COUNTDOWN TO JUSTICE – EMERGENCY FUND

Art Responders is a Bay Area-based nonprofit that designs transformative grassroots arts programs with a social justice focus. Founded in 2013 by artist-educator D.E. Stenvoll-Wells, Art Responders’ public art events aim to document injustice, heal targeted communities, and incite action. We also provide a comprehensive array of educational resources and workshops designed to resist systemic oppression through a marriage of arts, activism, and advocacy.

COUNTDOWN TO JUSTICE – EMERGENCY FUND is a collaboration between Art Responders and Ravi Zupa as a component of ANTIVIRAL: Countdown to Restorative Justice, a 6-day series of art and education interventions staged in the Bay Area in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Los Angeles uprisings of 1992.

As part of this 6 day series in the Bay Area, Art Responders will exhibit all three final posters alongside the original sections of traffic cone from which they were carved and printed (see process video below).

The inevitability of police killings of unarmed civilians is an on going American tragedy that must be addressed. This partnership between Zupa and Art Responders aims to keep stolen lives in the public eye, and enables art lovers to show their support for criminal justice reform and a future without fear of law enforcement.

D.E. Stenvoll-Wells

For more information go to artresponders.org.

Sometimes it can seem like police violence against unarmed black Americans is a problem on the rise in our country. When actually it has only become more visible. There is some evidence in fact, that the public outcry has had an impact on the problem and that 2016 saw fewer of these incidents than 2015. In recent months however, since the election of our new president, this particular issue has receded from view to some degree but the problem persists and it is extremely serious. I have never experienced this particular kind of loss but I did lose my father and later a brother, both to complicated and troubling violence, so I can empathize to some degree. My heart hurts every time I learn of these horrible events. I created these three prints, as a way to raise money to help combat the problem when and where it happens. – Love.

  • ALL THE PROFITS WILL BE DONATED
    Each print will cost 35 dollars (though people are welcome to donate more). All of that money, including the cost of printing, will be donated to local organizations dedicated to victims and advocacy in the affected communities. Art Responders will research and choose these organizations based on the particular location and details of that tragedy. This information will be posted before the release.
  • EACH PRINT WILL BE RELEASED AFTER AN INCIDENT
    Since the new president took office there has been a noticeable lack of attention on these kinds of tragedies. This project is an effort to bring some of that attention back. The first print will be released in the weeks following one of these incidents. The second print will be released after the second incident and so on. For specific details on the metrics used to determine release dates click FATAL FORCE below.
  • WE’LL CELEBRATE IF THERE’S NO VIOLENCE
    Obviously it is preferable if no unarmed citizens are killed by police. If between now and April 29th, There are none of these incidents posted on the Fatal Force website, the first of these prints will be released and sold at the cost of materials (approximately $1.00 per print plus shipping). The second print will be released 30 days after that (if again there are no tragedies) and the third on June 30th.
  • SPREAD THE WORD
    If more of us are watching, then more of us can come to the aid of those hurt when it matters most. The final edition size will be determined by the amount of interest we see from the public. Feel free to let others know about this project through news outlets, blogs, social media and word of mouth.

Art Responders and I will be monitoring the Washington Post Fatal Force database which does it’s best to compile information on fatal shootings by police.

The database allows its visitors to search for incidents according to a wide rang of criteria. We will base ours on the following two:

As of the time of this writing, 2017 has seen 6 that meet these criteria.

As well as many, many more that also deserve attention and recognition.

It is impossible for such a database to be entirely accurate. There are more incidents that do not get recorded as well as events in which contradictions exist between eye witness accounts, video footage and the official record, so the specifics may or may not be correct. There also tends to be a gap between when an event occurs and when it appears on the database (for obvious reasons).

But the people at the Washington Post do a commendable job.

When the Washington Post Fatal Force Database posts an incident, which meets the above criteria, we will release a print. This will be announced on my website and Instagram feed along with a message to my mailing list. Sign up for these if you wish to be notified.


I will feel very sad.

PROCESS

The majority of text in these posters was lifted from Kendrick Lamar, Chance the Rapper and Vince Staples, three of the most brilliant musicians working today. The inspiration for the style of the images came from the 19th century mexican printmaker, Jose Guadalupe Posada, one of my favorite relief atists.

The images were originally carved from the interior of ordinary traffic cones and printed on an antique printing press. The final poster is a one color screen print on 100lb paper. Watch the video above to get a glimpse into the process.

11″ x 17″ one color screen print
Signed and numbered.
$35.00

I AIN’T NEVER RAN FROM NOTHIN‘ BUT THE POLICE

The image for this print was inspired by a specific motif that Posada depicted regularly. In it, he would have different people being directed and influenced by devils to do all manner of terrible deeds (there is an example of a woman murdering her husband above). Vince Staples’ lyrics have the right honest, thoughtful scariness and warning to reinforce this kind of disturbing scene.

WE JUST AIMIN’ BACK

The song “Everybody’s Something” just might be a masterpiece. It’s message is very simple, “nobody’s nothing”! One of the reasons that this song (and most of Chance The Rapper’s work) resonates so well is that his heavily intellectual lyrics are delivered with a voice that describes so much emotional texture and complexity. The part in this song about “cops” describes such overwhelming frustration and hurt.

“WE GON’ BE ALRIGHT”

Who better than Kendrick Lamar to help people remain optimistic in the face of this heartbreaking horror.  But also to temper that optimism with seriousness and sober pragmatism. This serious pragmatism is present most notably in the passage “If god got us…” rather than the other way around. I lifted this image from a specific print by Posada (also above). The monsters in the original represent the seven deadly sins but I have enlisted them here to do good.

“AN EXTREMELY OLD PROBLEM” – sold out –

In 2001 the amazing J Dilla said it all! This was the first poster that I made with this style and theme in 2015.