The art of protesting Trump: Seattle residents get creative with their signs


Video by Chole Collyer

In the days leading up to the inauguration, many DIY sign-making nights have popped up around town in anticipation for a variety of events in Seattle over the weekend protesting President Donald Trump.

One such event was held in the basement of the Columbia City Church of Hope in South Seattle. More than 100 people on Thursday evening moved through the church basement, which had become a maze of art supplies and craft tables all donated by the attendees.

Cascadia Now and the Seattle Neighborhood Coalition, both non-profit, community groups focused on grassroots organizing, sponsored the Thursday event. All age-groups and identities were represented in the crowd, and neither food nor art supplies were at risk for running out.

Besides organizing for systematic disobedience against the Trump administration, what brought this group together was clearly a love of art. Every inch of space was occupied by everything from impromptu screen printing lessons to linocuts.

Event organizer Brandon Letsinger said the event won’t be the last time that Seattle residents will take up brushes to voice resistance to Trump.

“We’re here to create a visual sign of resistance” Letsinger said. “This night is only the first of many.”

The candidate Trump was not popular in Seattle. In November’s election, he won eight percent of the vote. In contrast, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton won 87 percent of Seattle’s vote.

A fake newspaper front page was among the pieces of art prepared for weekend protests of Donald Trump. (Photo by Chloe Collyer)
A protester prepares a sign for a variety of weekend demonstrations against the inauguration of President Donald Trump. (Photo by Chloe Collyer)
Seattle community members take up a DIY approach for the weekend Inauguration protests. (Photo by Chloe Collyer)
A woman displays her homemade linocut of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. (Photo by Chloe Collyer)
Popular Guerilla Art techniques include linocut, screen printing, stencils and patch design. These patches were created for protests of new U.S. President Donald Trump. (Photo by Chloe Collyer)

Across town at the School of Visual Concepts (SVC) another group gathered on Monday to design and print protest signs using a flatbed letter press with wood type. The use of legacy technology gave their signs a vintage look, and allowed them to quickly print off multiple copies and mix and match designs.

“I felt hopeless and sad, and wanted to do something,” said Annabelle Larner, one of three curators of the event. “I carved the backgrounds for the posters. This was my way of participating since I won’t be in town for the march. The other organizers and I wanted to do something meaningful.”

"This is freedom of the press right here," joked Kate Fernandez, a former SVC student and current employee who volunteered to help with the printing event. (Photo by Morgen Schuler)
“This is freedom of the press right here,” joked Kate Fernandez, a former SVC student and current employee who volunteered to help with the printing event. (Photo by Morgen Schuler)
(Photo by Morgen Schuler)
(Photo by Morgen Schuler)
(Photo by Morgen Schuler)
"You should be able to be yourself and have rights as a person. Being a minority I feel like I need to stand up, for myself and my people," said participant Jeanette Whippy, who is Fijian. (Photo by Morgen Schuler)
“You should be able to be yourself and have rights as a person. Being a minority I feel like I need to stand up, for myself and my people,” said participant Jeanette Whippy, who is Fijian. (Photo by Morgen Schuler)

Additional reporting and photography by Morgen Schuler.

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