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Post 9/11 to Occupy Wall Street to Present Day:

A Street Art Installation by Meg Chandler '17

March 10 - April 18, 2017

Post 9/11 to Occupy Wall Street to Present Day is an exhibition of stickers, ephemera, and photographs documenting the voices of contemporary social movements in the United States.  Street art has been an essential part of my liberal arts education beginning in 2013.  I studied abroad in Bolivia, where I first created my own street art in the form of a large spray painted mural.  I also pursued other opportunities to learn and observe how street art is used in different cultures, including Nepal, Burma, Kenya, and Tanzania.  In addition, I studied street art in a classroom setting here at St. Lawrence in a studio art course focusing on stencils, wheatpastes, stickers, and murals.  This year, I constructed a senior thesis analyzing street art and through my preliminary research, I realized how influential the genre has been as a form of mass communication in social movements around the world.

The ephemera in the show range from mass produced vinyl stickers created by well-known artists, such as Shepard Fairey, to homemade, wheat pasted fliers.  The variety of media exemplifies the versatile and creative ideas that can be incorporated into a sticker.  They can be made cheaply and massed produced, or they can last months or a few days, but the images and words still get out there and can be shared by anyone.  To me, that is the epitome of street art.  Street art must be accessible by the people and created for the people, using whatever medium is available.  I chose this group of stickers to show the variety of social, political, and economic struggles the American people have faced since 9/11, intentionally including images and ephemera from the movements happening today with the new Trump administration.       

The timeline of stickers illustrates how street art has always been present in social movements. However, with the installation of photos, signs and ephemera from the Women’s March on Washington on January 21, 2017, my goal is to challenge viewers to expand their concept of what street art is.  I took the photographs on the day of the March in part for this exhibition.  I believe street art should be defined broadly to incorporate any voice that can be heard in the street.  In other words, it includes, but is not limited to, wall murals, stickers, fliers, posters, signs, protestors, etc.  The purpose is to hear the voices of the people.


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