Choose your dates:

  1. Tuesday, September 29, 2020

  2. Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Exhibitions

BallotBox

Showing at 21c Louisville On display from September 2020 - January 2021
  • Brianna Harlan. You Sang Off Key , 2020. Installation.

  • Brianna Harlan. You Sang Off Key (detail), 2020. Installation.

  • Brianna Harlan. You Sang Off Key (detail), 2020. Installation.

  • James Robert Southard. Better seen than unheard (still), 2020. Two Channel Digital Video (duration is yet unknown).

  • James Robert Southard. Better seen than unheard (still), 2020. Two Channel Digital Video (duration is yet unknown).

  • James Robert Southard. Better seen than unheard, 2020. Two Channel Digital Video (duration is yet unknown).

  • Jennifer Maravillas. Party Line, 2020. Mixed media on archival paper.

  • Sandra Charles. Grandma’s Vote, 2020. Oil on Canvas.

  • Sandra Charles. Her Vote, 2020. Oil on Canvas.

  • Sandra Charles. I Vote, 2020. Oil on Canvas.

  • Taylor Sanders. Denied (detail), 2020. Mixed media.

  • Taylor Sanders. Denied, 2020. Mixed media.

  • Taylor Sanders. Guessing Game, 2020. Mixed media.

About the Exhibition

BallotBox – An LVA exhibit for Metro Hall curated by Skylar Smith

BallotBox uses art as a catalyst for community engagement with new work by five artists who use an intersectional lens to examine issues related to voting rights, democracy, and citizenship.

2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote. While this is a significant milestone that countless women across the country fought for, after this amendment passed in 1920 many women were still disenfranchised, including African American women in the South, Native American women, and other women and men of color. In 1965, the Voting Rights Act outlawed racial discrimination in voting; and this year is the 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. Looking to more recent history, problems with our voting system remain. In a recent interview, 2018 Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams commented that voter suppression seen in the 1960s is still very present when it comes to voting rights, but now voter suppression looks like ‘administrative and user errors’.[i]

The confluence of these anniversaries with the 2020 U.S. Presidential election makes this a significant moment for reflection on what a vote is worth, the monumental efforts in past decades to secure voting rights, and contemporary voter access and engagement. The exhibiting artists in BallotBox, Sandra Charles (Louisville, KY), Brianna Harlan (Brooklyn, NY), Jennifer Maravillas (Brooklyn, NY), Taylor Sanders (Louisville, KY), and James Robert Southard (Lexington, KY), consider these themes using historic and contemporary perspectives and invite the viewer to consider their role and position in the democratic enterprise of the United States.

BallotBox was originally exhibited in Louisville Metro Hall, formerly known as the Jefferson County Courthouse, a public building and the oldest governmental building in Jefferson County, Kentucky. Due to COVID-19, the March 12, 2020 opening reception for BallotBox was cancelled. Since March, Metro Hall has been closed to the public, but we were able to quickly pivot to share a virtual exhibition (www.ballotboxart.com) that includes questions from the artists, artist interviews, and opportunities to participate in a dialog. In order to make it possible for our community to experience the artworks in person, in September 2020, BallotBox moved to 21c Museum Hotel Louisville.

BallotBox was made possible with support from an ‘Advancing Democracy, Building Power’ Grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women, a Great Meadows Foundation Curatorial Grant, and the exhibition partners: Louisville Visual Art and Louisville Metro.

In addition, I am grateful to the following individuals and organizations for their support and contributions to BallotBox: Tyler Allen, Marcy Allman, Rhys Conlon, T.M. Faversham, Karen Gillenwater, Judi Jennings, Dani Kannapell, Sharon LaRue, Lori Larusso, Julie Leidner, Kate Lemay, Sarah Lindgren, Carol Mattingly, Carly Muetterties, Toya Northington, Genie Potter, Julien Robson, Erica Rucker, Alice Gray Stites, Keith Waits, Tina Ward- Pugh, Barbara West; and 21c Museum Hotel Louisville, City Post, Downton Louisville Partnership, Frazier History Museum, League of Women Voters Louisville, Louisville Free Public Library, National Portrait Gallery, What is a Vote Worth Louisville, and USA Images.

– Skylar Smith, BallotBox Curator

[i] Eliot, Debbie, “Stacey Abrams Spearheads ‘Fair Fight,’ A Campaign Against Voter Suppression”, NPR, February 21, 2020.

Register to vote: https://www.rockthevote.org/ 

Visiting this exhibition? Be sure to tag @ballotboxart (@ballotbox2020 on Facebook) and @21clouisville! Use hashtags #ballotboxart #whatisavoteworth #rockthevote

 

BallotBox utiliza nuevas obras provenientes de cinco artistas como catalizador de la participación comunitaria al tiempo que valiéndose de una mirada interseccional  examina cuestiones relacionadas con el derecho al voto, la democracia y la ciudadanía.

2020 marca el centenario de la ratificación de la 19ª Enmienda Constitucional, que garantiza el voto femenino. Si bien este es un hito significativo por el que lucharon  innumerables mujeres en todo el país, aún después de aprobada esta enmienda en 1920, muchas de ellas continuaban privadas de sus derechos, particularmente las ciudadanas afroamericanas en los estados del sur, las mujeres indigenas y las comunidades de color. En 1965, la Ley de Derechos Electorales prohibió la discriminación racial en las votaciones; y este año es el 55to aniversario de la Ley de Derechos Electorales. Al analizar la historia más reciente vemos que los problemas con nuestro sistema de votación persisten. En una entrevista publicada en 2018, la candidata a gobernadora de Georgia, Stacey Abrams, comentó que la supresión de votantes de la década del ‘60 aún prevalece pero que ahora se presenta como “errores administrativos y de usuarios.” i

La confluencia de estos aniversarios con las elecciones presidenciales de los Estados Unidos de 2020 hace que este sea un momento significativo para volver a considerar valor de cada voto, los monumentales esfuerzos realizados durante las últimas décadas para garantizar el derechos al voto y el rol del libre acceso y participación de los votantes en la actualidad. Los artistas que exhiben en BallotBox -Sandra Charles (Louisville, KY), Brianna Harlan (Brooklyn, NY), Jennifer Maravillas (Brooklyn, NY), Taylor Sanders (Louisville, KY) y James Robert Southard (Lexington, KY)- examinan estos temas usando perspectivas históricas y contemporáneas que invitan al espectador a reflexionar acerca de su papel y posición en el emprendimiento democrático de los Estados Unidos.

BallotBox se exhibió originalmente en Louisville Metro Hall, un edificio público que anteriormente fuera el Palacio de Justicia del Condado de Jefferson y la construcción gubernamental más antigua de este condado de Kentucky. Debido a la pandemia de COVID-19, la recepción de apertura del 12 de marzo de 2020 para BallotBox fue cancelada. Metro Hall ha estado cerrado al público desde entoces, pero en poco tiempo logramos hacer disponible una exhibición virtual (www.ballotboxart.com) que incluye preguntas de los artistas, entrevistas con los artistas y oportunidades para participar en el diálogo. Para que nuestra comunidad pueda experimentar las obras de arte en persona, en Septiembre de 2020 BallotBox se traslado al 21c Museum Hotel Louisville.

BallotBox es posible gracias al la beca “Fomentando la Democracia, Construyendo el Poder” otorgada por Kentucky Foundation for Women, una beca curatorial de Great Meadows Foundation y a los co-organizadores de la exposición: Louisville Visual Art y Louisville Metro.

Además, agradezco a las siguientes personas y organizaciones por su apoyo y contribuciones a BallotBox: Tyler Allen, Marcy Allman, Rhys Conlon, T.M. Faversham, Karen Gillenwater, Judi Jennings, Dani Kannapell, Sharon LaRue, Lori Larusso, Julie Leidner, Kate Lemay, Sarah Lindgren, Carol Mattingly, Carly Muetterties, Toya Northington, Genie Potter, Julien Robson, Erica Rucker, Alice Gray Stites, Keith Waits, Tina Ward- Pugh, Barbara West; y 21c Museum Hotel Louisville, City Post, Downton Louisville Partnership, Frazier History Museum, League of Women Voters Louisville, Louisville Free Public Library, National Portrait Gallery, What is a Vote Worth Louisville, y USA Images.

-Skylar Smith, BallotBox Curadora

[1] Eliot, Debbie, “Stacey Abrams Spearheads ‘Fair Fight,’ A Campaign Against Voter Suppression”, NPR, February 21, 2020.

 

 

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