Visual art engages the energy of the soul and community in a way we all can see and share.
One of Peaceful Uprising’s first art projects, back in 2009, was to build a giant paper-mache unicorn that represented the myth of “clean coal”; Seamus the Unicorn. Seamus, the unicorn that is “As Mythical as Clean Coal”, has become one of PeaceUp’s most cherished mascots that accompanies us to various events and stands for the creative energy of our community. Making art is in itself a way to strengthen and build beloved community - there’s nothing quite like picking up a paint brush or paper-macheing a mythical creature that builds lasting relationships and strengthens joy and resolve.
From the beginning, Peaceful Uprising recognized the need for visual art in the movement. We began to reach out to local and national artists that could help us learn new techniques and translate our Core Principles into a visual language that would speak to a larger community. We are lucky enough to have Cori Redstone, Peaceful Uprising’s resident artist, as an integral part of Peaceful Uprising from the beginning. Cori has greatly influenced the direction and production of visual art by putting together color schemes, messaging, and art days to build banners for Tim DeChristopher’s Trial and Sentencing.
COMING SOON: Watch a video of Cori’s Personal Narrative of making art with Peaceful Uprising.
In 2009 we invited David Solnit to come to Salt Lake City and do a weekend long training on banner making, puppet making, and street theater. Our weekend with David instilled in all of us a working knowledge of how to effectively and efficiently make art, and you can share our knowledge by viewing footage of our weekend with him. Two things he taught us that have continued to resonate with us are:
1. Art is about community. If you have an art day, make sure you have paint brushes a plenty and projects ready to go so people can immediately get plugged in. If people are engaged from the minute they walk in the door, they are invested and empowered. NOTE:Art days are a wonderful way to start building your beloved community. Plan a Saturday afternoon and invite your community to come help build art! Just make sure you have things set up so people can get working as soon as they arrive.
2. Visual art is not about perfection. One of the most endearing qualities about protest art is that it is made by humans, not by machines. Allow it to be personal, have flaws and vulnerabilities - that’s what allows us to carry our spirit and energy into the world at large.
Our challenge to you:Concentrate on a message or event that your community has coming up and get busy making art! Brainstorm with your community what mythical creature, banner, or art project could bring people together and make a statement.