Artists and creatives will deliver “Enough” and “Vote” messages in multiple media
Washington, D.C. — People For the American Way—a leading progressive advocacy organization with a long tradition of marrying advocacy and the arts for political impact—launched its “Enough of Trump” campaign today, with more than a dozen participants including African American, Latinx, Indigenous, AAPI and LGBTQ artists. Renowned artist Carrie Mae Weems has played a leading role in formulating the campaign.
“Enough of Trump” is based on a simple concept: artists and the public, using art to convey what they have had “enough” of in the Trump era and to inspire the public to vote in November.
The issues driving artists’ response to Trump include his inflaming of racial tensions, encouraging violent and deadly policing, and his failure to address the COVID-19 pandemic. It is notable that the biggest cohort of artists are Black Americans and artists of color represent the majority of campaign participants. Several works are inspired by the fight against systemic racism.
“Enough of Trump” is launching with original pieces created by leading American artists: Carrie Mae Weems, Shepard Fairey, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Jeffrey Gibson, Mark Thomas Gibson, Deborah Kass, Christine Sun Kim, Takaaki Matsumoto, Amalia Mesa-Bains, Beverly McIver, Sam Messer, Ed Ruscha, Alyson Shotz, Hank Willis Thomas, and Cayetano Valenzuela.
The campaign aims to motivate people across the country, especially in the key Electoral College swing states, to share and create “Enough”-themed art and to get involved in advocacy and electoral organizing that will ultimately lead to defeating Trump in November. As it unfolds, it will include creative opportunities for the public to engage in creating their own works to deliver the messages of “Enough” and “Vote.” Plans include displaying the messages on union halls, at protests, on face masks, on billboards, and on store windows shuttered by COVID.
The campaign website, which features a gallery of downloadable images of the artworks, links to volunteer and activism opportunities across the country, resources for getting registered to vote, and a portal to purchase artworks, can be found here.
In the coming months, in-person and digital engagement opportunities will include exhibits, webinars, opportunities to join artists online as they engage in the creative process, participatory public events to transform outdoor spaces with the “Enough of Trump” theme, community-building activities on social media, distribution of “Enough” themed merchandise and more.
“This project couldn’t be more timely,” said Ben Jealous, president of People For the American Way. “Our country is in crisis over the racial injustice, economic disaster and public health emergency that have all been amplified and exacerbated by Donald Trump. The ‘Enough of Trump’ campaign captures this moment through art in a way that is both unique and complementary to the activism going on in the streets.”
“Artists have played a leading role in social change movements for centuries,” said artist Carrie Mae Weems, who is playing a leading role in engaging other artists in the campaign. “In creating art that expresses what we have had ‘enough’ of in the Trump era, we can address the corruption, ignorance, and racism that are so devastating to so many of us. I add my voice alongside many other artists to say definitively that we reject Trump and all that he stands for. Enough is ENOUGH.”
“I’ve long believed that art can do more than make people think. Great art makes people feel. I’m convinced that the great artists in this campaign will move people to action by helping them tap into the intense feeling that we’ve had ENOUGH of this president and his enablers. ENOUGH, now let’s get out and vote!” said Norman Lear, founder of People For the American Way.
“The ‘Enough of Trump’ campaign gives us an exciting opportunity to reach activists in swing states and across the country,” said Rio Tazewell, senior campaigns manager at People For the American Way. “This is a unique effort to utilize the creative talent of this country for this cause. We will put ‘Enough’ artwork on face masks, on the sides of buildings, carved out in cornfields, wherever people feel inspired to share the message. And we want to be the spark that ignites people’s creativity and then gets them to the polls this fall.”
SELECTED QUOTES FROM PARTICIPATING ARTISTS
“I really believe that art can be a medium for both social justice and cultural change, and that’s why I’m so glad to be a part of the Enough of Trump campaign and to see so many of my fellow artists taking part as well,” said participating artist LaToya Ruby Frazier. “Personally, I want to express that I have had enough of colonialism, heteropatriarchy, white supremacy, neoliberalism, environmental degradation, healthcare inequity, anti-intellectualism, and destruction of humanity that I see coming from this president. I hope the art we are all creating can move people on a deeper level – and ultimately, move us all to vote!”
“We’ve reached crisis proportions. I had to do something,” said participating artist Ed Ruscha.
“Letters in American Sign Language are often spelled out towards a recipient’s face, but this time I drew ‘ENOUGH’ from the speller’s point of view,” said participating artist Christine Sun Kim. “This act directs the focus towards the source and away from a potential audience, highlighting a sense of feeling fed up with how things are going at the moment, while at the same time acknowledging the difficulties inherent in translating one’s feelings to another person. Voting should come from this POV, our voice.”
“The best art tells the truth. The best art can envision and inspire a future. Donald Trump has endangered not only our democracy but all of our lives. Period. We are not safe. That is the truth. Who will defend our values? Will we be a country that cages children? Will we be a country where Black, LGBTQ, dreamers’, immigrants’ and all women’s lives matter? Will we be a country that values our lives equally? Who will decide our future? It is our responsibility as citizens and artists to demand the sanctity and promise of the democratic values of our imperfect founders. It is our job to demand, imagine, and create our future. We are stronger together. E Pluribus Unum,” said participating artist Deborah Kass.
“In the very first appearance Donald Trump made as a presidential candidate, he made his disdain for Latinx people, especially Mexicans, abundantly clear. Throughout his presidency his hateful immigration policies have harmed countless people. Whether it’s his odious childhood separation policy or the wall at the southern border — a border imposed across ancient lands that once belonged to a people with a long history on this continent. As Mexicans we have a heritage that goes back centuries and as laborers we have helped to make this land and we deserve respect. We have had enough. Basta!” said participating artist Amalia Mesa-Bains.
About People For the American Way
People For the American Way is a progressive advocacy organization founded to fight right-wing extremism and build a democratic society that implements the ideals of freedom, equality, opportunity and justice for all. We encourage civic participation, defend fundamental rights, and fight to dismantle systemic barriers to equitable opportunity. Learn more: https://www.pfaw.org.