Art community protests Trump inauguration

In protest of President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration, over 130 artists have agreed to cease all work and close museums and theaters to express their discontent (photo courtesy of Thomas Dever via Flickr Creative Commons).

The inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump on Jan. 20 quickly approaches, officially marking the start of Trump’s term. The art community, among others, have responded with a call to noncompliance on Inauguration Day. Titled the “J20 Art Strike,” the movement calls for a shutdown of museums, theaters, concert halls, galleries, studios and art schools. The petition has gained over 130 artists’ support, including noteworthy figures like Cindy Sherman, Richard Serra, Louise Lawler, Joan Jonas and Julie Mehretu.

The statement released describes it as an intervention, a way to address potentially harmful rhetoric under the Trump administration and resist through cultural expression of art. They describe the strike as, “an occasion for public accountability, an opportunity to affirm and enact the values that our cultural institutions claim to embody.” The organizers hope that the message will resonate throughout the next four years, continuing to inspire others.

The movement has been met with mixed reviews, dividing the art community. Institutions like the Museum of Modern Art and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art have already announced their plans to remain open through their normal hours. Some feel the protest will accomplish little, preferring a day spent producing resistive.
Whether the strike will be effective or not is unclear, but the art community definitely feels passionately about the upcoming years and appears ready to organize.

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