Civic Engagement by Local Artists

“Be a Patriot”

Civic Engagement by Local Artists

By Mimi Parseghian

Last night I visited the LTC Gallery to view the current exhibition “20 Lessons from the 20th Century History or Civic Engagement as Visualized by Artists.”

The list that comprised the topics for the posters came from an article written by a Yale history professor, Timothy Snyder.

The title and concept intrigued me: artists and activism. The show consists of 20 posters depicting actions one may take to become an informed and engaged citizen.  The 20 posters are 16” x 20” inches; a combination of words and design are used to represent the artist’s interpretation of the meaning of the particular statement.

According to Mary Hart, the curator of the show, “Poster art, combining image and words, can convey ideas in a more immediate and visceral way, engaging the viewer with skill, intelligence and luck, possibly changing behavior.”

The 20 lessons were each interpreted by a different artist.  The topics included “Defend an Institution;” “Be Kind to Language;” “Make Eye Contact and Small Talk,” “Be as courageous as you can”; and probably my favorite “Be a patriot.”

Unfortunately, the word “patriot” and by extension national flags have been used throughout the world by those who unconditionally defend all actions of governmental institutions.  It is time for those who may have some objections to policy to also be called what they are: patriots.

The exhibition runs through January 28th at Lowell Telecommunications Corporation (LTC) Gallery on the 1st Floor; 126 Market Street, Lowell.  LTC is open at 10:00 a.m. weekdays and Saturday.  They close at 9:00 P.M. Mon-Thurs; 6:00 p.m. on Friday and 2:00 p.m. on Saturday. While you are there, you may also want to take a tour of your local access television facilities.

“Self Censorship”