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Independents Express 2020 Angst in Art

Research Open House 2021

Robert Redding, MFA Painting and Drawing ‘22
School of Art, Fine Arts

As an independent artist, my social practice involves community engagement focusing on gathering feedback resulting from the partisan news treatment of out-group political participants. For independents, this means being able to participate in some states that allow them to identify as third party – Green, Libertarian and beyond.

Some states, however, do not allow people to identify as independent and they must choose between being a Republican or Democrat – a political binary. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I see this as an outdated model. This may be why many independents decide not to participate in the aforementioned binary and/or do not vote. This art project was designed to record their feelings as a result of neglect, marginalization, and minimization.

A work of one the participants

Nearly a dozen participants were asked to do art on top of news coverage about independents. This was an opportunity to voice their view about the political process and utilize art as a cathartic outlet.

The resulting works were curated by Rob Redding, who is a national talk host, known as America’s Independent Voice. Redding, who is a ‘22 MFA candidate, wanted to give voice to fellow independents and accomplished this project within a Social Practice in Art course at Pratt Institute.