ARRT! The Artists’ Rapid Response Team (ARRT!) is a project of the Union of Maine Visual Artists. The ARRTists are members of the UMVA who collaborate with progressive organizations throughout Maine to create “visual soundbites,” frequently in the form of banners, to be used to draw attention to important issues. ARRT! is grateful for the support of the UMVA and the Broad Reach Fund of the Maine Community Foundation.
The Pine Tree Amendment (PTA) adds language to the Bill of Rights in the Maine Constitution that will protect the rights of all people in the state, including present and future generations, to a clean and healthy environment and to the preservation of the natural, cultural and healthful qualities of the environment. The PTA serves as a check on government authority and makes clear the government’s duty to protect the state’s natural resources.
There is bipartisan support for this bill and ARRT! has been creating placards for the effort featuring diverse Mainers, human and otherwise who would benefit from this action.
Concern about the war looming in Ukraine this winter prompted ARRT! to create this banner in early February. The banner was put into action at Bath Iron Works and Portland’s Nickelodeon theater before screenings of two Maine Masters Films: Natasha Mayers: An Unstill Life and Robert Shetterly: An American Who Tells the Truth.
ARRT! worked on this banner in January for Food AND Medicine (in Brewer, ME) which is celebrating its 20th year. Their work concerns worker rights, food insecurity, transportation for all, support for local farms, building community, healthcare, outsourcing jobs, heating assistance, and unemployment.
ARRT! completed the banner below for the new Augusta Recovery Reentry Center (ARRC) founded by the Maine Prisoner Reentry Network, Maine Recovery Advocacy Project, and Young People in Recovery. The ARRC operates as a program under the Maine Prisoner Reentry Network.
In March ARRTists gathered to produce banners for Youth Full Maine and for the Peace and Justice Center of Eastern Maine.
Youth Full Maine manages school food pantries and distributes fresh produce for students to bring home for themselves and their family members.
Activists use ARRT! banners in campaigns and rallies all over the state. A few such events are pictured below.
ARRT! welcomes artists, community members, and activists to join in on issues that can make a difference for the people of Maine. We meet monthly to gather for paint sessions at the Merrymeeting Grange Hall, 27 Main St. in Bowdoinham. The Bowdoinham Historical Society is our gracious host. Check out the ARRT! website for contact info and updates. Next session is April 10th, followed by an “art build” in Belfast at Waterfall Arts on April 23rd.
Image at top: Wearable placard in support of the Pine Tree Amendment.