On November 10, 1917, Alice Paul organized the Silent Sentinels, militant members of the National Women’s Party, and initiated a non-violent silent vigil with picketing in front of the White House. The focus of the protest was President Wilson and his administration, for their lack of support for a women’s suffrage amendment. As a result of the picketing, Paul and the suffragists were harassed, arrested and sent to prison. While imprisoned, Paul led a hunger strike; beatings and force-feeding by authorities ensued.
Known for her controversial strategies in campaigning, Paul skillfully employed these events to further pressure Wilson’s administration and gain public support and national attention for the suffrage movement. By the end of 1917, aware the movement was increasing its political strength, Wilson announced his support for the suffrage amendment, which secured all women the right to vote with the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920.
To celebrate this pivotal moment on its centennial anniversary, The Ann Street Gallery is honoring the achievements of these suffragists who fought courageously to gain the most fundamental right of citizenship, with an all-female exhibition titled “Silent Sentinels.”
The exhibition highlights gender equality in the arts with selected works of seventeen artists to include: fiber arts, textiles, sculpture, paintings, and a sound installation, exploring subject matter that reflects their personal practice and unique techniques. The “Silent Sentinels” exhibition pays homage to those pioneering suffragists whose ground-breaking activism and perseverance in the quest for women’s equality and social reform are an inspiration to all.
Artists featured: Marieken Cochius, Orly Cogan, Elizabeth Duffy, Carol Boram-Hays, Cynthia Karalla, Megan Klim, Elizabeth Mackie, Katherine Mann, Penny Mateer, Chris Motley, Janet Nolan, Leslie Pontz, Beth Scher, Naomi Schlinke, Tamar Stone, Etty Yaniv, and Susannah Zucker.
The exhibition was curated by Virginia Walsh and will be on view through Saturday, January 20, 2018. Opening reception is Saturday, Nov. 4, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
The Ann Street Gallery, operated by Safe Harbors of the Hudson, is located at 104 Ann Street in Newburgh.