In a throwback to a Great Depression-era effort, the See America project is encouraging artists and designers to create posters for all of America's National Park units. Minnesota is home to six such places, but is under-represented so far.
Designers and artists are all too often asked to work for free these days, so it's worth noting that See America isn't one of those times: by contributing a piece of artwork to the project, artists receive 40 percent of revenue from sales after costs.
So far there are two posters in the collection for Minnesota park units: Voyageurs National Park and Pipestone National Monument. Both are well designed and reflect the unique character of the parks. Both are also by overseas designers (one from India, one from New Zealand). It would be great if people more familiar with our state's landscapes, identity and history shared their own interpretations. (There are also posters for the interstate North Country National Scenic Trail and the Mississippi River, but neither include Minnesota imagery.)
The original See America project was part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal program, addressing unemployment while showcasing the nation's natural beauty. The new See America, organized by the Creative Action Network in partnership with the National Parks Conservation Association, seeks to do the same in a day when the federal government doesn't have the ability to pay artists.
"We have always been inspired, since we started doing this kind of work by the New Deal Arts Project, the WPA, and that era in our history when the government was putting artists to work," Max Slavkin, CEO of The Creative Action Network, told Fast Company magazine.
Here are the National Park units in Minnesota:
- Grand Portage National Monument
- Mississippi National River and Recreation Area
- North Country National Scenic Trail
- Pipestone National Monument
- Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway
- Voyageurs National Park
Learn more and submit your artwork here.