Sit In, Stand Up: A Call for Art

Sit In, Stand Up: A Call for Art

A poster collection to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of Ax Handle Saturday and its connections to racial justice efforts today.

There are many ways for all of us to engage in activism and we believe artists have a special role to play. Yellow House wants to amplify artists and designers from our community who are interested in marking this moment and infusing the movement for change with a visual vocabulary that can help sustain the effort. This is an Open Call to ANY artist or designer who wishes to participate in this effort which is anchored by several Black local designers commissioned by Yellow House.

As we begin to fully embrace the historic nature of THIS moment in our nation and our city, we want to build on the tradition of poster creation that has fed movements from Civil Rights to Climate Change, from Anti-War demonstrations to liberation efforts for Immigrants and Indigenous and Queer communities. The history of political posters is a rich one and whether plastered on brick walls, carried in marches, or distributed to storefronts, posters have informed process, incited change, motivated progress, and made visible the voice of the people.

Our city is experiencing unprecedented protests against police brutality and for Black lives. We recognize that we stand on the shoulders of giants, specifically those on the frontlines of the sit-in demonstrations that spurred the white-led violence of Ax Handle Saturday on August 27, 1960.  This poster campaign is a look at then and now… a recognition of the importance of the upcoming 60th anniversary of Ax Handle Saturday and its connections to racial justice efforts today.

All contributions will be a part of a virtual exhibition that will go live at the end of July and will continue to evolve with each new entry. Just as important, many of these images will be present in the streets…during demonstrations, at the Ax Handle Saturday Commemoration in late August, and other guerrilla-style displays. This exhibition will also take physical form at Yellow House (time to be determined based on continued pandemic closure) and select images will be included in an online exhibition focused on Ax Handle Saturday. There is no fee to participate and Yellow House will be responsible for all printing costs as select designs take physical form

The themes we would like you to choose from are:

  • Black Lives Matter

  • Solidarity / Intersectionality

  • Removing Symbols of White Supremacy (Confederate statues, school names, Andrew Jackson)

  • Dismantling White Supremacy / Rejecting White Fragility

  • Power of Protest

  • Heroes / Sheroes of the Movement

  • Ax Handle Saturday at This Historic Moment (A high priority theme!)

  • Voting Rights / Get Out the Vote

  • Police Reform / Defunding / Accountability

  • The COVID-19 Pandemic and Racism

  • Say Their Names (local and national)

  • Anti-racism


Artwork needs to be submitted as a PDF file | 18” x 24” | CMYK | 300 dpi

We will upload designs to the exhibition every couple of days and stay in close touch as we select works to utilize in upcoming events and actions.  The exhibition will launch with any submissions received prior to August 1 and we will continue to accept submissions until August 20. We will not use any image, outside the virtual and physical exhibition, without the full permission of the artist.

We are grateful to those closely engaged in the planning and curation of this project: designer CARYL BUTTERLEY; designer KAREN KURYCKI; artist, educator, and designer ERIN KENDRICK; Yellow House Fellow JORDYN BOWEN; Yellow House intern CORINNE LIGHTFOOT and executive volunteer PHYLLIS BELL-DAVIS; and, activist and hero RODNEY L. HURST SR.

If you have any concerns or questions, send us an email at and a member of our team will get back with you.



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