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To the Polls 2020: Exhibition Archive

October 20, 2020

Welcome to the exhibition archive for To the Polls 2020, this is a space to record the murals and artist’s statements!

To the Polls 2020 is a mural exhibition taking place the month of October 2020 and through Election Day, November 3, in LOVE Park, Philadelphia. Organized and curated by Streets Dept’s Conrad Benner with support from Mural Arts Philadelphia and WHYY, the exhibition worked with six Philly-based artists to create six temporary 8×12-foot murals to rally the Philadelphia community around civic participation through the act of voting. A seventh mural structure features the works of various artists who can’t legally vote to amplify the voices of the disenfranchised.

“Save the Date” by D’nae Harrison

Artist Statement: Centered around unity, “Save the Date” is a colorful reminder for individuals to exercise their right to vote. Although it is happening during the era of masks and social distancing, the 2020 Presidential Election Day is a pivotal moment where parties must unify towards a common goal.

“Altar to our voting rights ancestors / Altar a los ancestros que lucharon por los derechos del votante” by Candy Alexandra González

Artist Statement: Each election, an untold number of people don’t vote due to voter suppression efforts such as gerrymandering, voter ID laws, voter registration restrictions, voter purges and felony disenfranchisement. At this very moment, voting rights organizers across the country are working tirelessly to unmask and end voter suppression. These warriors walk in the footsteps of our voting rights ancestors, those who fought tooth and nail for the voting rights of Black, Indigenous and immigrant communities long before us.

This altar mural is dedicated to Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Mary Church Terrell, Carrie Williams Clifford, Nina Otero-Warren, Mabel Ping-Hua Lee, Marie Louise Bottineau Baldwin, Miguel Trujillo, Amzie Moore, Medgar Evers and Al Perez. In my culture, building an altar is a practice that fosters a connection between the living and their ancestors. With this mural, I honor the legacy of our voting rights ancestors. With this mural, I harness their strength, resilience and wisdom. May their spirit protect us in our fight for liberation.

Durante el periodo de elecciones hay muchas personas que no votan a causa de las iniciativas de supresión del votante tales como las leyes de identificación de votantes, las restrictivas contra el registro de votantes, la expulsión de votantes de las listas electorales y otras formas de fraude electoral. En preparación a las elecciones de este año, activistas a través del país mantienen una lucha incansable contra la supresión del votante. La lucha de estos activistas es una continuación del legado de todos ellos que lucharon por que las comunidades negras, indígenas e inmigrantes precedentes pudieran obtener el derecho de votar.

Este altar está dedicado a nuestros ancestros que lucharon por los derechos del votante: Ida B Wells-Barnett, Mary Church Terrell, Carrie Williams Clifford, Nina Otero-Warren, Mabel Ping-Hua Lee, Marie Louise Bottineau Baldwin, Miguel Trujillo, Amzie Moore, Medgar Evars & Al Perez. Con este mural, doy honor al legado de la lucha por los derechos del votante. Con este mural, yo fomento la fuerza, la resiliencia y la sabiduría de nuestros ancestros. Espero que sus espíritus nos protejan en la lucha por nuestra liberación colectiva.

“Democracy is Essential” by Hysterical Men

Artist Statement: “Democracy is Essential” depicts a crowd of people holding candles. The large crowd recedes into the distance where the many individual lights coalesce into one bright light. The image is meant to inspire action, hope, momentum and perseverance… all things that are needed for sustained action over many years of working toward positive change. Anger at injustice, which so much of my work deals with, is a good instigator for collective and individual action. But when I think about what we will need to fuel us into continued decades, and lifetimes, of work I think of things like hope, joy, community, care for self and others, persistence and sustained collective action. These are some of the actions and characteristics necessary to overcome forces that would have us lose hope, become emotionally exhausted, and believe the lie that everything is corrupt and truth is unknowable. I hope my piece inspires people to take care of themselves and each other, build hope with their actions and have faith that we can build the world we envision!

“I Vote to Protect the People I Love” by Kah Yangni

Artist Statement: I wanted to create a mural that could connect to the people that are hesitant to vote because of our current options, and who are cynical about the process or about the power of their vote. This mural is meant to let them know: Your vote matters. Your vote has the power to protect the people you care about.

“Vote 2 Breathe” by Khalid Dennis a.k.a BKLvisions

Artist Statement: My intentions for this piece titled “Vote 2 Breathe” was to raise awareness to the people of urban communities as well as the world of how important it is to use our own individual power to vote. It is also paying respects to all of those whom we’ve lost due to police brutality and even the violence amongst ourselves in our very own neighborhoods. Vote 2 breath, vote to provoke and create change. Vote to have the right politicians placed in office to help put our communities and lives in a better position. For us all to coexist in a fruitful environment. Without any racial biases. Only Peace, Love and Unity. Vote 2 Breathe!

“Public Media’s Voice & The Vote” by Nathaniel Lee

Mural Statement: Showcasing the important role journalism plays in democracy, this piece features this year’s history-making election headlines from WHYY, Greater Philadelphia’s public media station and media partner. Speaking as the public’s voice, these headlines illustrate the complexities of this year’s unique and unprecedented election, and WHYY’s service to our collective education around the importance of voting.

“Voting Station for the Disenfranchised”

This additional structure features Aram Han SifuentesVoting Station for the Disenfranchised, which collects digital ballots from those who can’t legally vote, as well as artwork from students in Mural Arts Philadelphia’s Art Education classes that highlight artistic responses to the current political climate from youth voices. More than 1/4 of the U.S. population cannot vote, the largest of that population being youth. This installation will amplify the voices of young people who lack decision-making power and lift up others who cannot vote such as undocumented people, residents of U.S. Territories, and in many states, those currently and formerly incarcerated. New artworks will rotate on the wall over the course of the month and anyone can cast a vote through Aram’s project at officialunofficial.vote.

A Look Back: To the Polls 2018

Learn about the 10 murals created for our 2018 iteration of To the Polls here!

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 20, 2020 11:53 pm

    vote for die ?

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