Bedford, TX— Today, Common Cause announced Jacob Wiant, 21, of Bedford, Texas as the second-place winner of the 2021 Artivism Contest. The competition was designed by the Common Cause Student Action Alliance to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Common Cause and the passage of the 26th Amendment, which lowered the voting age from 21 to 18. In the organization’s first-ever virtual competition bridging art with activism, youth nationwide were invited to submit art that expressed their perspectives on key democracy issues.
“Our democracy is strongest when everyone has a voice, regardless of age, zip code, or income,” said Karen Hobert Flynn, president of Common Cause. “The 2021 Artivism winners represent the creativity of the next generation that’s working to build a more vibrant and inclusive democracy. Common Cause will continue working with youth advocates to champion the changes needed to ensure young people can have a say in the decisions impacting their futures.”
The Artivism Contest invited youth ages 14-28 to raise their voices on any set of nine democracy issues, including access to voting, campaign finance reform, fighting against gerrymandering, and more. Contest winners’ art will be featured in the Common Cause Shop on select apparel and merchandise. Winners will also receive cash prizes, with $1,500 for first place, $800 for second place, and $600 for third place.
“My piece represents the ongoing struggle for equal rights for individuals in the LGBTQ+ community,” said Jacob Wiant, second place winner in the 2021 Common Cause Artivism contest. “As a gay man and an artist, it is my responsibility to protest through art and design. This piece communicates a sense of solidarity to other members of the LGBTQ+ community, especially those who suffer in silence.”
Wiant submitted a rainbow-colored visual representation of a protest with the words “My Vote Our Voice.” His winning art is part of the Free Speech and Freedom to Protest category and was one of three winners in the 18–23-year-old age group. Wiant is one of seven winners representing seven cities from California to North Carolina. Submissions were due September 30 and voting, open to all, took place every day from October 1 through November 2.
“We thank everyone who participated for bringing their unique perspectives and creativity to the 2021 Artivism Contest,” said Alyssa Canty, director of youth programs at Common Cause. “We look forward to working with the winners to showcase their art and help inspire more youth to make their voices heard for a democracy that is inclusive of every voice.”
To see the full list of 2021 Artivism Contest Winners and their artwork, click here.
To shop apparel and merchandise featuring the 2021 Artivism Contest Winners, click here.