Norman Rockwell Museum announced a fresh artistic endeavor, “The Unity Project,” designed to encourage American citizens to vote this November for the upcoming 2020 election.

The Unity Project features six striking images from top illustrators, commissioned by the Museum to establish a camaraderie of unity and belonging among all Americans who share the common right to elect and vote in our country.

The Unity Project’ Aims to Motivate and Unify Americans to Exercise Their Rights for the 2020 Election.

Engaging as an active citizen in our nation, the Norman Rockwell Museum is working in new ways with this arts-based civic project in support of democracy, highlighting original concepts from six leading contemporary illustrators including Mai Ly Degnan, Rudy Gutierrez, Anita Kunz, Tim O’Brien, Whitney Sherman, and Yuko Shimizu.

Laurie Norton Moffatt, Director/CEO of Norman Rockwell Museum in a press release said.

Art has the power to inspire action, promote civic responsibility, and motivate change, The Unity Project deploys the power of illustration to connect people from across the country to come together and exercise our common bond, which is the right to vote. This project reminds us that the United States Constitution gives power to the people to elect their government and carves out a new niche for the Museum, putting contemporary illustration to work in the world to inspire citizen engagement through powerful art”

A new project for the Museum, it follows the century-long tradition by Norman Rockwell and other illustrators to reach a larger public through visual images. Inspired by WWI patriotic posters, and Norman Rockwell’s Four Freedoms and Civil Rights era images which inspired citizen action for social change, The Unity Project’s six compelling illustrations reflect each artist’s personal voice and showcase a diverse range of artistic approach to create motivational art through illustrated posters and imagery.

Artist Mai Ly Degnan said,

In this piece, I wanted to illustrate a scene of strong women performing their civic duty of voting in this time of utmost uncertainty, Using colorful masks, I wanted to illustrate women “defending democracy,” highlighting and acknowledging the fact that we are in the midst of an unprecedented pandemic. The word VOTE on the individual masks is there to symbolize this is not the time to be silent or sit this one out. With the world in chaos, as a nation we have no choice”

Mai-Ly-Degnan-UnityPoster vote.nrm.org

Artist Yuko Shimizu said

I wanted to create a poster that is unapologetically American, powerful and hopeful. This is a portrait of a contemporary woman of color as a Lady Liberty Superheroine. When thinking about voting today, I’m mindful of the need to be vigilant, to make the effort on all election contests local to federal, and to the energetic beauty that comes from everyone doing their part to be good citizens,” said artist Whitney Sherman. “To vote means to participate in the experiment of democracy, an experiment that doesn’t continue on its own. It needs each and every one of us to exist

VOTE2020_Yuko-Shimizu_poster vote.nrm.org

The new artwork will be available for digital viewing and then will be at the Norman Rockwell Museum starting on October 17 as an addition to the Four Freedoms exhibition, Norman Rockwell: Imagining Freedom, which is making a celebratory return home to the Berkshires as the final stop after a 6-city world tour. Following the exhibition, all six original paintings will be added to the Museum’s permanent collection of American Illustration Art.

In partnership with Rock the Vote, and other non-partisan organizations, the Museum is providing action pathways for prospective voters to exercise their right to vote. To learn more information and view The Unity Project illustrations, and to register to vote, please visit https://vote.nrm.org/

Companion art and civics connections for educators and students can be found on the Museum’s Curriculum Lab (https://curriculumlab.org) as well as on the Norman Rockwell: Imagining Freedom exhibition website (https://rockwellfourfreedoms.org). Additional offerings, including virtual field trips to Imagining Freedom, will become available later this year.

#UnityProject

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