Eugene Weekly : Arts Shorts : 11.17.11


Will Occupy for Art

Cardboard signs contain some of the most fundamental elements of public expression — written signage. They’re nothing new to Eugene and whether it’s driving by the Occupy protest or the bus station, we’ve all seen our fair share. But Occupy Eugene is taking its public expression and protest a step further by hosting “Signs of Protest,” an exhibit at Last Friday Art Walk in hopes of creating a message that is more accessible to those not of the cardboard persuasion. 

Consisting of mixed media and music made by Occupiers, “Signs of Protest” aims to create protest art that expresses the spirit of the movement. 

 “Hopefully we’ll be able to reach people through art in ways that chanting and cardboard can’t. Some people respond to art, some people respond to protest signs, some people respond to letters to the editor,” said Occupier and Art Walk coordinator Danielle Hendrickson.

Thematically the focus of the exhibit will be on “the Occupation or just social issues that have to do with it,” says Hendrickson. “It may not say ‘this is Occupy Eugene’ so hopefully it will be able to connect with people in a different way.”

Political art, be it Diego Rivera or a seemingly random occupier, is capable of repulsing the fine art snob. Maybe “Signs of Protest” lacks the headiness or visual stimulation of a Cézanne or Michael Knutson piece, but in times when change is of the essence, perhaps cardboard signs and Occupy art are the canvases we should be seeking. — Andrew Hitz