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Exhibition Drawn to Purpose

Editorial Illustrators

Editorial illustrators produce drawings that illuminate, question, or comment upon accompanying text. Their images are grounded in actual events and informed by keen observations of real situations, people, and actions. Although Bernarda Bryson Shahn, Sue Coe, Anita Kunz, and Melinda Beck have focused on issues specifically affecting women, much of their work addresses other topics. In "The Empire Builders," part of a print series of the 1930s, Shahn assembles well-drawn likenesses of America's financial giants in an imaginary group portrait. Coe uses compelling visual symbols to convey her great concern for human and animal welfare worldwide in her visceral response to the infamous 1984 leak of lethal chemicals from Dow Chemical's plant in Bhopal, India. Jetter fashions a shocking visual metaphor of colanders that function as filters that simplify and distort. Beck envisions the idea of hate speech in the arresting forms of a silhouetted profile riddled with holes that are pierced by a fearsome red snake. These artists have successfully disseminated their strong, often disturbing imagery that is intended to encourage viewers to see and reflect upon somber social and political conditions.

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