The Political Poster Show at SUNY Ulster- A Study in Controlled Anarchy

The Graphic Art and Design students’ “We The People” Pop-Up Political Poster Show in Vanderlyn hall is definitely turning some heads. Some of them will be nods of agreement and others a vociferous “nope”, depending upon one’s view of the candidates and subjects in question. Its main goal is to get the student body fired-up to vote this Tuesday. It has certainly done that and more. What struck me as wonderful is that next to the display is a pedestal with a supply of Post-It notes for the student body to use: to write their approval or outrage on and place next to or on the poster responsible.  This is not Professor Sean Nixon’s first time at the rodeo, as they say.  The professor of Graphic Design understands that with controversial content there is also that urgent need to get the other side of the story out when one’s core values feel threatened.  Realistically, this would probably otherwise be expressed in vandalism. An Example:

SUNY Ulster Graphic Design "We the People" exhibit courtesy of Stepanie Ferrarro
SUNY Ulster Graphic Design “We the People” exhibit courtesy of Stepanie Ferrarro

All of the posters were controversial, however, one had more Post-Its than the others. One poster “Secular Government Now” shows Jesus in front of the Presidential seal holding a stack of money.  Powerful imagery, no doubt, but its message can be interpreted by each person so differently. One Post-It says, “Organized religion is a plague 10/10 poster”; that person really dug the message they received from it. Another Post-It says, “It’s not about Religion but a relationship with Jesus Christ. This is offensive.”; this person took an entirely different message from the same poster. My favorite Post-It on this poster just says, “White Jesus?”. Well, it was an image of a white Jesus, which, him being Middle-Eastern is a keen observation. My interpretation of it? When politics (the Presidential Seal) combines with Religion (Jesus), it corrupts (the money) and uses its faithful to their own ends (back to the Presidential Seal). Your ideas about it may be completely different.

Go check all of the posters out, eighteen in all. They’re being displayed in Vanderlyn hall, and are thought-provoking and insightful. You may or may not agree with them but will definitely have an opinion on them. Check out SUNY Ulster Design Program Real World Classroom on Facebook.

Oh yeah, and on Tuesday, November 8th, Get out and VOTE!





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