Spread the Vote

Printing Museum's New Poster Exhibition Is Here to Get You in the Voting Spirit

AIGA Get Out the Vote: Empowering the Women’s Vote features 64 posters from dozens of artists.

By Rebekah Kibodeaux September 2, 2020

If you go out in public, remember to follow social distancing guidelines (at least six feet between you and anyone else), wash hands often and thoroughly, and wear a face mask. 

It’s easy to cast blame for the irregularities and disappointments of the past six months on a widely established villain: the year 2020 itself. Though the gloomier stories we see on the news are often composed of an unfortunate blend of bad timing and poor decisions, there are still plenty of ways that impassioned Houstonians can transform their own lives and communities for the better.

If you want to make a profound difference in the world you see around you, you better cast your ballot this November (whether by mail or in person) with all the fervor of your aunt’s re-posted Facebook memes. And the Printing Museum is reminding you of just that with its inspiring and impactful collaboration with AIGA, a professional design association.

On display through November 22, the AIGA Get Out the Vote: Empowering the Women’s Vote exhibit both commemorates the anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote, and encourages voting in the upcoming election with contemporary, nonpartisan artwork designed by female artists across the country.

“We have been discussing how best to honor and celebrate the passing of the 19th Amendment for well over a year,” says Brian Hodge, executive director of The Printing Museum. “For centuries printing has enabled the dissemination of ideas, and has played a vital role in advocacy.”

While this year’s focus on women’s suffrage is new, AIGA has been inspiring civic participation since 2000 with its Get Out the Vote campaigns, which, like the general elections, occur every four years. There’s a simple reason behind these highly graphic, visually engaging campaigns: About 100 million Americans didn’t vote in the 2016 presidential election—though they’ve likely been sharing all their thoughts on the outcome ever since—and even more sat out in 2012.

Guests interested in checking out the Empowering the Women’s Vote exhibit, with 64 posters from dozens of women, can expect to see a diversity of creative expression and messaging around the importance and history of voting. Some focus on specific issues, like gun violence and minority representation, while others emphasize the overall importance of voting. Indianapolis artist Jenny El-Shamy’s design was inspired by quotes from women, including Coretta Scott King, Simone de Beauvoir, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who famously harnessed the strength of their own voices for change.

Whether the pace of this year has seemed to enthusiastically sprint or slowly plod along (depending on your personal perspective), the country is less than 65 days from making that all-important decision. And according to artists like El-Shamy, there’s no more suitable way to celebrate 100 years of women’s suffrage than with a crucial vote of your own. Adds Hodge, “We hope visitors will leave inspired to become more engaged in their communities and use whatever tools they have to share their voice.” 

Thru Nov 21. $8 The Printing Museum, 1324 W Clay St. 713-522-4652. More info and tickets at printingmuseum.org.

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