September 26 – October 25, 2020

Ford Gallery, Portland, Oregon

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Curatorial Statement


As a follow-up to the world’s first all-women’s sign painting exhibition—2017’s The Pre-Vinylette Society: An International Showcase of Women Sign PaintersThe Gentle Revolution is very pleased to present The Pre-Vinylettes’ Suffragette Centennial, a unique exhibition of hand painted signs made exclusively by women, trans, and post-binary sign painters in the commemorative spirit of this landmark anniversary in the history of women’s rights.


The Pre-Vinylettes’ Suffragette Centennial is intended as both a celebration and a critique of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which granted American women the right to vote in 1920. While this feminist achievement is universally lauded as a success, many of the Pre-Vinylette artists use this occasion to address the marginalization and suppression of suffrage that continues to this day for many women of color in America.


In the spirit of critical and intersectional feminism, this exhibition features hand painted signs that honor, critique, analyze, and / or reimagine how far women and nonmen have come in the last century and how far we have yet to go. As this exhibition takes place during a significant and contentious American election season, the artists take this opportunity to explore political topics, topics of women’s, trans, and post-binary empowerment, and themes of positive change for a healthier world.


The inspiration for this exhibition comes from Remedios Rapoport’s Gentle Revolution Mobile, a kinetic sign sculpture that encompasses the viewer with changing “word portrait” messages of healthy social change, which was a centerpiece of the 2017 Pre-Vinylette exhibition at Chicago Art Department. The mobile and messages of The Gentle Revolution manifesto serve as a platform for the 2020 Pre-Vinylettes’ Suffragette Centennial exhibition at Ford Gallery.


The exhibition runs from September 26 through October 25, 2020 at Ford Gallery in Portland, OR and is curated by Shelby Rodeffer, Meredith Kasabian, and Remedios Rapoport.