ITHACA, N.Y. –– As election day fast approaches, Ithaca Hummus has teamed up with local artists through Ithaca Murals to fund art projects throughout the city, encouraging people to vote.
Installations and murals to be complete by Election Day on Nov. 3 will be all over the city of Ithaca in an effort to get the word out about making your voice heard.
“I believe voting is a civic duty, and one of the most American things you can do,” said Chris Kirby, founder of Ithaca Hummus. “We hope these beautiful art installations will inspire the people of Ithaca to get out and vote responsibly.”
One of the artists creating work in Ithaca as part of the campaign is Yen Ospina, a queer, Colombian visual artist who has already created artwork around town, including on electrical boxes and fencing.
Ospina is working on a mural in Press Bay Court that includes imagery of Lady Liberty shouting for people to, “vote!” She said the opportunity to engage in a project like this is the first time she has been really politically active.
“I’ve been quiet about political stuff because half my life I grew up in Colombia and my parents are from Colombia. They’re immigrants so they wanted me to blend in,” Ospina said.
She continued, “there are so many incarcerated people right now, and people separated from their families and that’s hitting to the core of me –– if my parents were detained I would have never been born. That’s heartbreaking that people are going through that right now.”
Ospina said her goal in participating in the project is to inspire people to not be quiet as she has been.
“Lady liberty is the image of justice. I feel as if she’s yelling, she’s screaming –– telling everyone to put themselves out there and saying it’s time to make a change,” she said. “My hope is to motivate people to vote so we can hopefully have a change in everything that can be beneficial to everyone.”
Other artists creating work in Ithaca as part of the project include Lisa Orinda who made the below mural at South Hill Elementary School, and Shira Evergreen, who applied on behalf of Rejoice the Vote!, a citizen effort to celebrate and educate the public about voting rights history and heroes.
Additionally, the projects spans beyond city limits –– Molly Andrejko, an artist, musician, muralist, and art teacher, is creating multidisciplinary screen prints and line paintings for an outdoor voter awareness campaign on Main Street in Cortland.
Also in the Cortland area, 4 classes of 6th graders, who have been learning about graphic design and computer-based programs for art, will have their design telling people to vote displayed around local schools, local businesses, libraries and online.
Early voting has already began in New York State. To find information on how to cast your ballot, click here. Otherwise, Tompkins County polling places will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 3. Voters must go to their assigned polling place during those hours.
A map of the City of Ithaca’s voting districts and their corresponding polling places can be found here. All other towns and villages in Tompkins can find their districts and polling place maps here. Voters will sign the electronic poll book, get their ballot, mark their ballot and then cast the ballot.
As a reminder, if you’re choosing to partake in in-person voting, early or otherwise, you must wear a mask, use hand sanitizer and wear gloves provided by the county at all times as well as maintain 6 feet of physical distance while in the polling place.