A new mural by artist Shepard Fairey, who designed the “Hope” poster during Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, is complete in downtown Milwaukee.
The three-story “Voting Rights Are Human Rights” mural is on the north side of the Colby Abbot Building at 759 N. Milwaukee St. The mural’s central image of a Black man is based on a 1960s Civil Rights march photo by Steve Schapiro.
“I chose that image as the focal point for the mural because many of the voting rights advances made by the Civil Rights movement have been under attack,” Fairey wrote on his website. He met Schapiro at the opening of The Legacy Museum in Montgomery, Ala., and discussed collaborating with him there.
Wisconsin artists Tyanna Buie [MFA ’10], Niki Johnson [MFA ’12], Tom Jones and Claudio Martinez and Minnesota-based artist Dyani White Hawk [MFA ’11] collaborated with Fairey on the Milwaukee mural.
“The issues of health and voting for people of color are synonymous,” said Tom Jones, an assistant professor of photography at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin. “We must not be complacent in these matters. Going to the polls to have our voices heard enacts positive changes for each of our communities and ripples across the United States.”