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CHOOSING THE LEADER OF THE FREE WORLD: ART AND POLITICS SHARE THE TICKET AT LUMA'S 'THE ART OF DEMOCRACY'

By Culturekiosque Staff

CHICAGO, 11 SEPTEMBER 2008 - With everything that's at stake in the upcoming election of the next U.S. President, cutting through the fog
and noise of campaign rhetoric and breathless punditry becomes ever more difficult. The new exhibition The Art of Democracy - at the Loyola University Museum of Art (LUMA) through November 9 - hopes to focus the attention of both the electorate and the candidates on the issues and policy challenges unique to this election cycle.

The Art of Democracy includes prints and books from over 50 artists, 20 from the Chicago area, who seek to energize the public to share resources, create positive change, and address underrepresented national and global issues as we approach the 2008 presidential election in November.

"The Art of Democracy grew out of an existing print exhibition entitled The Art of Persuasion, which was showcased at the National Arts Club and was organized by the New York Society of Etchers in 2006," said Stephen Fredericks, the exhibition's curator. "Whereas The Art of Persuasion focused predominantly on issues such as 9/11, domestic policy, etc., The Art of Democracy uniquely focuses on the political process, as well as the issues surrounding the upcoming election."

At present, The Art of Persuasion is still touring the country, and additional exhibitions of a similar nature are being organized in New York City and San Francisco for simultaneous presentation with The Art of Democracy during its stay at LUMA. Organizers hope the combined effect of simultaneous exhibitions will further amplify the message and draw even more local and national attention.

What You Will Find

Featured pieces in The Art of Democracy include A Fish Rots from the Head Down, by Michael Goro, a professor of illustration and visual communication at the American Academy of Art in Chicago, which represents the environment in the stark image of a spiny fish with its body full of debris and polluting smoke. Artist Ian Simmons is included as well with his work Manifest Exxony, which features the superimposed words 'Manifest Exxony' in black and red font over the outline of the map of Iraq. The exhibition
also features Stephen Fredericks' Vote, Shawn Stucky's Liberty and Justice for All, and Steve Jablonski's Speak Up.

"We have art in this exhibition that expresses the issues on everyone's mind as we approach the election, and we expect our visitors to the exhibition will appreciate the message these artists are sending in using their art as advocacy," said Pam Ambrose, director of LUMA. "The history of visual
artists using their work to express political dissent and commentary has provoked oppressive governments to often shut down presses and to legislate the type of art being made. It is a testimony to America's Constitution and First Amendment that an exhibition such as The Art of Democracy can find a visual voice."

Public Programs :

Advice to the Next President
Discussion
Tuesday, October 7, at Noon

Heartland International and LUMA invite the public to another installment of the First Tuesday lecture series. This event will include a panel discussion with a group of previous presenters from the series who will summarize their thoughts on what the next president needs to know about foreign policy issues. The results of the discussion will be summarized and sent to the foreign policy advisors of each of the presidential candidates, as well as the Illinois Congressional delegation. Admission is free.

The Loyola University Museum of Art (LUMA) was founded in 2005 on the Water Tower Campus of Loyola University Chicago. It aims to reflect the university's Jesuit mission, illustrated in the first floor lobby with the Windows of Faith representing the five major world faiths of Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam.

Loyola University Museum of Art
820 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60611
Tel: (1) 312 915 76 00
E-mail: luma@luc.edu

Headline Photo: Steve Jablonski: Speak Up
Photo courtesy of Loyola University Museum of Art

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