Artists Across The USA Contribute Works Inspired By Historic And Contemporary Trailblazers To Kennedy Institute Exhibit
Exhibit featuring collection of 20 designed chairs runs through Fall 2019.
The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate recently opened a new phase of the exhibit "A Seat at the Table," featuring a collection of 20 designed chairs created by artists from across the USA.
The chairs highlight the achievements of activists, legislators, and other Americans with contemporary or historic significance. The winning artists, representing seven states – Arizona, California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, and South Carolina – were chosen from a pool of applicants from across the United States. The exhibit, which was made possible with the generous support of the Fund II Foundation, runs through Fall 2019.
After a national call to artists, the following individuals submitted works for consideration and were accepted through a competitive jury panel to create chairs for the "A Seat at the Table" exhibit. The exhibit is inspired by Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm's lifetime of work and her iconic quote, "If they don't give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair."
Shirley Chisholm was the first black woman elected to Congress in 1968 and the first black candidate to run for the presidential nomination of a majority party. Over the course of her 14 years in Congress, Chisholm was a force for change and a champion of legislation that would improve the quality of life for women, children, people of color, and the poor.
Below is a list of the winning artists and their locations. Their bios and photos are located on the Institute's website.
"This exhibit has brought together students, activists, historians, politicians, and artists to help share stories of inclusivity, courage, and leadership," said Mary K. Grant, Ph.D., president of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute. "The chairs representing these trailblazers creatively celebrate their accomplishments and their contribution to the ever-important civic dialogue taking place in the United States today."
An earlier phase of the exhibit ended on June 6 and featured chairs created by community groups and individuals during Institute-hosted workshops in 2018 and 2019 at schools, community organizations, libraries, and social justice organizations. The community chair-makers expressed thoughts on identity, values, and key social issues that they want addressed at the tables of power through the design and decoration of their chairs.
Visitors to the Institute can also experience audio recordings from select artists about the chairs they created, and a feedback area where visitors can contribute their own thoughts about representation and access to spaces of power.
About the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate
The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate is a nonprofit civic education organization in Boston envisioned by the late Senator Ted Kennedy; it is dedicated to educating the public about the important role of the Senate in government, encouraging civic participation, and invigorating civil discourse. Through a range of exhibits, interactive educational offerings, and programs, the Institute engages students and visitors in a conversation about the essential role each person plays in our democracy and in our society. Learn more via emkinstitute.org