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Politically Charged Exhibition Opens at Loyola University Museum of Art

The Art of Democracy Addresses International and National Political Issues

 

CHICAGO, August 28, 2008 

Vote
Stephen Fredericks

On Saturday, September 6, the Loyola University Museum of Art (LUMA) unveils its latest The Art of Democracy includes prints and books from over 50 artists, 20 from the Chicago area, who seek to energize the public to share resources, create positive change, and address underrepresented national and global issues as we approach the 2008 presidential election in November.exhibition, The Art of Democracy. The controversial exhibition, set to run through Sunday, November 9, 2008, is part of a national coalition of political art exhibitions taking place this fall that focuses on the state of the American political scene and campaign issues.

 "The Art of Democracy grew out of an existing print exhibition entitled The Art of Persuasion, which was showcased at the National Arts Club and was organized by the New York Society of Etchers in 2006," said Stephen Fredericks, the exhibition's curator. "WhereasThe Art of Persuasion focused predominantly on issues such as 9/11, domestic policy, etc., The Art of Democracy uniquely focuses on the political process, as well as the issues surrounding the upcoming election."

At present, The Art of Persuasion is still touring the country, and additional exhibitions of a similar nature are being organized in New York City and San Francisco for simultaneous presentation with The Art of Democracy during its stay at LUMA. Organizers hope the combined effect of simultaneous exhibitions will further amplify the message and draw even more local and national attention.

What You'll Find

Liberty and Justice for All
Shawn Stucky

Featured pieces in The Art of Democracy include "A Fish Rots from the Head Down," by Michael Goro, a professor of illustration and visual communication at the American Academy of Art in Chicago, which represents the environment in the stark image of a spiny fish with its body full of debris and polluting smoke. Artist Ian Simmons is included as well with his work, "Manifest Exxony," which features the superimposed words ‘Manifest Exxony' in black and red font over the outline of the map of Iraq. The exhibition also features Stephen Fredericks', "Vote," Shawn Stucky's " Liberty and Justice for All," and Steve Jablonski's " Speak Up."

"We have art in this exhibition that expresses the issues on everyone's mind as we approach the election and we expect our visitors to the exhibition to appreciate the message these artists are sending in using their art as advocacy," said Pam Ambrose, director of LUMA. "The history of visual artists using their work to express political dissent and commentary has provoked oppressive governments to often shut down presses and to legislate the type of art being made.. It is a testimony to America's Constitution and First Amendment that an exhibition such as The Art of Democracy can find a visual voice."

 

Public Programs:

Speak Up
Steve Jablonski 

European and American Foreign Policy
Discussion 
Tuesday, September 2, at Noon

Heartland International and LUMA invite you to bring a bag lunch and participate in a discussion with Wolfgang Drautz, consul general of Germany, as part of the First Tuesday lecture series. A career diplomat, Drautz has served in London, Moscow, and at NATO headquarters in Brussels. The results of the discussion will be summarized and sent to the foreign policy advisors of each of the presidential candidates, as well as the Illinois Congressional delegation. Admission is free.

 

Chicago Printmakers Discuss: The Personal Art of Dissent 
Panel Discussion 
Saturday, September 20, at 1 p.m.

Michael Goro, Ann Elizabeth Moore, and Marilyn Propp, three Chicago artists featured in The Art of Democracy, will discuss their art as a vehicle for political dissent in the coming presidential election. This event is co-sponsored by the Public Square. Theaster Gates will serve as the event moderator. Admission is free.

Advice to the Next President 
Discussion
Tuesday, October 7, at Noon

Heartland International and LUMA invite you to another installment of the First Tuesday lecture series. This event will include a panel discussion with a group of previous presenters from the series who will summarize their thoughts on what the next president needs to know about foreign policy issues. The results of the discussion will be summarized and sent to the foreign policy advisors of each of the presidential candidates, as well as the Illinois Congressional delegation. Admission is free.

"Happy Days Are Here Again:" An Hour of Politics and Pop 
Lecture
Tuesday, October 7, at 6 p.m.

In trying to reach a broad audience, popular music often idealizes the world and songwriters tell us what the buying public believes is worthy. Recognizing the potential of songs, American political candidates have utilized music to persuade voters. For the last 150 years, campaign songs have emerged as rallying points for issues and office seekers alike. Join us for a lecture by lecturer, writer, broadcaster, critic, and teacher Michael Lasser, who will take a look at political songs, what they set out to accomplish, and the attitudes and values they express. Admission is free for LUMA members and $5 for n on-members.

Chicago Printmakers Discuss: The Personal Art of Dissent 
Panel Discussion 
Saturday, October 18, at 1 p.m.

David Jones, Drew Luan Mattot, Jessica Wagner, and Kurt Brian Webb, Chicago artists featured in The Art of Democracy, will discuss their art as a vehicle for political dissent in the coming presidential election. Pam Ambrose, director of LUMA, will moderate. Admission is free.

Whiff of Anarchy 
Dance Performance 
Tuesday, October 28, at 6 p.m. and Saturday, November 8, at 3 p.m.

Choreographer Darrell Jones of The Seldoms is inspired by the extreme physicality inherent in underground movement cultures such as Butoh and Voguing. He has studied riot, an ephemeral underground movement culture with it own set of rules, protocols, and individual and collective improvisations. Jones believes that analyzing movement structures in these chaotic environments can provide insight into the cultural, environmental, and socioeconomic forces that shape human nature. Through this project, Jones correlates dance to contemporary issues and ultimately invites the audience to look deeper into the narratives behind the physicality of the unbridled event. Admission is free.

Editors Note: 
Artists of The Art of Democracy: Linda Adato, Marshall Arisman, Anne Benjamin, Michael Barnes, Kristine Bouyoucos, Ellen Carranza, Ann Chernow, Ellen Coleman, Julian Cox, Zev Deans, Christopher Dickey, Ann Finney, David Fox, Stephen Fredericks, Michael Goro, Danny Hauben, Martha Hayden, Art Hazelwood, Andy Hoogenboom, Rosalee Isaly, Steve Jablonski, Frances Jetter, David Jones, Denise Kasof, Matthias Kern, Deborah Maris Lader, Kevin Larmee, Jessica Lenard, Sue Huggins Leopard, Drew Luan Mattot, William Maxwell, Josh McPhee, Diane Miller, Anne Elizabeth Moore, Louis Netter, Joan O'Connor, Rick Pantell, Bonnie Peterson, Marilyn Propp, Brandy Pudzis, Joseph Ramos, Victoria Salzman, Heath Schultz, Sarah Sears, Ian Simmons, Shawn Stucky, Charlene Tarbox, Bruce Thayer, Jessica Wagner, Bruce Waldman, Kurt Brian Webb, and Barbara Wilson.

About LUMA
Opened in 2005, the Loyola University Museum of Art is dedicated to exploring, promoting, and understanding art and artistic expression that illuminates the enduring spiritual questions of all cultures and societies. As a museum with an interest in education and educational programming, LUMA reflects the University’s Jesuit mission and is dedicated to helping people of all creeds explore the roots of their faith and spiritual quests. Located at Loyola University Chicago’s Water Tower Campus, the museum occupies the first three floors of the University’s historic Lewis Towers on Chicago’s famous Michigan Avenue. For more information, visit the museum’s website at LUC.edu/luma.

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