Pro Arts Brings STILL THEY PERSIST: Protest Art of the 2017 Women’s Marches to Oakland

The traveling exhibition by Cincinnati artists and arts advocates FemFour features curated protest art from the 2017 Women’s Marches.


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Art by Keer Tenchak, courtesy Pro Arts

Those who participated in the 2017 Women’s Marches advocated not just for women’s rights but also immigration reform, health care reform, reproductive rights, the environment, LGBTQ+ rights, racial equality, freedom of religion, and workers’ rights.

These protests may have happened close to two years ago now, but the human rights issues in question are far from resolved. That’s why FemFour, a group of Cincinnati artists and arts advocates, created their touring exhibition STILL THEY PERSIST: Protest Art of the 2017 Women’s Marches. With a collection of political posters carefully curated by arts philanthropist Sara M. Vance Waddell, they aim to keep the words and images of protestors circulating within the public sphere.

In the exhibition’s ever-evolving archive, one can find posters, placards, sculptures, textiles, and photos from Jan. 21, 2017 — the largest single-day protest in U.S. history, aimed largely at Donald Trump on his first day in office as president. The flagship march happened in Washington, D.C., but protests also occurred all around the world. Each exhibit is catered towards its specific location, so the Pro Arts Gallery version will center on issues that are Oakland-centric. Accompanying the exhibition is a 190-plus page catalogue of images of protest artwork, critical essays, and photos. All proceeds from sales of the book will benefit Heartfelt Tidbits, a nonprofit refugee service organization in Cincinnati. STILL THEY PERSIST runs Fri., Nov. 2, through Fri., Nov. 30 with opening reception on Fri.,

Nov. 2, 6-9 p.m., and a talk at 9 p.m., Pro Arts Gallery, 150 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Oakland, ProArtsGallery.org.

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