First Thursday

Turn Your Protest Sign into Art in a New Portland Gallery Show

Wieden & Kennedy calls on Portlanders to donate their protest signs for a new exhibit, We the People, opening Thursday, February 2.

By Fiona McCann February 1, 2017

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If, like many Portlanders, you’ve been uncharacteristically busy making protest signs of late, take note: those personal projects and political statements can become part of a new art project from the Portland-based advertising giant Wieden & Kennedy that kicks off on Thursday, February 2.

We the People is a gallery show featuring demonstration signs from recent social justice marches. The evolving exhibit will run through March before traveling around the world to Wieden & Kennedy’s international offices. Signs, protest artwork, and costumes can be dropped off at the Portland office (224 NW 13th Avenue) or brought to the launch event on Thursday, February 2 between 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. Organizers advise donors to put their names, phone numbers, and email addresses on the backs of their signs if they wish them to be returned once the exhibit closes.  

People can continue to donate items for the duration of the exhibition, and for each item received, Wieden & Kennedy has pledged to give $10 to Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union, promising a minimum contribution of $10,000. 

“This is a kick-off event,” says Wieden & Kennedy’s Brandon Reynolds of Thursday. “We’ll have some work there, but we’re encouraging the community to come along and help build the event.”

Wieden & Kennedy will use some of the donated work in the exhibition, and create more based on what's received. The agency will receive additional work from some of its offices around the globe, where demonstrations have also been taking place, among them Tokyo and Amsterdam.  

Local activist Margaret Jacobsen, organizer of the Women's March on Portland, and several local artists will address attendees at Thursday’s opening.

We the People will be launched at W+K Gallery, 224 NW 13th Avenue, on Thursday, February 2, from 5:30–8:30 p.m. 

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