Smithsonian Collection of "Occupy Wall Street" Posters on View at Wesleyan 1 Favorite 

After collecting street art and memorabilia from "Occupy Wall Street" since the fall of 2011, the Smithsonian National Museum of American History has lent its collection of Occupy Wall Street posters to Wesleyan's Davison Art Center. The posters will make up an exhibition entitled “Artists Take Action: Protest Posters Today,” which is on display in the University's gallery from April 5 to May 26. Exploring art's capacity for political communication and persuasion, the exhibition also serves as historical documentation.

To inaugurate the exhibition's opening, the DAC hosted a gallery talk last Thursday with Philosophy professor Lori Gruen. Gruen described the characteristics that make up an effective piece of protest art, which included clarity, relevance, provocation, urgency, and appeal to a diverse audience.

Gruen also raised the question of efficacy in political art. Even if art succeeds in changing people's attitudes, does that guarantee a change in their behavior? And how much behavioral change is required to effect meaningful social change? All questions left unanswered, but certainly thought-provoking and engaging.

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