Art and Politics: The NeuwPolitic Art Competition in Petaluma
Art and politics share a long history that leads back to our early civilizations. During times of social and political turmoil artistic expression can be used as a tool of persuasion as well as a tool of protest, but more importantly it can provide a platform for thought and dialogue surrounding politics. Hopefully art can also facilitate connections and conversations across perceived divisions.
To address these current topics, Petaluma Arts Center put out a call to artists to submit artwork to their juried competition, theNeuwPolitic: Artists Explore. Artists were asked to consider this question: “Now is the time for a much-needed dialogue surrounding politics; can art help start these conversations and facilitate the connections that are so needed?”
Furthermore, the artists were encouraged to explore the current political climate as each individual artist envisioned it, and to include anything the artist considered relevant to their own interpretation of “theNeuwPolitic.”
Jurors Paul Mahder, owner of the Paul Mahder Gallery in Healdsburg, and Susan Larson, art consultant in Sebastopol, reviewed more than 300 entries and selected work by 80 regional artists. The resulting exhibition features a broad array of important social and political topics and points of view, from the environment and economy, to civil rights and changing political dynamics.
The jurors awarded first place going to No Vote, No Voice, a textile piece by Alice Beasley; second place to Origin 63, by Victoria Helena Mihatovic; and third place to The Unrelenting Propaganda of Fear, by Joyce Rau.
To further expand the dialog, visitors are invited to add to the Wishing Wall, listing something they wish for in the upcoming year. Red or blue, left or right, all views deserve to be heard.
Exhibition Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., through May 20, 2017.
Admission: $5 general; $4 seniors, students, teachers, and military; $3 groups; and free for members.
1. Right - Stampede, by Laurie Henning. (photo credit, Laurie Henning)
2. Left - Alice Beasley with her artwork "No Vote, No Voice", and Pat Martin, donor of 1st Place award. (photo credit, Zona Page)