The Art of Democracy Is a National Coalition of Art Exhibitions
on the Dire State of American Politics Scheduled for the Fall of 2008.

Follow Up
For information on further developments see our Art of Democracy networking site,

For actions in the immediate aftermath of the 2008 Art of Democracy go here. What Comes After


The Art of Democracy (AOD) is a national coalition of political art exhibitions all taking place in the Fall of 2008 on the dire state of the American Political Scene.

We chose this time when the nation is particularly politically aware to bring into focus overlooked and underrepresented voices and views on the state of politics, and the state of democracy today. The web site contains an outline of the coalition and will expand to cover all of the associated exhibitions. Each exhibition will be promoted through the website as well as through other local and national media. A national coalition will have more chance of penetrating the barriers against alternate voices. A coalition of exhibitions will increase the visibility of all.

The coalition is growing: we now have exhibitions in several cities, and are seeking new partners and venues, whether at museums or art centers or galleries or cafés. Several groups are currently searching for venues. These are all shows organized under the coalition of the Art of Democracy. There are no requirements to be a part of it, and no fees, The purpose is simple: organize a national (or even international) voice for political art and artists and amplify that voice by the multiple venues and artists all participating at the same time

Will Barnet


Our Mission is to promote the political art of artists and art organizations on a national scale during the critical period leading up to the 2008 presidential elections. The means of achieving this goal will be to encourage artists around the nation to organize exhibitions and events at this time. The national effort will work to promote these shows through a unifying title, logo, website, public relations campaign, and through the exchange of posters and prints promoting the exhibitions.

The combined efforts will amplify the message of all the art exhibitions and draw more local and national attention. There is no prescribed message for the artwork.


Leading up to the November 2008 national elections artists from around the country will be making and starting to exhibit work that responds to the radical shift in politics and governmental policy in America that has come about in recent years.  The Art of Democracy exhibition seeks to attract other individuals and artist organizations from around the nation to help amplify our messages of civil activism, reform, dissent, and protest.  We aspire to bring together artists’ energies on a national scale. This is not a single show but an affiliation of shows.

We began as a coalition of artist groups from San Francisco and New York. The Art of Democracy coalition of exhibitions were inspired by the exhibition in New York entitled “The Art of Persuasion” at The National Arts Club in November 2007.  The New York Society of Etchers led by Stephen Fredericks has secured the same venue in New York City for the fall of 2008 for the follow-up presentation of “The Art of Democracy.” San Francisco print artist and independent curator Art Hazelwood linked up with Stephen and began organizing the Bay Area effort. 

Our hope is to inspire a handful of interested parties around the country who will share their resources and energies for creating a positive change in American politics through exhibitions of art.

The National Effort Will Focus on Three Fundamental Services:

  1. Assist, encourage and promote all the affiliated Exhibitions and Events. Click for Exhibitions and Events.
  2. Encourage and promote the distribution between the affiliated shows, of posters created for the Art of Democracy exibits. Click Posters.
  3. Serve as a central web-based locale for the display of exhibition dates, press releases, announcements, and supporting web links. Click for News and Links.


What the Coalition will do for the Venues:
The Art of Democracy website will list all shows that are part of the coalition and promote them to national media. The New York organizers will be working on national promotion. Stephen Fredericks, the director of the New York Society of Etchers, is focusing on the national media campaign. The website will feature every show in the coalition with pages about the show. The site could also provide a vehicle for outreach to artists who may want to submit work to particular shows.

What the Venues will do for the Coalition:
Each show in the coalition should list the Art of Democracy web site and use the title and the show’s logo in some way in promoting the exhibition. Most of the venues will be featuring primarily art by local artists. However many of the venues will also include work by artists in other shows in the coalition. The exchange of artwork between shows is completely up to each venue. The web site can help facilitate this. An image database is up at which can be used to find artwork for the shows if desired. The coalition will also be encouraging artists to create posters for the exhibition that can be exchanged between all the venues.

All the exhibitions are organized according to the needs of that venue. The overall coalition is not acting as a local organizer, but as a promoter. The coalition members though are happy to help any local organizers who need help in any way. Some shows are juried, some are curated, some are open calls. Some venues are limited to certain media, some are open to all media. Some will feature the work of artists from other areas, some will focus on local artists only. The decisions are up to the local venue.


Stephen A. Fredericks, New York
Art Hazelwood, San Francisco
Lou Netter, New York
Linda Lee Boyd, Berkeley (website development)
Selene Vasquez, Hollywood, FL (archivist)

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