Innovation as a Nation
|My watercolor based on the Weary Blues by|
Langston Hughes. The Harlem Renaissance is
a grand example of the arts playing a huge role
Art is a large part of what drives political movements. The Civil Rights Movement, Women’s Rights Movement, Obama’s Campaigns, and Nazi Germany are all significant examples of how art has driven a campaign or movement. I was fortunate to be in ancient Art History Survey 1 during Obama’s presidential campaign. My art history professor knew the art historian who was working on the campaign. Many of the common poses and photographs of Obama were taken directly from ancient sculptures and famous political stances such as the Orators Pose. Obama’s campaign also used a new graphic design style (both Shepard Fairey and the campaign logo were significant advances in graphic design for presidential elections). In addition to politics, art can influence culture and does everyday through design.
|One of my Native American Posters.|
Not only is nearly everything that we purchase designed but it is often packaged (everything from Great Value pasta, to your new laptop, to these elaborate package examples.) The Go Green and the Pink Breast Cancer Awareness campaigns are good examples of ways that consumers will purchase something based solely on an add campaign without really understanding the marketing scheme. What exactly is Go Green? Have you read the fine print on the Breast Cancer Awareness products? Even though both are great causes, you are paying for a design/marketing campaign, often times more than you're paying for the cause. In addition design centric companies, such as Target and Nike, even Nokia (in other countries) tend to do better when the economy is bad than even the Fortune 500 businesses. (Bill Gardner spoke on this at the University of Wyoming in the Fall of 2010).
So are the Arts Imperative to American Culture?
|Zines from a Workshop in Baltimore|
Zines are another way art can be political. Riot Girl. Zine Library. Punk Zine Archive.
Here is some of my politically geared artwork. Grace is Queer. Native Americans and Indian Reservations.
If you know of any organizations that help people by using the arts or that support the arts, please post them below. If you can think of any more ways in which the arts affect the lives of individuals or an entire society, please post them below as well.