Monday, September 15, 2008

Women Making History and the Self-Styled Edwardian Broadside Painter



I am interested in politics. I like to participate in my democracy. However, sometimes politics is not top priority as life takes hold. Yet the past two weeks here in Portland, Oregon and throughout the United States illustrate how life and politics are inexorably linked.

Two years ago this month I participated in a mural project created and executed by my friend, colleague and personal hero, Robin Corbo. Painted on the side of a carpeting warehouse on busy Interstate Boulevard in Portland, Oregon, the mural serves to represent various Portland communities and celebrates the women who went above and beyond to help further equality within their respective neighborhoods, ethnic groups or human rights organizations.

Perched atop a three story scaffold at times, (a truly terrifying experience which I failed to really get used to) I spent two weeks creating the alphabet, designing the layout and painting the lettering below each portrait. Located next to a century old train yard and working solo without music, I listened to the rumble of the locomotives, the oncoming traffic and the streetcar line. Feeling like an Edwardian broadside painter I enjoyed the industrial feel of my environs.

I think about this mural when I listen to the speeches made by Sarah Palin. Each of the women pictured in the mural fought to further the rights of women everywhere and now a woman stands to threaten those painstaking accomplishments.

I think Eve Ensler and Tina Fey/Amy Poeler explain the situation best for while I think it vital for women to continue to make history I certainly do not want to see it rolled back.

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15 comments:

TheresaJ said...

Well said, and I couldn't agree more!

LeaKarts said...

So incredibly true. Also, I have always loved that mural! How cool to know that you had a hand in it.

Hadley Gets Crafty said...

I'm so glad there are women like you creating such moving political art.

Pfeiffer Photos said...

Woah, now THAT is a lot of hours of painting right there! I have so little interest in the mechanics of politics but I do have opinions. I don't consider these as the same thing. Portland's always been a political place as long as I can recall.

Mrs.French said...

you should be so proud! now I need to go check out this mural of yours up close!

Bonbon Oiseau said...

here here sister...amazing mural...

Chucka Stone Designs said...

Wow that is fantastic work! I agree that women need to continue to move forward in the world and not regress back to times when their rights were governed by the "man of the house" or whichever authority figure took that position. I enjoy reading about how far we have come since those times but could never imagine living in a world where I was not afforded any opportunity I chose to pursue.

please sir said...

Lovely mural!

espionage said...

Hells yeah, love! Palin scares me to no end. I try not to get into politics, because it ends up hurting so much. But, the Palin thing has me really riled up. In a way that hurts deep in my heart.

On a happier note, I just made a post that really reminds me of you :) And, that's a gorgeous mural.

High Desert Diva said...

Hear, hear.

Di Overton said...

What a fabulous piece to be part of. I was watching a TV programme last night and an excerpt from a 60s programme came on and the woman was telling other women that men were bred to be cleverer than us as they had more white cromozones - what crap! I can remember those times and when I watch young women not using what we fought for I could go crazy.
I am however a great believer in being equal to men not better.

tangobaby said...

And you've become an important part of the process too, by devoting your art (and your personal safety!) to bringing alive our history in a vibrant and important way. Thank you for opening the eyes of people through your work. Regardless of the outcome, that effort is always part of progress. Good for you!

nuvonova said...

Gosh, wow! That must be one of the most detailed murals I've ever seen!

Kat said...

your header is just cool, i like the style of it!

megha said...

this is really well said



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