For Immediate Release
Press Contact: Mary Ann Merker, Civic Arts Coordinator , (510) 981-7533

THE ART OF DEMOCRACY: POSTERS FROM THE NATIONAL COALITION OF POLITICAL ART EXHIBITIONS

Berkeley, California (Wednesday, October 08, 2008) - Addison Street Windows Gallery will host an exhibition of timely political posters by artists from across the United States, all created within the last six months. The posters include silkscreen prints, the traditional media of this type of work, and the new media of digital images. The exhibition will be on display in the Windows Gallery from October 20 through November 29. The exhibition is free, wheelchair accessible, and on view 24 hours a day from the sidewalk.

The Art of Democracy, a national coalition of artists creating political posters for art exhibitions, consists of more than fifty shows in every region of the country, including Muncie, Indiana; Vashon Island, Washington; Kingston, Rhode Island; and Atlanta, Georgia. These exhibitions are all taking place at the same time in the lead up to the November elections. 

The posters include a wide range of commentary on the American political scene. There are posters encouraging voting and also posters discounting its value. One poster by Stephen Fredericks of New York proclaims "Vote, like your life depends on it, because it does," while another by Nicolas Lampert, of Milwaukee, WI, depicts a portrait of Emma Goldman with a quote from her, "If voting changed anything they'd make it illegal." Other images address topics of immigration raids, police surveillance, lost liberty, and war. Included in the display is a large group of Puerto Rican posters by artists who have created work for a poster exchange with San Francisco's Mission Grafica.

The poster exchange between exhibition venues is an integral element of the Art of Democracy. Historically, artist's posters have played an important role in political and social movements.

In Northern California there are fourteen exhibitions spread out from Davis through the Bay Area and down to Santa Cruz and Monterey.  The last time a national coalition of shows like this was organized was in the 1930's exhibition series "Artists Against War and Fascism."

The Art of Democracy website lists all shows that are part of the national coalition and serves as a central web-based locale for the display of exhibition dates, public relations activities, announcements, and links to supporting web sites.

The Addison Street Windows Gallery is a project of the Civic Arts Program of the City of Berkeley in cooperation with the Civic Arts Commission. For information about the exhibition, visit: www.artofdemocracy.org. For information about the Windows Gallery, please contact Mary Ann Merker, Civic Arts Coordinator at (510) 981-7533 or mmerker@ci.berkeley.ca.us.

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