Thursday, August 07, 2008

Americans for the Arts Action Fund Gets Political


Washington DC, August 7, 2008 — Politicians are no longer turning a deaf ear to the arts. To illustrate this point, ArtsVote2008, a national initiative by the Americans for the Arts Action Fund, has commissioned an original, limited edition poster from American artist John Baldessari. The poster features repeated images of ears, imploring voters and elected officials to: “Listen. Reflect. Choose. Vote.” The work will be made available at the Democratic and Republican national conventions at events co-hosted by the Americans for the Arts Action Fund and NAMM, the National Association of Music Merchants.

“This image on the poster shows that art speaks volumes. It not only reflects the principles of the nation’s electoral process but our position and cause as well,” stated Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of the Americans for the Arts Action Fund. “We are eager for our message to be heard but even more eager to hear how each presidential candidate will incorporate the arts and arts education in their vision of America.”

ArtsVote2008 has had great success in raising the arts as a vital campaign topic. During the presidential primary season, ArtsVote2008 issued a Pro-Arts Policy Brief addressing how the arts can be a catalyst in arts education, economic development, health care, transportation and other areas, and procured public arts policy statements in support of the arts from an unprecedented six primary candidates. Details for ArtsVote convention events and activities will be released at a later date. For more information on ArtsVote2008, visit

“This poster serves as a call to action,” said John Baldessari. “The message is for both the voters and the politicians; take time to listen and reflect on the issues and make your voice heard this election year.”

About the Artist
John Baldessari is a founding member of Americans for the Arts’ Artists Committee and in 2005 was the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Americans for the Arts National Arts Awards. The Santa Monica, CA-based artist is known as much for his influential role as a teacher as he is for the important work he has produced as an artist, having taught at both Cal Arts and UCLA for many years. He has been described as the leading figure of the California Conceptual art movement which began in the 1960s and is credited with breaking down the division between the disciplines of photography and painting in contemporary art. Baldessari has been the subject of major museum exhibitions across the globe and in 2010 he will be among the first contemporary American artists to have a retrospective exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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