Paula Crown X Christy Rillings: For Freedoms Wide Awakes Capes (2020)

Crown has been collaborating with For Freedoms since the artist-run political action group’s founding in 2016. She participated in its first group show at Jack Shainman Gallery in New York City. Her solo exhibition, #iamFOR, launched the group’s massive “50 State Initiative” public art campaign. And her billboards and public benches helped raise the level of political discourse and increase civic participation around the country.

In 2020, when For Freedoms launched the Wide Awakes movement, based on the 1860 activists who marched for the abolition of slavery, Crown promptly joined the cause: to fight today’s injustice and galvanize voters in the lead-up to the presidential election.

The original Wide Awakes wore oilcloth capes at their protests. In that spirit, Crown and fashion designer Christy Rilling joined forces to create a couture cape for modern members of the revived Wide Awakes. 

The Paula Crown x Christy Rilling capes are wearable works of art. High-resolution scans taken from paintings in Crown’s KINEMATIC and ASPEN MAPS series are printed on woven iridescent silk faille and double silk charmeuse. 

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