Political poster art on display at Northwind Arts Center

Leader news staff
news@ptleader.com
Posted 11/13/20

Northwind Arts Center will host “Speak Out: Political Poster Art,” an exhibit of civic-minded, one-sheet works by Norma Fried through Sunday, Nov. 29.

According to gallery officials, …

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Political poster art on display at Northwind Arts Center

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Northwind Arts Center will host “Speak Out: Political Poster Art,” an exhibit of civic-minded, one-sheet works by Norma Fried through Sunday, Nov. 29.

According to gallery officials, the poster was one of the earliest forms of advertisement and began to develop as a medium for visual communication in the early 19th century.

Posters influenced the development of typography because they were meant to be read from a distance and required larger type to be produced, usually from wood rather than metal.

The poster quickly spread around the world and became a staple of the graphic design trade.

Many artists, including Henry Toulouse-Latrec and Henry van de Velde, created posters.

“My ongoing interest in politics, history and art has led me to believe in the importance of political posters,” Fried said.

“In our country, as well as in most other countries, every political movement and upheaval has used artistic expression to explain and accentuate its beliefs. Combining images and words in poster art echoes an ancient tradition used in early Christian art as well as Pharaonic Egyptian and Mayan temple paintings.”

The posters will be available to view from noon to 5 p.m. Thursday to Sunday, or by appointment, as well as online at www.northwindarts.org.

Fried’s earlier artistic endeavors reflected the many challenges she found in themes dealing with race, class, women’s political power, elections, illness and death, according to gallery officials.

Her offset printing jobs combined graphics and text in flyers, posters, booklets and newsletters from progressive organizations such as the YWCA, Alaskan Cannery Workers Association, the Feminist Karate Union, Pandora-Seattle Women’s Newspaper, Puget Sound Consumers Co-op, ACLU, United Farm Workers, Native American Fishing Rights, Langston Hughes Cultural Center, the National Lawyers Guild, Greenpeace, The American Friends Service Committee (Quakers), and numerous other organizations.

With the posters, Fried continues to find challenges in creating art that is aesthetic, informative, thoughtful and encourages awareness and action, officials said.

Artists whose work have inspired her include Kathe Kollwitz, Ben Shahn, Red Grooms, Kara Walker, Francisco Goya, Jenny Holzer, Banksy, and other stencil graffiti artists.

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