By MADELINE HAPPOLD
With the heated 2016 presidential election weeks away, artists are using their talents to turn the political personal. From creating unofficial voting stations to commenting on social justice issues, these exhibitions allow artists to share their voices, opinions, and hopes for the future.
Official Unofficial Voting Station: Voting For All Who Legally Can’t at Jane Addams Hull House Museum
The Jane Addams Hull House Museum presents artist Aram Han Sifuentes’ rebellious project Official Unofficial Voting Station: Voting for all who legally can’t. Sifuentes, who has permission to be in the United States but cannot vote, wanted to create a unsanctioned voting process for the upcoming election to honor the voices of those who cannot participate in the election. Other non-legal voters can cast their own unsanctioned ballots at Unofficial Official Voting Stations located throughout the country and in parts of Mexico.
Sifuentes’ project explores questions about participation, citizenship, and exclusion in the United States. Ballots from other stations will be collected and returned to the Jane Addams Hull House to be counted, then repurposed and featured as an installation at the museum.
Official Unofficial Voting Station is on display through November 8.
Power and Politics at Filter Photo
Power and Politics questions the idea that "the personal is political" and challenges those that influence the voting decisions of citizens. Juried by Barbara Tannenbaum, curator of photography at the Cleveland Museum of Art, the exhibition features the work of 30 artists and coincides with the galleries’ other featured exhibit, On the Shelf.
The participating photographers explore current issues addressed by candidates while also highlighting those neglected by current political discourse. Tannenbaum notes, "Whether working in documentary or other modes, they all continue the noble goal of social documentary photography: they urge viewers to analyze, understand, and act."
Power and Politics is open at Filter Photo through October 22.
Sapphire at Weinberg/Newton Gallery
Coinciding with the heated 2016 presidential election, Weinberg/Newton Gallery and Common Cause Illinois are partnering to showcase the group exhibition Sapphire. The exhibition features collages, paintings, sculptures highlighting issues such as voting, money in politics, and media ethics.
Weinberg/Newton Gallery is an exhibition space dedicated to social justice issues and providing an environment for both artists and attendees to engage in contemporary political topics. Sapphire is open to the public October 7 through January 14, 2017.
100 Years of Women in Government at the Dole
In 1916, the state of Montana elected Jeannette Rankin into the House of Representatives, making her the first woman sworn into Congress. This monumental achivement happened four years before the 19th amenendment was ratified, guaranteeing women the right to vote in the United States. Next month Lakeside Arts Park at the Dole will celebrate Rankin’s accomplishment and those of other women in political office over the past century. 100 Years of Women in Government highlights the past, present, and possible future of women in politics.
The exhibition is sponsored by Illinois State Representative Barbara Wheeler and is open to the public from November 4 through November 18.
Top image: Danh Vō, Pao Soft, 2010. Courtesy Weinberg/Newton Gallery.