September 26, 2020: Opening night of The Gentle Revolution Presents: The Pre-Vinylettes' Suffragette Centennial, an exhibition of hand painted signs made exclusively by women, trans, and post-binary sign painters, narrated by Heidi Tullmann of Handsome Hand Signs. On view at Ford Gallery in Portland, Oregon from September 26 - October 25, 2020.
Poster design by Anna Weber of Astoria Signs
As a follow-up to the world’s first all-women’s sign painting exhibition—2017’s The Pre-Vinylette Society: An International Showcase of Women Sign Painters— The Gentle Revolution is very pleased to present The Pre-Vinylettes’ Suffragette Centennial, a unique exhibition of hand painted signs made exclusively by women, trans, and post-binary sign painters in the commemorative spirit of this landmark anniversary in the history of women’s rights. The exhibition features an international array of more than sixty-five artists, whose sign work presents a wide range of experience, skill, and technique.
The Pre-Vinylettes’ Suffragette Centennial is intended as both a celebration and a critique of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which granted American women the right to vote in 1920. While this feminist achievement is universally lauded as a success, many of the Pre-Vinylette artists use this occasion to address the marginalization and suppression of suffrage that continues to this day for many women of color in America.
In the spirit of critical and intersectional feminism, this exhibition features hand painted signs that honor, critique, analyze, and / or reimagine how far women and nonmen have come in the last century and how far we have yet to go. As this exhibition takes place during a significant and contentious American election season, the artists take this opportunity to explore political topics, topics of women’s, trans’, and post-binary empowerment, and themes of positive change for a healthier world.
The inspiration for this exhibition comes from Remedios Rapoport’s Gentle Revolution Mobile, a kinetic sign sculpture that encompasses the viewer with changing “word portrait” messages of healthy social change, which was a centerpiece of the 2017 Pre-Vinylette exhibition at Chicago Art Department. The mobile and messages of The Gentle Revolution manifesto serve as a platform for the 2020 Pre-Vinylettes’ Suffragette Centennial exhibition at Ford Gallery.