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CMCA to host 'For Freedoms' billboard

Oct 09, 2020
“How Many More Protests Do We Need?” by Muna Malik for Freedoms 2020 Awakening Billboard Project at CMCA in Rockland.

Rockland — The Center for Maine Contemporary Art (CMCA) is once again partnering with For Freedoms, a national platform founded by artists Hank Willis Thomas and Eric Gottesman, this time as part of their 2020 Awakening initiative, which uses art as a vehicle to build greater participation in American democracy. Timed to coincide with the national elections on Nov. 3, CMCA and For Freedoms will present a full-scale, temporary billboard installation by artist Muna Malik in CMCA’s public courtyard at 21 Winter St.

Entitled “How Many More Protests Do We Need?,” Malik’s installation serves as a visual metaphor for the Black experience in America. “The strength and solidarity of our community—especially in difficult times such as now—is beautiful,” she writes. “But the conditions under which that community has formed evoke a brutal reality that the lived Black experience is one of struggle.”

Based in Los Angeles, Malik is a multidisciplinary artist, who focuses on creating poetic imagery around the narratives of women of color and refugees using abstract paintings and interactive sculpture. Her work has been exhibited at Northern Spark Arts Festival, MCAD, and Artworks Chicago. Previously, she was the billboard artist for North Carolina for the “For Freedoms 50 State Initiative.”

The installation “How Many More Protests Do We Need?” will remain on view at CMCA through Nov. 3, 2020.

CMCA Director Suzette McAvoy says, “We are honored to partner again with For Freedoms in this timely and important nationwide initiative. Our mission at CMCA is to further conversations about art’s role in contemporary society and its ability to speak across cultures, politics, and generations. The For Freedoms project connects our audience in Maine with this larger cultural dialogue.”

ABOUT For Freedoms

Since 2016, For Freedoms has produced exhibitions, town hall meetings, billboards and public art across the United States to spur greater participation in civic life. Inspired by American artist Norman Rockwell’s paintings of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms (1941) — freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear — For Freedoms uses art to encourage and deepen public explorations of freedom in the 21st century.

In October of this year, For Freedoms launched 2020 Awakening, a new phase of programming meant to create change on the individual level. The project hopes to help America find its soul by reintroducing ideas of a radical future where the full enfranchisement of all citizens is made possible by ordinary, everyday people.

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