Chicago has long been considered a city built and maintained by working class men and women, and many people believe the labor movement in the United States truly began in Chicago.
The headquarters of the International Workers of the World (IWW) are located in Chicago, as are branches of UniteHere! and Local One. On top of that, some of the most influential leaders of the labor movement lived and worked in Chicago, including “Big” Bill Heywood, Samuel Gompers, and Lucy Parsons. Many of those involved in the labor movement even sacrificed their lives defending the causes they believed so wholeheartedly in.
As such, it should come as no surprise that Chicago has long stood as a beacon for worker’s rights and collective bargaining power, and many Chicagoans were moved by the protests that took place in Madison, Wisconsin earlier this year.
Some of them were so moved, in fact, that they decided to immortalize the momentous occasion in their art. They established the group Art in These Times, and they created WI Rise Up, an exhibition of posters and photographs from the 2011 Wisconsin Labor Movement.
WI Rise Up opened in June, and it will run through late September. The exhibition is composed primarily of screen prints and posters, although photographs are also featured prominently throughout the exhibit. The prints and posters were made by Nicolas Lampert, Colin Matthes, Eric Drooker, Jesus Barraza, Josh MacPhee, and Jesse Graves, among others. The photographs were taken by Lauren Cumbia, Brandon Pittser, and Ryan Williams. Some photographs taken from the Public Collectors Archive are also being exhibited.
The prints, posters, and photographs vary in style and content, but they all display the same sense of passion and idealism, and they are uniformly engaging.
The exhibition is being held in a community gallery attached to In These Times magazine’s offices. The offices are located on the 2nd floor of 2040 N. Milwaukee Avenue, in Logan Square, and guests are encouraged to drop by whenever they can.