Retired Austin Peay professor works with Hatch Show Print to celebrate ‘I Vote Because …’
(Posted Oct. 27, 2020)
“I Vote Because …,” an art project started by Celene Aubry and Cynthia Marsh, features 55 women sharing why they are exercising their right to vote in the upcoming election.
Each day from Sept. 14 through Nov. 3, a single “I vote because …” poster will be placed on social media and displayed at Hatch Show Print in Nashville. Each participant will receive a hand-printed poster of their statement, and a complete set of posters will be donated to the 19th Amendment archives at Nashville Public Library.
Aubry, print shop manager of Hatch Show Print at the Country Music Hall of Fame, and Marsh, owner of Studio One Eye Open and retired printmaking professor at Austin Peay State University, both specialize in creating posters using wood type and letterpress printing, the technology representative of 1920 when the 19th Amendment passed.
“I am glad to be able to leverage the power of the printing press to commit the words of a group of women to ink and paper, and to ‘post’ them, using the technology of the 21st century, for a broader audience to view them, and perhaps be affected or inspired by them,” Aubry said.
The posters feature a black textual statement with a yellow headline “I Vote Because …” and a tailpiece featuring a bough of yellow roses. The rose symbolizes support for the suffragists in 1919.
100 years later
The 19th Amendment, officially adopted on Aug. 26, 1920 (following its ratification by the State of Tennessee), prohibits the states and the federal government from denying the right to vote to citizens of the United States on the basis of sex.
Less than 50% of U.S. citizens vote in any public election. Aubry and Marsh are hoping that the daily poster blast will encourage the 50% to get out and vote.
“This project has allowed me to contribute in a positive manner to the national debate concerning voting, personal freedoms and democracy,” Marsh said.
To view the “I Vote Because …” posters on Instagram, click here, or use the Instagram handle @ivote_because.
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