Phoenix Jews Support ‘Purple Protest’ | Art and features
In the Great Room on the ground floor of the Phoenix Art Museum, over 10,000 8 “x 8” squares of fabric line the walls. But they are not that long.
The red and blue squares, which symbolize Republicans and Democrats, represent artist Anne Morton’s “purple protest” against political polarization. And on September 5, at the end of the exhibit, she and the four Jewish women who make up her project’s steering committee will pack them up and deliver them to all members of Congress.
In January 2020, Morton called manufacturers across the country via social media and email, and if he believed it was the era of a politician like her, knitting, embroidery, crochet, needle points or purple weave. I sent a crochet square. Together, we will end political divisions and work together to solve national problems.
“I’m sick of political divisions,” said Susan Stander, member of the steering committee. “It’s time for us to work together.
In his opinion, this is not just the norm. More than 2,000 Democrats, Republicans and Independents have sent around 11,000 squares so far, and as of August 1, another 6,000 squares have been committed. Each square represents up to 5 hours of work. In other words, about 55,000 hours of work are exposed. ..
However, retired marketer Stander has not shown support in knitting or crochet. Instead, she works with fellow Jews Beth Ames Swarts, Mitzi Clockover, and Laura Roskind to brief Morton of the artistic protest and contact elected officials with the desired audience. I help.
“We’re going to put them together (squares), and now we’re good enough to give everyone 25 to 30 squares,” Morton said.
Phoenix Mayor Kate Gagego has previously visited the exhibit, and the Jewish mayor declared the protest day Violet on April 13.
Also in attendance were Democratic US Congressman Greg Stanton and Congressman Aaron Lieberman. In a display of unity, Stanton suggested that the square should eventually be hung outside the parliamentary office.
Arizona Senators Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Cinema are both Democrats, and like US Senators Ruben Galego (Democrat) and David Schweikert (Republican), will be on display in August. I plan to visit.
“It was an extreme networking exercise,” says Stander.
Krockover is optimistic that the goal can be achieved with the participation of some key players. “We need a baby Jesus and the dam is breaking,” she said. “It’s a popular project and an example of what democracy can offer. I just want to send the message to elected officials that they are fed up with polarization. “
The Arizona Swarts artist, who has known Morton for 15 years, is the man who brought women to the project. Her life was about creating art with purpose and even power, she said, and this project suits her for a combination of aesthetic beauty and social value. I hit him. She said she knew in her soul that art could make a difference.
Swarts decided to involve a woman as passionate as herself in Morton’s project. It was a coincidence that they were Jewish, but it was not surprising.
“Jews have always been at the forefront of human and compassionate concerns,” Swarts said.
Krockover said he did not join because he believed it was a Jewish group. “These types of projects reflect our values, so it’s really part of our makeup that we’re drawn to these projects.
Standers, whose families came to the United States to escape Nazi persecution, consider the project urgent, in part because of Jewish history.
“As a Jew, the threat of discrimination, fascism and the loss of democracy is very frightening,” she said. But she has hope for the future – she said she has to. “He’s a Jewish MO”
But it’s not just about connecting with politicians, Clockover said. It is also an exercise in community building.
When she reached out to the Vision Museum in San Diego to promote textile art, they booked Morton to talk about her project during a webinar scheduled for August 10.
“It’s an example of how things develop organically and how they resonate with people,” says Krockover.
When Morton first proposed the project to the museum after receiving the 2019 Arlene and Morton Sculpt Artist Award, which recognizes mid-sized artists in Arizona, he wasn’t sure it would resonate with people. At this point, no one knew that next year would bring a pandemic and a fierce election season. And no one has yet committed the square.
But throughout 2020, the project continued to gain momentum.
She recognizes the achievements of the museum by working on “dangerous” projects. “I didn’t even know if people would react,” Morton said.
She works primarily in textiles, “taking what was traditionally seen as women’s work and turning her head to become a powerful tool for social engagement and commentary.” , You have selected this medium for your project. And she liked that purple was between red and blue on the color wheel. These are the only two colors available to the manufacturer.
“It really shows that when the opposition comes together you can create something beautiful, a beautiful expression of hope and cooperation,” Stander said.
Morton, who is not a Jew, does not know the number of squares that may have been created by Jews. She didn’t ask and said it had nothing to do with the project. However, she is drawn to certain aspects of Judaism, particularly the idea of Tikkun Olam, which she believes is portrayed in her work.
Swarts supported the idea. “I love the idea of healing the world,” Swarts said. “He really needs it. ” Jn