STILL THEY PERSIST:
PROTEST ART FROM THE 2017 WOMEN'S MARCH
Organized by the FemFour: a group of Cincinnati-based arts/artist advocates Calcagno Cullen, Maria Seda-Reeder, Jaime Thompson and Sara M. Vance Waddell.
According to event organizers, an estimated 500,000 marchers traveled to Washington DC on January 21st, 2017 for the Women’s March on Washington. Another 4.5 million people participated in this peaceful protest worldwide.
Art collector, philanthropist, perennial board member and volunteer museum docent Sara M. Vance Waddell had the foresight to reach out to her network to request signs from participants as soon as she knew there would be a Women’s March on Washington. As her request began to circulate, it became clear that the work itself behooved ongoing documentation and a more public audience. With the aim of keeping the words and images made for this march circulating in the public sphere, a collective named the “FemFour” was established to organize this evolving archive of posters, placards, sculptures, textiles and photo documentation of the international event. The objects were donated by artists, found by friends, worn by activists, carried by allies and otherwise held as objects of resistance against authoritarianism on that day—and on many subsequent days since.
Enlisting the help of March participants and friends Calcagno Cullen, Maria Seda-Reeder, Jaime Thompson, the generous assistance of Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi and other passionate artists, friends, and activists, the group took up the ongoing care and documentation of these ephemeral objects. One of these vehicles is a catalogue with essays from artists and scholars, in which all sale proceeds benefit Heartfelt Tidbits – a Cincinnati-based non-profit refugee service organization. The FemFour’s hope is that by returning to that site of resistance, we might continue to recognize and resist tyranny in its many manifestations.