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Veteran Artists and the Poor People's Campaign Portfolio
By Aaron Hughes
A Justseeds portfolio for the new Poor People's Campaign features veteran artists Aaron Hughes, Eric J. Garcia, Eli Wright, and Yvette Pino.
On December 4, 1967, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. announced plans for a Poor People's Campaign and called for the nation to take dramatic steps to end poverty. In the wake of his assassination, the Campaign went forward but fell short of its vision. Fifty years later, a new Poor People's Campaign has emerged from over a decade of work by grassroots movements fighting to end poverty, racism, militarism, and environmental destruction. The Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival is building a broad and deep national movement—rooted in the leadership of poor people—to unite from the bottom up in a Campaign that can bring forth a moral revolution of values to achieve equality and justice for all people.
On the 50th anniversary of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Beyond Vietnam speech, organizers from the new Poor People's Campaign reached out to artists across the country with a general call for artwork addressing the themes central to the Campaign. Justseeds Artists' Cooperative responded to the call by setting out to make a popular education portfolio for campaign activists and organizers to use during regional and local teach-ins in preparation for the 40 Days of Moral Action that will begin on Mother's Day, May 13, 2018. The resulting Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival Portfolio features twenty-five screenprints by twenty-four artists that express the fundamental principles and core concepts that guide the work of the new Poor People's Campaign.
A selection of the prints by veteran artists Aaron Hughes, Eric J. Garcia, Eli Wright, and Yvette Pino are featured below.
Aaron Hughes is an artist, teacher, organizer, and Iraq War veteran, whose work seeks out poetics, connections, and moments of beauty, in order to in order to construct new languages and meanings out of personal and collective traumas. He use these new languages and meanings to create projects that attempt to de-construct systems of dehumanization and oppression.