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Aspen Art Museum


Andrea Bowers and Cori Redstone Open Studio: Nonviolent Civil Disobedience Training Banner Making


Our assignment is to create art for a demonstration or performance that communicates an effective message about a subject, using imagery and text that address an injustice or belief that you are passionate about.


Mixed media and Performance


Cardboard or old bed sheets, paint, paint brushes, scissors, pencils, large ruler or T-square, sketchbook, recycled plastic containers with lids, string, masking tape, bamboo sticks or ¼-inch wooden dowels, 1 x 2 inch board or pole, string. Projector and sewing machine helpful. Try to use recycled materials.

Assignment 1

Begin with a class discussion of the following questions and topics:

• Should art be political?

• Can craft be political?

• What are the benefits and disadvantages of collaborating or sharing authorship of an artwork?

• Instead of making art that is autobiographical, can you make something that is about the world around you?

• How have photographs and video of a protest or demonstration affected your opinion about a subject? What do you remember from the protests you have seen on TV or attended?

• How can art antagonize mass culture?

• How do people become complacent about injustice?

• What are you passionate about changing and what do you believe in?

• Why is nonviolence a strategy and how can art effectively keep a protest nonviolent?

• What is a narrative? How can a piece of art contribute to a narrative, build myth, or communicate cultural identity?

Assignment 2

Watch the Open Studio Project video Nonviolent Civil Disobedience Training: Banner Making

Assignment 3

  1. Select the topic you wish to speak about.

  2. Collect images and slogans around your topic of interest.

  3. In your sketchbook create several full-color sketches of what you intend to make.

  4. Select the most effective sketch and decide on the size of your piece. Keep in mind the text should be easily read at a distance over 15 feet.

  5. Choose simple texts that call attention to your subject, speak truth to power, and communicate your concerns.

  6. Design and make your own banners.

Assignment 4

Organize or attend a demonstration/performance. Empower yourself and your peers by respectfully and peacefully speaking out about injustice. Become a powerful agent of change. Protests and marches should be joyful and fun.

Demonstrations can be celebrations that build community.

Please tweet images of your banners @credstone

About the artists

Andrea Bowers

Born in 1965 in Wilmington, Ohio

Currently lives in Los Angeles, California

Andrea Bowers is an artist, educator, and activist whose artwork focuses on activists and activist activities dealing with human rights issues and the environment, particularly women’s rights, the rights of migrating peoples, and climate change. She wants to use her artistic practice in service of these issues. Her multimedia work includes drawing, video, bookmaking, and socially engaged practices. In 2012 Bowers was selected for the Warnock Artist Residency at the University of Utah. Her class of 22 art students developed projects with local activists. During this residency Andrea met Cori Redstone and the two artists began an artistic and political collaboration that they hope will continue for the rest of their lives.

A graduate of CalArts, Bowers’s work has been featured in solo exhibitions at REDCAT, Los Angeles; Artpace, San Antonio, Texas; and Art 32 Basel, Art Statements, Switzerland; and recently in group exhibitions at the Aspen Art Museum, Colorado (The Residue of Memory); Sammlung Goetz, Munich; and The Museum of Modern Art, Drawing Center, and New Museum in New York.

Cori Redstone

Born in 1977 in Rexburg, Idaho

Currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah

Redstone is a fine artist, a community artist, an organizer, and activist. She paints protest-specific banners and builds giant puppets for demonstrations with the help of volunteers. She loves empowering others with skills and information so that they can speak for themselves. In her fine art practice, Cori works in a variety of media and paints protest organizers, social movements, the disenfranchised, and scenes of industrial ruin.

Redstone believes we all have a responsibility to act when we see injustice in the world. She has worked in the Occupy, LGBTQ, Climate Justice, and Immigrant Rights movements. Cori is currently the Art Director of the Climate Justice Group Peaceful Uprising. For more about the artist, visit