How can art create the world in which we want to live?
Watching the success of the pink Pussy Hat project as a way to unite protestors and to speak truth to power was amazing and beautiful to watch. The recipe was perfect- common craft skills, minimal requirements, functionality, and visual appeal. We wondered how we could take a page out of their book and apply it to The Democratic Cup.
Ceramics, by nature, has a higher bar of entry than fibers. Access to a kiln, specifically, is the greatest challenge in creating a project that can move through creative and motivated groups of people. It hinges on people either having kilns or having access to ceramic artists with kilns.
Over the last six months, we have learned a lot about accessibility and pots. $60 for a cup in the world of handmade ceramics is a middle of the road price, and yet to the wider public, it was too much when s/h was tacked on. This has limited how wide-reaching this project has been and raised the question of, "what is the deeper mission of TDC?". Is it about the object itself? Is it about the conversation? Is it about connection? Is about inclusivity?
The answer is that all these matter and at the top of the list is conversation and connection. At the core of pottery is the notion of community and how a simple object can help facilitate a link between two people. Pottery is effective because is operates day in, day out.
All Hands On Deck is our initiative that aims to get free decals into the hands of ceramic artists all across the country. We're focusing on local ceramic artists and local conversations to drive this effort of driving conversation from social media to person-to-person conversations.
Both decals address civic literacy, which in the second phase of TDC, is a crucial element in how we want to approach conversation. Given the new policies of Trump's administration, we want to help educate an informed and motivated citizenry. The First Amendment decal, by David Gordon, is a straightforward list of all the rights that the first amendment covers. The Town Hall decal, by Klai Brown, acts as an interactive visual device that can used at town hall meetings with elected leaders. Besides the "agree" and "disagree" signs, we felt it was important to include "listening" as a way to open up a conversation with nuances.
We are excited about the page we have taken from the Pussy Hat project! If you want to be part of All Hands On Deck, we ask that you have a conversation and post on social media about your conversation or interaction with the tag #thedemocraticcup and by linking to us on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. Send a SASE to The Bright Angle, 207 Coxe Ave, Studio 15, Asheville, NC 28801 or visit us in Portland, OR at NCECA where the Artstream Nomadic Gallery is hosting us in the Expo area.
As an added NCECA treat, we'll have our Venn diagram Citizen Ceramics temporary tattoos available! Free!