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Lambertville Artist Practices Creative Resistance to Transform MAGA Vandalism at a Local Park

Gwenn Seemel's "artistic interventions" remind us that activism and dissent can come in many different forms.
Photos courtesy of Gwenn Seemel.

When Lambertville artist Gwenn Seemel noticed pro-Trump graffiti polluting a local park, she resisted apathy and instead turned to “artistic intervention” as resistance.

A pro-Trump zealot apparently thought it was necessary to first use a sharpie to write Trump’s name on Alexauken Creek Spillway Bridge located in the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park. 

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Then they moved into carving his name and MAGA on the bridge. 

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Then they didn’t stop with the bridge.

“The spray painting on the trees also broke my heart, because there’s just no other way to take that off,” Gwenn told me. “It’s the bark of the tree, and so that’s when I decided, we need an artistic intervention now.”

She went to her studio and made some big bandaids out of paint and paper. She then went online to learn about wheatpasting in order to stick the bandaids on the bridge, though with the trees it wouldn’t work because the bark is too rough, so she would just have to use paint.

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Some members of the community have been pitching in with sanding away the vandalism.

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Gwenn is currently waiting to hear back from the park about how and when they hopefully can be proactive in quelling this immature vandalism.

This isn’t the first time Gwenn has used her art as a form of protest. Back in 2017 one of her portraits of Trump was used on the cover of an Oxford University Press book called Democracy Under Fire.

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She also created a series of paintings, later made into a book, that showcases animals that “don’t fit in with our traditional notions of gender and sex.”

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Gwenn’s most recent work, Everything’s Fine, is a series of paintings “about mental health that encourages, um, people to express themselves more around their struggles.” She is creating a coloring book based on the work and is creating a high school art curriculum on it.

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To learn more about Gwenn and her work visit https://www.gwennseemel.com/. In the meantime, start imagining your own creative solutions and “artistic interventions” to make the world a better place. And don’t forget to share it with me when you.

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Cyril Mychalejko

Cyril Mychalejko

Cyril Mychalejko is the Editor-in-Chief of the Bucks County Beacon. Read his columns on Sundays and follow him on Twitter.

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