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  • Will Lowder

TIME FOR A CHANGE! Will Lowder’s Protest Art

On Wednesday, March 6th, Will Lowder arrived at Knight Hall at 6:45am. Along with Ms. Stark and Ms. Clark, Will quickly arranged and displayed the protest signs he had been working on for weeks in art class. Will did not put his signature on the art, and he did not let anyone see him in the rotunda that morning.  He wanted to surprise the Oxford community when they arrived for morning announcements and saw the signs hanging in that public space. One additional sign invited curious viewers to learn more by attending a presentation later that morning.

When Oxford students and faculty arrived at the presentation, Will revealed that he was the artist. He went on to explain what motivated him to create what he described as “protest art.” He was inspired to make these signs after studying street art in Ms. Stark’s Art class. Will was also inspired by events in the novel that he was reading in his English class. In All American Boys, by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely, an attack injuring a teenager, as well as the protest that followed, resonated with Will and led to the messages in many of his signs.

During his presentation, Will shared a slideshow that included several examples of protest art from a variety of sources. He then described his own signs, detailing his choice of materials, designs, and messages. Near the end of Will’s talk, he provided cardboard and markers and invited all participants to create their own signs to add to the display in the rotunda.

As Will explained, “The cool thing about this art is that anyone can make it. All you need is cardboard, paint, tape, paper, or anything you can find in your house or garage. But most importantly, you need a message–something that you want or need to say.” By sharing his ideas and then inviting the audience to make signs, Will encouraged everyone to make their voices heard.

  –photo by Ms. Brauchler


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