment, this banner is meant to shed light on using reason and peaceful methods to protest and stand-up for what you believe in. ‘Not Silent, Not Violent.'”