Undefeated: Canvas(s)ing the Politics of Voter Suppression since Women's Suffrage
An exhibit by WVU Libraries
August 1, 2019- June 30, 2020; Downtown Campus Library Lead Curator: Sally Brown Deskins, MA, Exhibits Coordinator, WVU Libraries, firstname.lastname@example.org
About: On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment to the U. S. Constitution (granting women the right to vote), and the 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (enforcing voting rights for racial minorities), the WVU Libraries are planning a major art exhibition for fall 2020 at the Downtown Campus Library around the political process with special attention to efforts to suppress the votes of women and minorities since 1920. [Voter suppression is a strategy used to influence the outcome of an election by discouraging or preventing specific groups of people from voting. It is distinguished from political campaigning in that campaigning attempts to change likely voting behavior by changing the opinions of potential voters through persuasion and organization. Voter suppression, instead, attempts to reduce the number of voters who might vote against a candidate or proposition.]
An advisory committee consisting of regional scholars, creatives and professionals are collaborating to curate the educational content and select the artwork organized in themes:
- Technology, hacking, (undermining) confidence in elections, Kobach commission (state rolls)
- Language, discourse, propaganda
- Lies, trolling, truth-checking
- How it's relevant to college students
- Voter intimidation
- Voter ID laws
- Jim Crow
- Chicago Voting Fraud
- Voting fraud statistics/how real is voting fraud
- What is being done?
- What can I do?
The artwork will play a main role, as artwork, advertising and photography played and continues to play a large role in suffrage, voting and policy. The exhibit will use the template of the campaign button as individual canvas. Artists will be asked to respond to the themes and encourage viewers to consider issues that don't get a lot of attention, in this mass media format of a button design. The button design at or around 20" diameter can be of any media, from anyone across the nation. Memorable buttons from Women's Suffrage:
Button Design specs
Design your button inspired by or in relation to any of the topics or more, via graphic design, collage, painting, drawing, 3-dimensions, whatever you imagine. Base material/canvas/paper of choice.
Diameter: 20" diameter* Canvas panel can be provided at request.
Must be hang-able with command strips (16 lbs max).
Include artist name, short bio (200 words max) and statement with relation to exhibition theme (200 words max) with submission.
Digital designs can be sent as a digital photo jpeg at 300dpi or high quality pdf at 20" diameter circle.
Artist must cover shipping if shipping original work. Designs will be open for photography and used in Library promotional material. The artwork should anticipate being legible at a 2 1/4" circle reduction for use as actual wearable buttons, if chosen.
Sally Brown Deskins, Exhibits Coordinator
WVU Libraries, 1549 University Ave
PO Box 6069
Morgantown, WV 26506-6069
Deadline: February 28, 2020
Committee selections: March 1-15, 2020
Response to artists: March 31, 2020
Work sent by: June 1, 2020
Exhibition dates: August 1, 2020-June 1, 2021
All selected works will be included in the exhibition that will run August 2020 through June 2021 on the main floor of the WVU Downtown Campus Library in Morgantown, WV, which receives up to 4,000 visitors daily. The exhibit will then become a digital exhibit living on the WVU Libraries' exhibits website and archived on The Research Repository at WVU*. Artist/designer retains the right to use the artwork images in their portfolios and for other personal causes. Select designs will be printed and made into buttons and/or stickers. Selected artists will be invited to exhibit their other work in a temporary group exhibition in conjunction with the main exhibit to be located in 1020 on the main floor of Downtown Campus Library.
Eligibility: Artists and designers.
*If you are accepted, by submitting your entry you give WVU Libraries the right to publish your images for publicity purposes for the exhibition (All credits will be included). We may ask select artists to provide higher resolution jpegs suitable for publishing. You (the author(s) or copyright owner(s)) also grant to the West Virginia University Board of Governors on behalf of the West Virginia University Libraries the non-exclusive right to reproduce, translate (as defined below), and/or distribute your submission (including the abstract and metadata) worldwide in any medium or format and royalty-free, including, but not limited to, publication over the internet. If you accept this license, you (or the copyright owner) still retain the copyright to your work. You agree that the WVU Libraries may translate the submission to any medium or format, known now or in the future, for the purpose of preservation. WVU Libraries may also cut your submission for exhibition integration; contributors will be contacted for cohesion if this is the case. You agree that the WVU Libraries may keep more than one copy of this submission for purposes of security, back-up, and preservation. You represent that the submission is your original work, and/or that you have the right to grant the rights contained in this license. You also represent that your submission does not, to the best of your knowledge, infringe upon anyone's copyright and agree to indemnify and hold WVU Libraries harmless from any claims of copyright infringement based on your submissions. If the submission contains material for which you do not hold copyright, you represent that you have obtained the unrestricted permission of the copyright owner to grant the WVU Libraries the rights required by this license, and that such third-party owned material is clearly identified and acknowledged within the text or content of the submission. You agree that the WVU Libraries may make such changes to the item's 'metadata (i.e. descriptive information) as deemed necessary by WVU Libraries staff to make the item more accessible.
WVU Libraries is proudly part of a statewide network of celebrations honoring the centennial for women's suffrage. Design by Colleen Anderson.
WVU Libraries is part of several national initiatives celebrating the centennial, including:
- Feminist Art Coalition: Read the Smithsonian's article here.
- Women's Vote Centennial
- 2020 Centennial
Exhibit Advisory Committee
Joseph Cohen, Executive Director, ACLU of West Virginia
Johanna Winant, NOW Morgantown
Kitty Dooley, attorney, Charleston
Danielle Emerling, Curator, Congressional and Political Papers, WVU Libraries
Marjorie Fuller, Director, WVU Center for Black Culture and Research
Natalie Tennant, former WV Secretary of State
Karen Kunz, professor, WVU Department of Public Administration
Eve Faulkes, Professor, Graphic Design, WVU School of Art & Design
Meshea Poore, Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, WVU
Mike Slaven, Professor, Department of History, Politics, Society, and Law, California University of Pennsylvania
Jonathan Rosenbaum, President, LWV of Morgantown-Monongalia County
Nancy Tolliver, WV League of Women Voters
Charlotte Hoelke, Asst. Dir., Women's Resource Center, Clinical Asst. Professor, LGBTQ+ Center, WVU
Lindsay Nielson, Researcher, Public Policy Evaluation, Fors Marsh Group
WVU Libraries, WVU Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Adventure West Virginia
Sponsors will play an important role in the exhibition installation, events, publicity, and programming. Sponsors are recognized in highly visible ways including exhibition wall text, brochure, postcard, invitation, flier, poster, and other printed materials; all press materials including sponsor statement with logo; signs at special events; WVU Libraries exhibitions web page; social media posts. Sponsors are also offered the opportunity to hold events in conjunction with the exhibit throughout the year at the WVU Libraries. Sponsorships of $250-15,000 will help us complete this truly impactful exhibition in the best way possible to the benefit of all partners. Contact Sally Brown Deskins, email@example.com for information.