In the wake of the Nov. 8 election results, senior journalism major Josie Jimenez created artistic stamps to express her anti-Trump views. Blue word art plays on the double connotation of Trump’s name, urging people to “Trump the Patriarchy.” The catchy phrase encircles a red no symbol topped with Trump’s signature hairstyle. Jimenez’s creation can both serve purpose for her individually and for the rest of the anti-Trump community.
“I created this stamp because as an artist, your voice is your art. I hope to enable others to be brave enough to speak their minds and not be complacent with the status quo, especially when their lives are at stake,” Jimenez said.
Kent Anderson Butler, APU’s director of visual arts and a professor in the Department of Art and Design, expressed how art in communities needs to embrace a culture of evoking and sharing one’s voice.
“Art, whether it exists to extend a message or to simply exist, is vital because it can be used to convey so many things. Art is being used as an effective medium at APU, in our country and around the world,” Butler said.
Butler said artists react to culture and current events and use art to voice ideas and opinions.
Art, therefore, promotes a sense of activism in order to reject injustice.
“Art itself is a powerful communication tool and there are artists out there who strive to change the world through the work that they create, such as Ai WeiWei,” Butler said. “Some visual artists are also activist-oriented and desire to use art as a catalyst to bring dialogue to pertinent issues.”
APU students and faculty are instrumental in utilizing art as a medium for change.
“In my classes, I often discuss my art and the complicated aspects of a Christian worldview with my students, and strive to teach students how to integrate their Christian faith with their art-making practice. I often will pose this question to them: ‘How do you take your personal convictions, worldview, thoughts and ideas and bring them out into an artwork that you are creating?'” Butler said.
Art also has the power to bring healing to a hurting community. Many people are expressing their voice and opinion through art after last Tuesday’s election results.
Department of Art and Design professor Stephen Childs, MFA said artists within the APU community are using art as an outlet to express their views on the election and social issues.
“Art is a socially responsible calling that empowers students to act as transformers in the world,” Childs said.” In human history, artists have been the vessels and vehicles for spiritual, social, political and psychological definition and change.”
The pro-Trump community is creating art as well. For example, artists Lucian Witrich and Ali Akbar have debuted a pro-Trump art gallery in New York City, which opened up in October.
Art can be used to express the voice of a community, as well as affect both sides of the political spectrum and its divided parties.
My hope is that people don’t disregard art as an invalid form of expression. Instead, anyone who creates art should keep creating and using it as a medium to express their opinion in order to benefit the community and the people who need to hear what they have to say.