Local art group seeks to depict coming election through artwork, exhibit

Michelle Bender

The presidential election is on the forefront of everyone’s mind and being covered extensively by the media, so The Artist’s Network of Kent has decided to extend that coverage into the art world.

“Election Obsession” is the title of the new art exhibit the group is putting on in Kent State’s Downtown Gallery. The show will run Oct. 1 through Nov. 1, but the submission deadline for finished works or written proposals is Aug. 15.

“Certainly there are a diverse amount of opinions and political ideas,” said Bradley Hart, co-president of the group. “We encourage people to speak out.”

Hart said the original idea for the show was political posters, but the group decided to expand to any medium. Any visual art, 2-D or 3-D, will be considered.

“(The Artist’s Network of Kent) is an interesting, vibrant group of artists trying to put on exhibits,” said Anderson Turner, coordinator of galleries for Kent State’s School of Art. “Downtown Gallery is in full support of them.”

Eileen Gross, group board member, said another reason for choosing elections as the theme of the show is because of the historical election going on this year.

“Everybody would like a chance to put in their two cents,” Gross said. “Hopefully, we’ll give people a chance to register an opinion.”

Even though works or proposals can be about any election, Gross said she hopes work will focus on the current presidential election.

“I hope people are interested, whatever their political affiliation,” Turner said. “Our job is to support interesting art.”

Hart said he looks forward to Kent State students getting involved. He said one of the reasons the group chose the election theme was to get more people interested, especially students.

The fee for submitting an artwork is $30 for non-members, $10 for students and $25 for members. Submitters will automatically become a member of the group.

The exhibit will be judged and three works will be picked as best in show. All works chosen for the exhibit will be put up for auction at the end of the show. The artist can choose the minimum bid amount.

“I’m expecting a lot of mixed media,” Gross said. “It’s up to the artist’s imagination.”

Contact School of Art reporter Michelle Bender at [email protected].