Amherst mural commemorates native womens’ contribution to suffrage
WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Two Wisconsin artists have teamed up to create an uplifting mural as part of Create Portage County’s project commemorating the 100th anniversary of the passing of the 19th amendment to the Constitution.
The organization teamed up with other arts groups to commission eight murals throughout the county giving voice to women from otherwise marginalized segments of the population.
The mural, covering the side of a barn in Amherst, was inspired by Wisconsin Poet Laureate Denise Sweet, and painted by her cousin Christopher Sweet. They are both First Nations people.
“We have someone who was on the front lines working on our behalf, not only for women, but for the right to vote for native people and recognizing that women are a powerful force in our communities,” said Denise Sweet.
The mural depicts the Seven Sisters (represented by the Pleiades star group) as traditional Ho-Chunk women. The figures are holding hands as a symbol of solidarity and group protection. Both Sweet cousins say that it is a message that is meant to portray a greater need for unity among all Americans.
“A lot of my artwork, it all has to do with unity, so that’s kind of my main message. So, in regard to anything positive out there, I keep an eye out for any kind of support I can offer,” said Christopher Sweet.
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