“Abortion is a human right; all women deserve safe and affordable access to abortions.”—Swedish American artist and activist Michele Pred
In critical times like the current state of the nation, art offers opportunity to reflect. But not everyone can go to museums or theater for the experience of art—which is why, sometimes, art must go to the people.
Billboards, those shared messages of visual postings in our cities and along our highways, are available and free to all.
Swedish American artist Michele Pred has a long history of pro-choice activism. In May, Pred was inspired and enraged by the leaked Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that overturned Roe v. Wade, which guaranteed a constitutional right to abortion.
Working with Save Art Space, she created and curated the Vote for Abortion Rights billboard exhibition, spearheading a group of artists to get the message out, now and nationwide.
The effort involved behind-the-scenes activism from a group of artists, raising funds and working with companies to put up the boards. The collection features 10 artists and 18 billboards, located in 12 states and 14 cities. Most of the billboards are located where abortion is now illegal or heavily restricted, including Wisconsin, Texas, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Tennessee, North Carolina and Kentucky.
The messages are to the point, to inspire thinking to the general public over what the decision means in terms of our rights and freedoms. Different types of art—minimalism, geometric abstraction, pop art, social practice, feminist and political art—all merge in the creation of these messages.
Pred herself is one of the billboard artists. Her iconic pocketbook image 1973 is a reference to Roe v. Wade, the year abortion was made legal across the U.S. Her billboard is on 12th Ave and 46th St. in New York.
View all the billboards here. The Vote for Abortion Rights nationwide billboard show runs till Nov. 21, 2022.
Pred is an activist-artist whose work shines light on both historic and present-day inequities, while demanding action now. Lately, her art makes the important connection of why the overturn of Roe is crucial. In fact, that moment in May that Pred learned of the overturn of Roe v. Wade was the spark for another exhibit, “Equality of Rights.” The solo show at the Nancy Hoffman Gallery in New York is focused on abortion rights and equal pay, and runs till Nov. 5, 2022.
Historically, the fight for voting rights for women preceded rights in areas of pay equity and abortion rights. The current amplification these struggles as a midterm election looms only makes Pred’s works more crucial to our time.
The last day to vote in the 2022 midterms is Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 8. From candidates to key races, here’s what you need to know ahead of the upcoming elections.
U.S. democracy is at a dangerous inflection point—from the demise of abortion rights, to a lack of pay equity and parental leave, to skyrocketing maternal mortality, and attacks on trans health. Left unchecked, these crises will lead to wider gaps in political participation and representation. For 50 years, Ms. has been forging feminist journalism—reporting, rebelling and truth-telling from the front-lines, championing the Equal Rights Amendment, and centering the stories of those most impacted. With all that’s at stake for equality, we are redoubling our commitment for the next 50 years. In turn, we need your help, Support Ms. today with a donation—any amount that is meaningful to you. For as little as $5 each month, you’ll receive the print magazine along with our e-newsletters, action alerts, and invitations to Ms. Studios events and podcasts. We are grateful for your loyalty and ferocity.