One of the most famous American painters and illustrators, Norman Rockwell produced pithy artwork to promote democracy and civic engagement in his time. Now, a museum in Massachusetts dedicated to him asked artists to design "get out the vote" posters for 2020.
The Unity Project debuted on Tuesday, National Voters Registration Day, on the Norman Rockwell Museum's website. It features six original pieces specially commissioned for the campaign from a diverse group of artists: Mai Ly Degnan, Rudy Gutierrez, Anita Kunz, Tim O'Brien, Whitney Sherman and Yuko Shimizu.
On the same page, voters can register for the 2020 election and share the artwork to promote the cause. Among those who were inspired to share the campaign on their social media profiles is 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, who posted about the initiative on Instagram.
"This idea was sparked in conversation with patrons who said, 'Wouldn't it be great if there was an artist who could paint a poster like Rockwell did during World War II that would inspire everybody to vote?' And it led me to think -- we can do that," Norman Rockwell Museum Director Laurie Norton Moffatt told CNN.
The project came together in a matter of six weeks, Norton Moffatt explained, and it was the first time the museum worked with illustrators to commission and publish artwork in a digital format.
"At a time when many of us feel life has closed in, during this pandemic, we found a way to burst those walls wide open and put the museum's work to good in the world by inspiring everyone to vote," Norton Moffatt said.
The posters will be exhibited online and at the museum until Election Day, and physical copies will enter the museum's permanent collection.