HOW WAS SCHOOL TODAY?
For Freedoms Artist Billboard Campaign
Part of the "largest creative collaboration in the history of the United States, For Freedoms 50 State Initiative, this nationwide billboard and social media campaign features artist-produced billboards in all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico ... going up across the country this fall in advance of the midterm elections. Let's help voters find the candidates who support reasonable gun safety policy to make America a less militant & violent place. Funded by The Ellies, Miami’s visual arts awards, presented by ArtCenter/South Florida. Photo credit @gavindmckenzie.
Stuart Sheldon's oldest son was in elementary school the day 20 children were gunned down in their classrooms at Sandy Hook Elementary. The idea of someone aiming an AR-15 at first-graders was the worst thing Sheldon could imagine, and when nothing changed in the massacre's aftermath, he responded the best way he knew how: through art.
Before the 2016 election, the Miami artist created a haunting video installation showing 20 colorful elementary- school chairs being shot up by a man with an AR-15. Now, with this year's election approaching, Sheldon has added another piece — one you might have already seen without realizing it. Read more ...
I have two young sons, smart, silly, inquisitive beings that I consider my greatest creations. My oldest was about to enter first grade on the day twenty six-year-olds were massacred in their first grade chairs at Sandy Hook. I still can’t process a man walking up and down those little aisles shooting each child in the face with an AR-15. How did we get here? Like so many, I believed this would be a turning point for our country. Shockingly, gun violence has only gotten worse since, a reflection of our country’s greater devolution from noble collective principles to fear-based and selfish priorities.
My For Freedoms campaign builds on my ongoing series of site-specific and video installations aimed at connecting all citizens, regardless of politics, in our collective love for our children and their safety. I believe that, in this fundamental, love-based connection, we can unite to bring society back to a less militant and violent place.
“I went to an Ivy League school. I’m very educated. I know words. I have the best words.” Donald Trump
Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, 2018 - The Best Words, Acrylic, electrical tape, vinyl on wood, 48x48” 2018
Local artist Stuart Sheldon has always produced art that pushed the envelope, even if that meant partying in a dilapidated gold house. But after the 2016 election, Stuart’s work became much more political. He joined For Freedoms, an artist-run political action committee, during Art Basel in 2016. Stuart says, “the pain of America’s troubles became unbearable for me.” You’ve probably already seen his latest project, even if you didn’t realize it. Back in September, he purchased billboard space on I-95. He marked it with the message: “How Was School Today?” with a gun target and a drop of blood in the question mark. Read more ...
“Stuart Sheldon created one of the billboards, an American flag posing spiralized questions about freedom. To him, it’s about urging people “at a granular level” to start over, with less fear and more optimism.” Los Angeles Times. Wynwood mural collaboration with For Freedoms, 2016
Fancy Nasty -
Coming To America, Acrylic, antique international stamps, inkjet prints, denim on canvas, 55×165″ 2017 - Read the backstory of this commission work.
We're All Pink Inside, Latex paint, inkjet original poetry on canvas, 70x206" 2017. Front page of The New Tropic - "Back by popular demand for Art Basel 2017, Miami artist Stuart Sheldon brings you LUSH and assembles ten renowned local and international artists. They will create their own version of utopia in an industrial Little River warehouse. Inspired by the raw mystery of Florida’s Everglades, each artist invokes their own distinct sense of “paradise found” as an antidote to the troubling world beyond."