JERRY McBRIDE/Durango Herald
If there was any doubt remaining that this election season is a joke, the Fort Lewis College Art Department has removed it.
The FLC Art Gallery’s “Political Humor” exhibition is perfectly timed to bring a bit of levity to the madness that will mercifully culminate Nov. 6. Gallery director Elizabeth Gand looked far and wide to find the right cross-section of artists long jaded by the political process.
“The idea behind the exhibition is, of course, to respond, with playfulness, to the tension surrounding November’s election,” Gand said.
The roster of artists was assembled from a national call, and Connecticut artist Jason Noushin wished he’d made the trip west for the show’s Thursday opening instead of hunkering down as Hurricane Sandy ravages the East Coast.
As a British citizen who was raised in Iran and now lives here as a permanent resident, the 42-year old Noushin is a political lampooner with a unique perspective.
“You talk about democracy and the choices you have here, but it’s really two choices, isn’t it? “Noushin said. “Romney or Obama, an elephant or a donkey, and when you talk about democracy, it should be a bit more. And I grew up in Teheran.”
The other artists who were accepted for “Political Humor” are Roya Farassat, Eric Garcia, Katie Hargrav, Andrew Ellis Johnson, Carolyn Jaser, George, Brian Piana, Paul Shortt and Durango’s Shan Wells.
The artists use humor, from the biting variety to the gentle, and the cumulative result is refreshingly nonpartisan. The works tend to mock the system, not the individual players, though the two leading presidential candidates are singled out in a few pieces.
The exhibit includes a “sanctioned graffiti wall,” where any visitor can use the complimentary basic art supplies to add to or detract from the show and its message.
Also, a small satellite exhibition of selected works from the show will be on display on Election Day at The Durango Herald offices.