GREENSBORO — Street art and billboards with anti-Trump messages are popping up in Greensboro and across the country in states considered “battlegrounds” in this year’s presidential election.
It’s all part of a nationwide "RememberWhatTheyDid" campaign.
“We are connecting what has been said and done with the importance of voting," Robin Bell, artist and project co-founder of Artists for Change, said in a news release. "Our message is simple: Remember what they did and vote them out.”
Twenty anti-Trump billboards have gone up in cities across North Carolina, nine of which are scattered across Greensboro, according to the group. Nationwide, the campaign is responsible for about 200 billboards and thousands of street posters in Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Arizona and Pennsylvania.
A Greensboro Republican decried the billboards as an example of "hate and fearmongering" by Democrats.
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"These billboard signs are stereotypical of what we should expect in any marketing campaign from the far left — crude, factually inaccurate and filled with hyperbole," said Chris Meadows, a Republican candidate for the District 57 seat on the N.C. House of Representatives.
According to Artists for Change, award-winning artists created works to target communities that tend to be underrepresented at the polls, including Black, Latinx and young voters. The billboards take a jab at the president's response to the coronavirus and his stances on immigration and police brutality and racism.
In Greensboro, two artists designed billboards criticizing Trump's response to the pandemic, though neither artist is from the area. The nine billboards in prominent locations around the city feature one of the two designs.
One of designs, which can be seen on West Wendover Avenue at Edwardia Drive and again at Elm-Eugene Street at Florida Street, showcases a caricature of Trump shouting over a field of grave markers. Beside him, the words, "It affects virtually nobody," referencing a Sept. 21 statement Trump made about COVID-19. Justin Hampton, a widely recognized rock poster artist, is responsible for the billboard.
A second billboard in Greensboro by Nate Lewis, a former ICU nurse turned artist, features an X-ray of a person's lungs. Beside the black and white image is a July 1 Trump quote, also a commentary on the coronavirus: "... that's going to sort of just disappear, I hope."
People who see the billboards and art are urged to go to RememberWhatTheyDid.com. There, they can pledge to vote, register to vote and learn about early voting.
Co-founder Scott Goodstein, who worked on the Obama 2008 and Sanders 2016 campaigns, said some 40% of voters aren't reached by usual political advertising. Many of those voters are in the communities that are underrepresented in the polls.
"In an election year this important, we cannot allow any of our communities to be overlooked," Goodstein said in the release. "We are generating enthusiasm and are excited to take this groundbreaking program to the neighborhoods where voter turnout can make the difference in this election."