mnartists.org, a joint project of the Walker and the McKnight Foundation, is the online home of more than 8,500 artists from across Minnesota. To illustrate its mission, the free online community hosted a design competition to come up with a t-shirt design on the theme “radical democracy.” More than 40 designs were submitted, and the panel of judges–Walker Design Director/Curator Andrew Blauvelt, North Carolina State University Design Department Chair Santiago Piedrafita, CSA Design Founder Charles. S. Anderson, and Studio d founder Laurie DeMartino–split their votes down the middle. So they’re producing two shirts, which will be on sale at the Walker Shop starting next Thursday and will be available at a discount for subscribers to mnartists.org’s free access+ENGAGE e-journal (sign up here).
The winning designs:
The most powerful way a person can instill change is through participation. Through this, we create content that drives society forward in the most positive and enlightened way. The internet has proven to be essential for maintaining democracy in divided times; and mnartists.org a forum for both viewing and sharing creative content. A simple act of clicking a mouse opens a world of artmaking in all it’s forms. Whether it’s visual arts, music, or the written word, this content is essential for sustaining a powerful, yet radical, democracy.
Of his “No Aesthetic Left Behind” shirt, Emmet Byrne, a designer at the Walker Art Center, writes:
The quote for the tshirt was passed on to me third-hand because I was capable of executing it, which in itself feels pretty democratic. “No Aesthetic Left Behind” appealed to me immediately because it naively (optimistically?) speaks to mnartists.org’s mission of inclusion while parodying the language of a failed (dubious?) educational policy that essentially treats its citizens as a homogenized whole.
Special for Off Center readers: We’re giving away one of each t-shirt design in an online contest. Email me your answer to this fill-in-the-blank: “Radical democracy is ________________________.” An expert panel of Walker staffers will select the top entry and mail off a shirt (include your snailmail address). I’ll feature the top replies here.
And don’t forget: becoming a member of mnartists.org is free. Join today.