About     "Covering The News"    Janet Wallace

Covering The News Art Series Background

After the infamous election last November that resulted in a divisive Presidency and policies, I, like many, felt the need to do something positive. I have always had a passion for protection of the environment, equal rights, and social justice, and as an artist have expressed this in multiple art pieces and murals over the years.

Trump's policies threatening human rights, the environment, and world security, as well as his disturbing comments and tweets have resulted in daily negative news that has caused distress to millions, not only here in the U.S. but worldwide.

As a small antidote, I started posting on FaceBook some of my art pieces celebrating the values that I believe in. This elicited positive responses from people who appreciated the change of tone. I also created some signs for the Women's March which were well received.

These actions morphed into my starting a series of works on canvas. They were inspired and influenced by mixed media pieces I had done some time ago related to issues such as protection of the environment, social justice, activism, equal rights, and women's rights. These pieces included collage, acrylic, oil pastel, and marker on paper.

This series is called “Covering The News” and is an effort to change the dialogue. I literally take media articles and copies of Trump's tweets and cover them, putting a more positive face on top of the issues and the comments of the day. Covering the news...creating change...encouraging peace.

Besides getting the New York Times online, I get a daily thud on my door as it is hit by the tossed Los Angeles Times. I collected many of the LA Times articles related to Trump's presidency and policies and the reactions to them. For some of the pieces I adhered these articles to raw unprimed canvas and then stretched the canvas onto a frame. I then proceeded to paint over the canvas and the text, imposing positive imagery and words reflective of ideals and beliefs that I and most people support. At times I left a phrase of the underlying article partially readable, while others were almost obliterated, with just the texture as a reminder of what lies below.

For other pieces I used ready-made primed and stretched canvases and wrote a Trump tweet on each. I painted over the tweet with positive images and words or phrases that felt relevant. I then erased Trump's words and developed the paintings with nothing remaining of the tweet other than the brushwork below.

I documented the processes - the evolution of each piece, including the erasures - to graphically show the process of change. As you can imagine, in every piece it was cathartic to cover up some of the challenges of the times we live in and transform to a healthier world view.

Would that it could be that simple to evoke real and lasting change. “Covering The News” is symbolic of the power of our voices and our collective efforts to make real and lasting change and create a holistic functioning society. The steps in the process are symbolic of the multitude of efforts that are happening worldwide to bring about a better world.


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