Oshkosh-Local Wisconsin artists, those in surrounding states, and some from Mexico performed and had their work showcased in Oshkosh this weekend. The event was part of a "Peaceful Protest" in response to President Donald Trump's 100 days in office.
"I wanted to participate because I think creativity and the arts are really important for raising people's voices, for raising awareness, and for giving voice to people that don't always have a voice," said musician Jennifer Levenhagen.
The event was the idea of artist and Oshkosh studio manager Cristian Andersson, who wanted to contribute to conversations following the 2017 presidential election by developing a platform for artists from different backgrounds to share their opinions and to create community dialog.
"You need to be an advocate for your community and for the people that you care about and for people that are in a more fragile state sometimes than you are," said Andersson.
Andersson said in January he painted "Hope and the Wailing Woman" to inspire hope. Andersson later put out a call for artist to respond.
"On election day I woke up at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin with my son," spoken word artist & Oshkosh resident Jennifer Nearey. "He was going through one of his many rounds of chemo therapy to treat his lymphoma and I realized I was shocked at the outcome of the election and I realized that protection for vulnerable people like my son were suddenly on the line."
Nearey said she didn't know what to do.
"I realized if we want to keep these protections we're going to have to fight for them," said Nearey. "I also wanted to be a part of this in particular because when your child has cancer people don't really want to talk about it and I had a lot to say."
Nearey 's 17 year old son finished chemotherapy and is now home in remission. Nearey hopes to inspire other artists this weekend.
“I think that it’s a wonderful show of strength that artist will get together and be brave and talk about what they’re experiencing and talk about their feelings about what our country," said Neary.
A solidarity chain performance will be held on Sunday at 2:00pm in Oshkosh.