American Progress and more art by Gina Adams

American Progress, 2019
23 x 31 cm (h x w)
Silkscreen on paper
not for sale
[Des Moines Art Center Permanent Collections; Gift of the Des Moines Art Center Print Club, 2019.33]

(Commissioned Print & Gift Print, 2019)

The American political doctrine of Manifest Destiny is literally defined in a text at the top of this print and its other visual elements all refer to that philosophy and the migration related to it. The landscape is a part of Colorado that has been mined by settlers for almost 200 years, and it and the barbed wire, another 19th-century invention, both suggest the damage that can be done by human migration. The bird is a lark bunting, a songbird that follows the same migratory path as the monarch butterfly, and is similarly threatened by the use of agricultural pesticides. The beads are a string of “greasy yellow” glass beads, printed to a specifically match a color desirable in some Indigenous craft traditions, including the artist’s own family background. It suggests hopefulness, and the chance for healing through finding harmony with nature.

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