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Ohio Artists Respond to Trump's First 100 Days

As President Donald Trump marks 100 days in office this week, two art galleries in Barberton and Cleveland are set to display local artwork opposing Trump’s policies and actions.

In Barberton, Sharon Roeck collected art submitted by area artists for “Expressive Journey: The First 100 Days Artists Respond.” The call for art encouraged work from both sides of the aisle, but she said it is all “heavily weighted to one side.”

Fight Like a Girl

Miriam Daniel

The idea spawned from a blurb in the Akron Beacon Journal a couple of months ago about a national effort to encourage art in response to Trump’s first 100 days.

“I’m hoping it will bring people together,” Roeck said.

Erica Antoniotti-Wathey, another coordinator of the Barberton exhibit, is unsure it will do what the organizers initially intended because the art presents liberal views. But she says the location for the event, Nine Muses Gallery, is also a coffee shop, which will expose many people to the pieces. 

Twenty artists from Barberton and surrounding cities submitted work for the exhibit on display Friday until June 10.

Another exhibit, “The First 100+ Days,” at SPACES Gallery in Cleveland centers around immigration.

United We Stand

Michelangelo Lovelace

SPACES’ Executive Director Christina Vassallo came up with the idea to do something on the first 100 days of the presidency last year, well before anyone knew who would be elected.

“I think most of the participating artists in this show imagined that Hilary Clinton would have won,” she said. “So they had to quickly revise what they were thinking.”

Vassallo wouldn’t label the works as partisan, but said “it’s critical.”

Darice Polo of Cleveland Heights created two large-format drawings for the exhibit.  

“I’m hoping the work shows some of the anxiety… this bad ‘juju’ or energy, that for me, Trump represents.

SPACES’ exhibit opens May 5 and continues through June 30.

Carrie Wise is the deputy editor of arts and culture at Ideastream Public Media.