A border wall separating the U.S. and Mexico may be hostile and uninviting, but artist Maddy Kramer is turning that idea on its head, reclaiming it to celebrate immigrants and their creative contributions.
“Walls aren’t meant to divide us,” she says. “Walls are meant for art.”
Kramer is using that philosophy with with a new online art project called The Most Beautiful Wall, which protests President Donald Trump’s stances on immigration. The innovative effort challenges Trump’s threat of a massive border wall, using a virtual wall to feature visual art by immigrants in the U.S.
The Most Beautiful Wall officially launched on March 10, to coincide with the deadline for contractors to submit wall design proposals to the government. The goal is to reach 1,926 virtual miles of art — the approximate length of the U.S.-Mexico border.
This isn’t Kramer’s first time protesting Trump through art. She previously created a “Woman Card” deck, which called out Trump’s comment that Hillary Clinton only had the “woman card” going for her in the presidential race.
In both cases, Kramer was compelled to respond to Trump through art.
“When I first heard Trump’s proposal of building a border wall, I knew I had to speak up,” Kramer says. “Diversity is a beautiful thing that nobody or nothing should get in the way of.”
“Walls aren’t meant to divide us. Walls are meant for art.”
The name of the project comes from Trump’s promise to build an “impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful, beautiful, southern border wall.” Kramer, the daughter of Argentinian immigrants, felt the word “beautiful” was deeply conflicting with the goal of keeping immigrant populations out of the U.S.
As a Hispanic artist who grew up around immigrants, Kramer hopes her project elevates and encourages a celebration of immigrant diversity and identity.
“Art makes us all equal, but not the same,” Kramer says. “Each artist will have their own way of bringing a message to life. That’s what we’re looking for — a wall of diversity that represents that immigrants in the U.S. do beautiful things every day.”
Kramer invites immigrant artists to submit their artwork, which will be “framed” on the virtual wall that will eventually side-scroll for 1,926 miles. She encourages the artists to submit work that speaks to their own styles, representing the true power and beauty of immigrant communities through their creations.
“Artists can submit as many pieces of art as they want,” she says. “It’s a long wall, so we need lots of art.”
Kramer wants the digital wall to be reflective of the immigrant experience in the U.S. — and to be truly “beautiful” when completed.
“I would like for people to find this 10 years from now,” Kramer says, “and see what artists from other nations living in the U.S. had to say at this moment in history.”
Artists can submit their work to [email protected]