An Artist Leads A 'Violet Protest' Against Polarization
In a divisive year in American history, Arizona artist Ann Morton has led a decidedly nonradical "Violet Protest."
"That combination of red and blue on the color wheel is violet," Morton said. "And what I like about that word, it's one letter away from violent."
Ann Morton put out a call on social media in January 2020, asking people to create 8 inch by 8 inch textile squares that use equal parts red and blue. They could be woven, sewn, knitted, crocheted, embroidered — but they aren't supposed to represent any explicit political positions. Instead, the squares and the project as a whole stand for a set of values: respect for the other, citizenship, compromise, country over party and corporate influence, courage, candor, compassion and creativity.
More than 2,000 people from all over the country responded, including at least one person from every state. They created and sent in nearly 10,000 squares that are now on exhibition at the Phoenix Art Museum. The exhibition is an aesthetically pleasing work of community art, but it is also a metaphor for our system of government itself.
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(This story was adapted from a full length podcast episode on "The Violet Protest" from the original series State of the Arts Arizona.)