What drives people to take to the streets? The reasons are varied and the history long. We march to protest, to celebrate, to worship. We march in large part to feel the exhilaration of common purpose and identity, and to collectively announce ourselves to the broader community.
Dutch-American, Los Angeles-based artist Lara Schnitger has been fascinated for years by the potential of these ephemeral events, and eager to take her artwork out onto the streets, turning a static exhibition into a participatory experience for the marchers and those watching the march.
You'll have a chance to see for yourself on January 12, 2019, when roughly 100 volunteers are expected to march through downtown San Jose as part of Schnitger's walking art exhibit, Suffragette City.
They'll be wearing fashionable floor length gowns and Rosie -the Riveter-like jump-suits. They'll be carrying Schnitger's textile sculptures and quilted signs bearing feminist slogans, like, “Don’t Let the Boys Win,” “All of Us,” and “A Dress is Not a Yes.”
Schnitger drew on multiple inspirations for this project, most obviously the women’s suffrage movement active around the turn of the last century. It so happens this year marks the 100th anniversary since Congress sent the 19th amendment to the states for ratification.