Art Force 5's next project to honor 19th Amendment / Women's Empowerment
Rochester, NY - Susan B. Anthony did not live long enough to see women gain the right to vote but fittingly she will be the first to be honored as a series of mosaics celebrating the centennial of the 19th Amendment. Art Force 5 have announced plans to lead a series of 19 mosaics which will be "community-created" throughout the country beginning in Fall 2019 and concluding in early 2020.
Alfred University's Art Force 5 program recently collaborated with the NFL on a large scale community mosaic in Atlanta. The Atlanta project paid tribute to the city's first eight African-American police officers of 1948. Each mosaic required hundreds of people each paint one tile and the Atlanta project involved police officers, descendants of the original officers, city youth, and NFL players Dalvin Tomlinson (NY Giants) and Kenyon Drake (Miami Dolphins) - both raised in the Atlanta area. The art’s construction was developed into an educational segment as part of NFL Network's Black History Month efforts.
The Art Force 5, founded in 2006 at Alfred University, traditionally features a rotation of five college students portraying creativity heroes, helping the world through art. The team has built art for the Women's Rights Center in Seneca Falls, the (NY) State Museum's 2017 opening of their suffragist exhibit, and the national convention of the NAACP. In 2016, they served the city of Rochester building art with the Rochester Police Department alongside youth and in 2018 established a summer presence on NYC's Governors Island and in Harlem.
Program director Dan Napolitano cites the importance of community involvement and choosing significant locations for the art-making. "It is not about the final product but rather the process of coming together to paint tiles. I would anticipate building this art at women's centers and shelters, at high schools, and even the Susan B. Anthony house. I have a dream of building at NFL stadiums, parking lots, furthering that relationship but for now, we’re still in the proposal stages. We make the art accessible so all people have a voice in the project. The voices and stories shared are the critical element and for starters, Susan B. Anthony serves as a reason to come together around a much larger issue."
"Throughout the country, there have been both iconic and lesser known pioneers for equality," Napolitano added. "And let us not forget that the 19th Amendment still did not open enough doors as women of color continued to fall victim to Jim Crow laws, delaying racial equality and voter's rights. Our tributes will be as diverse as the challenges and the individuals who battled for equal rights."
Questions about the program including interest in partnering may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org .