As hundreds of thousands of women descended on the U.S. Capitol to protest President Trump and his administration at the Women’s March on Washington Saturday, artists and cultural workers from the Bay Area came with poster art, street art and large-scale parachutes to represent immigrants, queer women and women of color at the flagship march of what’s been estimated to be the largest coast-to-coast demonstration in U.S. history.
Jessica Sabogal represented a young mixed-race girl from the Bay Area with a portrait from her Women Are Perfect series, which honors women as perfect in a world where too many women are often made to feel flawed. Her poster design was one of five works out of thousands of submissions to be selected by the Amplifier Foundation; they were distributed en masse at the march, where hundreds of women and young girls could be seen holding the image above their heads.
Berkeley’s Daryl Wells is an artist and curator of the traveling exhibition Viral 25, which features artists’ responses to police brutality the last 25 years. She brought her artwork of LaTandra Ellington, who died in a Florida prison in 2014 after trying to speak up about abuses in the prison. Meanwhile, D.C. community artist Kate DeCiccio, who formerly lived in the Bay Area, used the opportunity to paint one of 12 parachutes integrated into the rally to honor Rhanda Dormeus and Karsyn Gaines, mother and daughter of Korryn Gaines, a young mother killed by Baltimore police while she held her son.
“All of these issues are tied together,” says Wells, “and if we allow one person’s human rights to go, others will soon follow.”
Their participation in the Women’s March on Washington was as much an act of resistance to the new administration as it was a call for this newly activated women’s movement — which historically has often been framed by white feminists — to be inclusive and representative of all women’s experiences.