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Amid the coronavirus pandemic, a record number of American voters have cast their ballots by mail this year. For that reason, New York Magazine has enlisted 48 artists to create “I voted” stickers with artistic designs for those who missed out on the opportunity to celebrate performing their civic duty.
Amy Sherald, Shepard Fairey, and Barbara Kruger are some of the artists who have contributed sticker designs that highlight the importance of civic engagement in this crucial election. Others include David Hammons, Lorna Simpson, Hank Willis Thomas, Christine Sun Kim, and many more.
The stickers were created in collaboration with the organization I am a voter, a nonpartisan group that advocates for civic engagement. The designs are featured on a series of four covers for the magazine’s October 26 issue, available today; each copy will include a peelable sticker sheet.
In addition, 500,000 stickers will be distributed for free at various retail locations, book stores, nonprofit organizations, and museums across the country. The stickers will also be available at official polling sites like the Brooklyn Museum, the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD).
“Growing up in the South, I viewed the American flag as belonging to a people whose patriotism was solely reserved for whites,” Sherald writes in a text accompanying her sticker painting, which features a Black cowboy wearing a shirt with an American flag design. “My American flag represents a ‘whole’ country. A flag that conjures hope, empathy, resilience, unity, freedom, and justice.”
Artist Hiba Schahbaz’s sticker features a portrait of Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells, a Black trans woman from Philadelphia who was brutally murdered in June of this year. Schahbaz had made the portrait soon after Fells’s death to echo the call to protect Black trans lives.
Sun Kim created a sticker that visually represents how to sign “I voted” in American Sign Language (ASL) while Derrick Adams’s contribution highlights civil rights activist Bayard Rustin, an organizer for Martin Luther King Jr.’s Montgomery Bus Boycotts and the March on Washington.
Other artists in the project include Marilyn Minter, Tawny Chatmon, Rico Gatson, Zipeng Zhu, Adam Pendleton, and Zaria Forman, among others.