(Original See America posters from the New Deal arts project of the 1930’s)
Over 75 years after the government first commissioned posters to showcase the country’s most stunning natural features under the banner: “See America,” The Creative Action Network (CAN) has set out to do it again by launching a new version of See America, a crowdsourced art campaign, enlisting artists from all 50 states to create a collection of artwork celebrating our national parks and other treasured sites. The campaign will kick off with an exhibition in the William J. vanden Heuvel Gallery at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park, New York on January 10, 2014.
(A sampling of posters from the new See America project)
"With so many artists in need of jobs and so many causes in need of national attention, our government set out over 75 years ago to put the nation’s artists to work, illustrating and celebrating our shared national identity. With today’s digital tools, individual artists have the power to create and share their work like never before. That’s why now is the time to pick up where the New Deal left off, and harness America’s creative energy in celebrating the beauty & importance of our natural & cultural landmarks,” said Max Slavkin, Co-Founder & CEO of Creative Action Network.
With the centennial anniversary of the National Park Service approaching in 2016 and the continued threat of budget cuts today, Creative Action Network put out a call to its community of artists and designers around the world to create a new collection of See America posters for a new generation. The posters will highlight natural, cultural and historic sites across the country depicting our shared history and encouraging individuals to reconnect with these places. CAN has partnered with the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), who stepped up to sponsor and support See America.
“As we approach the 2016 centennial, it’s increasingly important that we inspire new audiences to appreciate and connect with America’s national parks to keep them relevant for future generations,” said NPCA President Clark Bunting. “Artists and photographers have inspired millions of people to visit our parks throughout their nearly 100-year history. This partnership with Creative Action Network will continue that tradition and looks to re-imagine See America in a digital age.”
This new collection of See America posters will be on display in a special exhibition at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park, New York, opening to the public on January 11, 2014. The exhibition is scheduled to run from January 11 through June 30. Another exhibition is scheduled in San Francisco at Intersection For The Arts from January 13-24, and additional exhibitions are in the works across the country.
Director of the FDR Presidential Library Lynn Bassanese said, “As he worked to lift America out of the Great Depression, FDR also strove to raise the nation’s battered pride and spirit. One way to do that was to celebrate the country’s stunning natural wonders — and encourage Americans to visit them. Artists employed by the New Deal’s Works Progress Administration (WPA) were enlisted in this campaign. They created striking posters promoting America’s natural beauty, including its national parks and monuments. We are delighted to be working with both the Creative Action Network and the National Parks Conservation Association to tell the story of this historic American arts program and showcase the new collection of See America posters.”
Creative Action Network (CAN) is a marketplace of original, visual, meaningful artwork, harnessing creative talents for good. CAN campaigns are crowdsourced and open for anyone to contribute their own design at: seeamericaproject.com/contribute. See America is not a contest, but rather a campaign to showcase our most precious American sites, and all designs are available for sale as posters, tote bags, and more at seeamericaproject.com. 40% of all proceeds go directly to the artists involved. For more information, visit www.thecreativeactionnetwork.com.
Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) has been the leading voice of the American people in the fight to safeguard our National Park System. NPCA and its 800,000 members and supporters work together to protect the National Park System and preserve our nation’s natural, historical, and cultural heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit www.npca.org.