Black Lives Matter banners

Across the nation, public spaces have been adorned with designs proclaiming the fundamental values of the Black Lives Matter movement. Art is activism; it is poignant and it is persistent. I’m prepared to head a committee of high school artists to create a public art exhibit which would capitalize on creative beauty and use it as an opportunity to raise money for change.

I’ve spoken to a variety of community figures on this, including Mayor Theken and Traci Corbett at Art Haven, to understand how to implement this concept in our community. I’ve settled on an evolving, temporary piece which could be moved and reimagined without necessitating the commitment of a permanent piece.

The project would take a dual form - creating and fundraising - the former element involving sail cloth banners. Banners would bear relevant and insightful quotes (for example, a stanza of Langston Hughes Dreams) and related visual designs. They would be decorated using duct tape (which could be removed to allow for new designs) and waterproof paint (which is long lasting). Banners would then be hung in various locations across the city.

This medium is ideal because it allows for so much flexibility. These banners wouldn’t require any change to be made to property. The duct tape ones could be reused. And the cloth could be cut to any size, allowing them to be displayed in a variety of places.

For the latter part of the project, we would purchase items (hats, buttons, stickers, bags) with our designs printed on them and then sell these items. Profits would be donated to organizations dedicated to ending racial oppression.

In the future, I’d love to continue expanding this project. I have hopes of turning it into a small nonprofit which would facilitate annual public art displays, amplify youth voices, educate the public, and raise money for issues that matter. This small summer project could be our start; the start of something awesome.

Video proposal: https://youtu.be/aB6eT3XzG

Funded by Gloucester, MA (August 2020)