Art and activism do different things in the world. Activism is action to enact change. Art elicits an emotional response. When you merge the creative power of art with the strategic planning of activism, you get a catalyst for social change.
What happens when you add beer to the mix? Then you get dialogue. And one Hamilton brewery is speaking truth to power in a big way.
Renowned for the wicked rolling artwork featured on their bottles and cans, Collective Arts is using their privilege and platform to highlight artists whose art deals with issues of social justice in a limited-edition series called Amplified Voices.
Collective Arts puts a call out for art every three months. For Amplified Voices, last summer they geared their call for art towards protest art. They received more than 1,000 submissions from around the world. Their curator panel selected 36 pieces to make up the limited-edition series.
Matt Johnston, Collective Arts co-founder and CEO, realizes, “There is an undeniable global call to action to fight injustice—particularly anti-Black violence and inequity faced by BIPOC around the world. Making beer has given us a platform and we understand that this is a privilege most don’t get to enjoy. We intend to use our platform to amplify the voices that need to be heard to drive change.”
The selected works convey provocative topics that challenge the status quo and envision a more inclusive future. “We believe in the power of creativity and community,” Johnston states. “Creative expression can present new perspectives, be disruptive, and challenge the status quo. Our Amplified Voices series was conceived under our core belief that creativity can help make the world a better place and we are sincerely grateful to all of the artists who have shared their creativity with us.”
Collective Arts is aiming to raise $10,000 through their Collective More charity initiative and a GoFundMe page to help organizations that support Black and Indigenous communities in Canada and the United States: The Black Legal Action Centre Ontario, The Native Women’s Association of Canada, and The Black Art Futures Fund.
Check out some of the artists featured in the series: