By Brandon Enroth
Local area residents have brought the NOH8 campaign to Door County, more specifically Sturgeon Bay. The photo gallery belonging to Avenson Photography was cleared and modified for the needs of two local residents, Dan Collins and Nancy Aten, who have turned the space into a printing workshop. They have been working on generating “NOH8” labels on various articles of cloth, and photographs of flowers supplied by local Jacksonport artist Sandra Martinez.
Originally this campaign rose in reaction to legislation in California being passed that prevented same-sex marriage back in 2008. This “silent protest” involves taking a photo with duct tape over your mouth and “NOH8” painted on the subject’s cheek. According to the campaign’s website their campaign has expanded to take on a new meaning:
“While inspired by the passage of Prop 8 and the fight for marriage equality, the scope of the NOH8 Campaign has grown to stand against discrimination and bullying of all kinds. The message of ‘No Hate’ can be interpreted and applied broadly, and everyone can relate to the message of NOH8in their own way.” – NOH8 Campaign
Collins and Aten are adopting an alternative to cheek painting and duct tape, by spreading the message on photographs of flowers, and pieces of cloth. This way people can sew them onto their clothing, or other personal items while also having the opportunity to make this campaign message a piece of art within their home.
Although this approach is different, Collins still says that this campaign is important to him for two reasons.
Aten said that this alternative method of supporting the campaign came from Melanie Ariens who is a printmaker out of Milwaukee and was contacted by Aten to receive any tips or feedback about the process of making these prints for the public.
The Avenson Photography gallery in downtown Sturgeon Bay will be open today if residents wish to receive a patch between the hours of 10:00 am – 2:00 pm.