Visionary Studio, Fall 2016: Vote This, by Sasha Spare & Cherry Kim


Each national election season our country gets caught up in debating whose vision for America is the best one.  For many people the election season is long, often leaving us exhausted from the media coverage, skeptical of politicians, and unable to think critically about how democracy does or does not impact our daily lives.

Through an examination of the work of contemporary artists including Nari Ward, Faith Ringgold, Elektra KB, Mike Cloud, who use their artwork to express, critique, and challenge ideas about democracy, students will engage with their own personal experiences and ideologies regarding this system of government, using a range of media to explore the question:

What does democracy look like? What are our personal experiences of democracy?

During the course of eight weeks, this unit of study examines this larger question through an investigation of sub questions including:

What kinds of images do we think of when we think of democracy? How can we reclaim and alter the language and meaning of texts and images using current media, images, or transcriptions of the Constitution?

How can we use art to talk about democracy? How do artists use fabric and textile-based arts, sewing, and embroidery to create political and activist messages?

How can we categorize our stories by motivations or objectives?  How have artists utilized photography and media to illuminate and advocate for marginalized truths? How can we use photography and text to create and share counter-narratives?

How can we, as artists, pool ideas to create an artwork that serves a democratic purpose? How do we edit, curate, and present our findings and artworks in a gallery space?