I don’t know if you’ve heard this, but there is a very important election coming up in the United States early next month. And the nation’s artists very, very much want you to know about it.
In the final weeks, artistic get-out-the-vote efforts are shooting up to huge levels, with artists from Mark Bradford to Kara Walker to Shepard Fairey (so much Shepard Fairey!) pumping out posters, graphics, murals, and more, all to mobilize voters to get to the polls.
Some are straightforward pleas. Some are deliberately targeted at swing states or specific demographics. Some is fairly random (we’re not sure what’s going on with Tavares Stachen’s pro-Emperor Haile Selassie graphic as a 2020 GOTV message).
Here’s a guide to some of the most notable artistic voting messages, including copious links to sites where you can print out or purchase versions of them—there’s still time. Voting, meanwhile, has already begun.
Vote.org and a huge array of partner museums have come together for PlayYourVote.org, a get-out-the-vote initiative tapping a host of big name visual artists to create great graphics. All are available as a public library of downloadable images online at the PlanYourVote website, which also features resources on how and where to vote.
Magazine’s Artist-Designed Voting Stickers
With so many people voting by mail this year, mag had the idea to reimagine the “I Voted” sticker. In partnership with Iamavoter.com, a non-partisan movement/line of merch, the magazine tapped some 48 artists to make their own spin on the stickers, appearing on four different covers for their October 26 issue. They include works from the likes of Shepard Fairey, Amy Sherald, David Hammons, and KAWS.
Magazine’s Printable Posters
Throwing its very stylish hat into the ring, fashion magazine worked with 18 artists of color for what it boasts is a “new kind of political poster.” All are available to be printed out at large size from the site for your display—though some are more abstract in concept than others, and you might need to explain what specifically they have to do with the election to a neighbor.
Charles Gaines for W magazine. © Charles Gaines, courtesy of the artist and Hauser & Wirth.
Jacolby Satterwhite, for W magazine.
Downtown 4 Democracy’s “Vote Him Out” Initiative
The political action committee known as Downtown 4 Democracy (or D4D) is out to unseat Trump by funding “targeted digital media by renowned female creators and donate to grassroots voter turnout organizations,” including painter Marilyn Minter’s featuring actress Amber Heard.
Mana Urban Arts Initiative’s Project 270
Project 270 is a street art, poster, and billboard campaign intended to excite milennials about voting. It has promised 50 state-specific works, plus works in Puerto Rico and DC. Again, all are available online.
Artists Band Together
Some 15 blue-chip artists have created special election-themed bandannas. You can buy the whole set on Ebay for Charity, with proceeds going to voter-registration organizations Rise, Mijente, and Woke Vote.
When We All Vote x Goldman Global Arts
Michelle Obama’s voting organization, When We All Vote, has teamed with Goldman Global Arts, which does the Wynwood Walls murals in Miami and the Houston Bowery Wall in New York City. The result is get-out-the-vote-themed artworks by street artists that are spotlighted on “digital murals” at stadiums from Cleveland to Miami and in Times Square.
“Remember What They Did“
A national billboard campaign targeting “African American, Latinx, and young voter neighborhoods” features a variety of artworks by Shepard Fairey, Swoon, and more, all focusing on reminding the public of the many outrages of the last four years.
Shepard Fairey’s billboard in Cleveland:
Claudio Martinez’s billboard in Cleveland:
Swoon’s billboard in Detroit:
Justin Hampton’s billboard in Youngstown, Ohio
Robert Russell’s posters in Pittsburgh:
“1,000 Hours of Outrage“
Leading up the election, the Creative Resistance, a progressive get-out-the-vote collective, has been posting one graphic per hour about Trump’s many scandals since September 23.