The mayor of Poughkeepsie, New York may not know who Shepard Fairey is but Jodi Cox-Kyle has spent some recent afternoons with his art and a pile of sharpies.
The upstate town resident, who is a retired professional advocate for persons with intellectual disabilities in the county, tells us that she created the posters by downloading them from this site last month.
Stuck inside her house quarantining with her husband and dog for the last few months, she says she’s been looking for projects to show support for the community that are affordable and safe.
“I printed 10 copies of the ‘Thank You For Your Service’ graphic and spent two relaxing afternoons coloring the images with the art supplies I had on hand: a half box of colored pencils and some sharpies,” says Cox-Kyle. When she finished the posters she put them out for the sanitation, recycling, and mail delivery people who she sees regularly through the window.
“I’ve been a fan of Shepard Fairey for many years and admire his commitment to advancing social and political causes through his art,” she says. After attaching candy bars and Rice Crispie bars to the signs and putting them out she said it was sort of a home-based adventure to watch and see if anybody saw them.
She says the sanitation worker appeared hesitant at first and stared at the poster for some time. “Then he removed the sign and passed around the ziplock bag to his co-workers.”
The recycling worker was a bit more demonstrative.
“Our recycling guy picked up the posters mounted on paint sticks and waved them in the air! – before putting them in the cab of his truck,” she says.
Days later a friend told her that she saw the signs on social media and Cox-Kyle couldn’t believe it. “She said it was on Facebook on the mayor’s page, and I was really happy. I’m still kind of shocked”
It also looks like the whole art and activism experience has been a good one for her, and she’s looking at other projects as well.
“I have 5 posters left. I don’t know where they are going yet, but I promise they’ll end up in the hands of one of Poughkeepsie’s fine essential workers.” We’re guessing that candy bars will also be involved.