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Artists from Resist! Art Show express their opinions on Trump presidency through art

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Ian Green

Sharon Thwing’s “Vegan Taxidermy” art adorns a wall in Pop-Cycle Shop, which hosted its “Resist! Art Show” on April 8. Located on Fourth Avenue between Sixth and Seventh Street, Pop-Cycle Shop regularly engages the community and seeks to support local artists.

From artistic expression by students to a well-seasoned collage and poster re-inventor to the unconventional vegan taxidermist, local artists have not lost their passion for creating in the era of President Donald Trump but have used their creations as a way to express themselves. 

Artistic expression has always been a way to share one’s feelings about a subject. It is used by people such as social worker Sharron Thwing, a vegan faux taxidermist, and Jimi Giannatti, who has degrees in history and African American studies and feels inspired and compelled to create something about the president’s character.

Even artists on much smaller scale, who just enjoy their artwork in school or in  the doodles they draw while taking notes in class, express themselves, such as community member Avalon Isabella.

“I feel very worried about our country sometimes, but what I also feel is really inspired to continue drawing and making art despite who my president is and how he treats people,” Isabella said.

Thwing and Giannatti, two artists who recently participated in Pop-Cycle Shop’s Resist! Art Show, said they felt that their current leader wasn’t looking out for them or their best interests and in some ways didn’t understand what it meant to be them.

UA alum Thwing said she put much more thought and care into the works she had made since the election.

“I had an impulse to make things that are very soft,” Thwing said. “When we feel under attack or defensive or scared it’s a human impulse to get hard,” 

Thwing is working on new projects and plans to continue her art, venturing into new animal and even humanesque animal forms for her faux taxidermy.

“We have to hold onto being soft, and being more compassionate and accepting instead of becoming more combative and hard,” Thwing said. “I want my work to be softer and sweeter and gentle but not weak either.”

RELATED: Pop-Cycle Shop hosts Resist! Art Show

Thwing believes in grassroots movements.

“Now we are waking up and thinking what is important to me and how can I start to make that a big part of my life right now and make things better, not just for me but for everyone,” Thwing said.

Giannatti creates posters and graphic designs, and he said the president appalled him because of the way Trump  spoke about certain people and how he intended to treat them.

Giannatti followed Trump when he was campaigning as a presidential candidate throughout the West Coast a year prior to him winning the election, attending rallies, speeches and hosting viewing parties to encourage the president to reveal his tax information.

“I’m focusing on getting people educated and get them aware with my posters and I want to make people enlightened,” Giannatti said. “Trump is trying to bring us back to that caveman mentality and mindset when that isn’t the direction we should go in.”

Giannatti said an important thing to make note of is while there are people who agree with Trump, there are also a lot of people who don’t agree with what he stands for.

“As having a degree in history, I have to remind people that people show up; they protested, from the civil rights movement, the marches for the Vietnam War, not everyone was pro-Nixon or pro-slavery, and that minority voice that shines through in dark times is the reason we have Stonewall, but you need to show up,” Giannatti said.

Giannatti said he is putting together a book of photographs of the things he encountered at rallies, protests and events for Trump.

“I saw some of these gorgeous, brilliant, and very well thought out signs, and I’ve bought some because they have a value not money but just some sort of value,” he said.

RELATED: ‘Mother of Exiles’ explores gun violence and fear

Giannatti said he is grateful to be able to pay his bills by doing what he loves with photography and graphic design and he would love to have the messages in his art spread to larger audiences. He said what he is really excited about is that people seem to like his art and support it.

Giannatti said he finds it ridiculous that America needs to undergo a tragedy to bring us closer.

“What we need to learn out of this experience is that we need to figure out how to stop being this polarized divisive nation,” he said.

Giannatti said he loves when people march for a cause.

“I want people to realize politics is more than just political parties; it means compromise, and we need to be more compromised instead of just being opposed to people who are different,” Giannatti said. “I’ll fight back and he’ll continue fighting.”


Follow David Pujol on Twitter


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