VOTE414 is a new Black Box Fund (BBF) initiative open to Milwaukee County artists to inspire residents to get to the polls on Nov. 3. Local artists created “Get Out and Vote” messaging to be displayed on billboards, yard signs and in local newspapers. The award winners received a $1,000 award for their work.
“The right to vote is a fundamental one that far too few Americans exercise,” Doug McDonald, vice president of Black Box Fund said. “Working with Milwaukee’s art community to create artworks that inspire and engage is one small way we can contribute to greater civic engagement and positive social change.”
BBF’s jury consisted of Black Box Fund Vice President Doug McDonald, Milwaukee artist Della Wells and Head of Digital Collections and Initiatives at UWM Libraries, Ann Hanlon.
We thank the judges and all the artists that participated. Digital billboards will go live on Oct. 17. Ads in the Milwaukee Courier and The Spanish Journal will be published the week of Oct. 12 and yard sign pickup locations will be posted on the Black Box Fund website.
The artists chosen are:
Bolanie Awosika is an acrylic painter whose art journey began at Roosevelt Middle School and continued through present day with her own business, an online art gallery called Mission Art. Bolanie learned of the Get Out and Vote contest through the Milwaukee Artist Resource Network and decided to participate.
“I think it is important for every eligible person to vote. My goal is that the painting will encourage people to do so.”
Pavonis Giron is an artist and illustrator of mixed Hispanic and white descent who moved to Milwaukee from Southern California.
“My submission is a reflection of myself and the people who make up my family, with an attempt to connect with the Spanish speaking community because I can’t be by my own family’s side to urge them to go to the polls in person.”
Francesca Simonite is a master’s prepared visual artist and photography instructor.
“I believe it is extremely important to find your voice and express your individual right to vote. Creating artwork has been a vehicle to express my voice and connect with others.”
About Black Box Fund
Black Box Fund is a nonprofit organization founded in 2019 with the belief that art can be a positive unifying force to connect community. Our mission is to support public art, music and performance that inspires, educates and enhances the well-being of our Milwaukee communities.
To learn more about BBF and to view the winning submissions, please visit blackboxfund.org