Celebrate Labor: Where Art and Politics Meet

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Kaplan Gallery

Exhibition on View:  August 30th – September 20, 2011 (Kaplan Gallery – 2nd Floor)

Opening Reception – September 8, 2011   7:00pm – 9:30pm

Artist Talk – September 10, 2011  3:00pm

Panel Discussion – September 15, 2011  7:00pm – 9:30pm

VisArts at Rockville presents the work of Maine artist Judy Taylor, whose 11-panel Labor Mural was removed in March from the headquarters of Maine’s Department of Labor by Governor Paul LePage.  The mural’s politically motivated removal has been the subject of major controversy as reported in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post and MSNBC.

A large-scale reproduction of the mural, preliminary drawings, labor paintings and supporting work will be on view from August 30th through September 20th.  The show will also feature a large-scale reproduction of Michael Spafford’s Twelve Labors of Hercules whose removal from the Washington State House of Representatives chamber incited major controversy.

Viewers of Celebrate Labor: Where Art and Politics Meet are asked to consider the role of public art and the collision where art and politics meet.  The show will include an opening reception on September 8th, an artist talk by Judy Taylor on September 10th and a panel discussion on September 15th focusing on the intersection of art and politics.  Panelists include Georgetown University Labor History Professor Joe McCartin; Julian Spirer, an attorney who has argued cases on art in the public sector; Don Tuski, President, Maine College of Art and Penny Harris, former President, League of Women Voters, Maine.

Exhibition Programming

Get Your Art On!  Opening Reception Thursday, September 8th   7:00pm -9:30 pm

Have an exclusive look at what happens when labor and canvas join!  See Celebrate Labor alongside the supporters, artists, critics, scholars, and curators who made this exhibition happen!  Reception features entertainment by cutting-edge regional sound artists and locally sourced foods and wine.

Artist Talk, featuring exhibition artist Judy Taylor   Saturday, September 10th   3:00pm

Join artist Judy Taylor for a lecture and question and answer session about the mural she created on the history of labor in Maine.  Taylor will discuss the national controversy that accompanied her mural and the ways in which art and visual culture shape how American labor history is represented and remembered.

See Something, Say Something!   Panel Discussion  Thursday, September 15th   7:00pm-9:00pm

Join a Georgetown University Labor History Professor, artists, an art college president and a past League of Women Voters state president for a conversation about how art visualizes labor.  Discover how artists have transformed political questions on labor and American capitalism into aesthetic choices; share your thoughts about how art and visual culture portray the place of work in American life; and explore how labor, art, and politics have intersected in 20th century America and how they do today.

Exhibition Patron

The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)

Major sponsors

AFL-CIO of Maine
Artists Circle Fine Art
Maine College of Art
Portland Color (Portland, ME)

 

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