In Amendment One Controversy, North Carolina Artists Find Inspiration

COMMENTARY | CHARLOTTE, N.C. — With early voting under way for Tuesday’s primary, the next few weeks are critical for North Carolina citizens concerned about the potentially harmful effects of Amendment One.

As the rhetoric grows repetitive, some North Carolina residents are getting creative with their approaches.

Showcased in the historic South End of Charlotte, a minimalist piece features five photographs taken of various North Carolina-rooted gay couples with the word “NO” centered in the collage.

The artist, Meredith Jones, works with a group called “Cultural Initiative” that hosts modernized art shows in the Charlotte area. Around the time the controversial amendment was beginning to gain public attention, Jones was assigned a project to take photos of various hot spots in Charlotte. She used the opportunity to make a statement.

Meredith Jones’ work displayed in Escape Salon in the historic South End of Charlotte.

Meredith Jones’ work displayed in Escape Salon in the historic South End of Charlotte.

“The people featured in the piece were really grateful that I was doing this,” Jones said. “I’m a photographer, it’s what I do. So I thought, ‘Why can’t I do it to help people understand [Amendment One]?'”

When the exhibit was moved to its current location in South End’s Escape Salon, the owner Jim Tate suggested adding an interactive component to the exhibit by attaching a cork board strip and thumb tacks and allowing visitors against Amendment One to add their own family photos.

According to Jones people immediately began bringing home pictures to show their support. Tate plans to keep the exhibit through June and possibly put up more cork strips

The center photograph displays two homosexual North Carolina citizens holding a “vote against” sign.

Jones was not the first person in North Carolina to take a more creative approach to express discontent for Amendment One. AllAcesMedia released a video for “Vote Against Amendment One”featuring a song written by Greensboro-rooted fold singer Laurelyn Dossett.

“I wanted the song to actually do a job,” Dossett said in a recent interview with Shuffle Magazine. “Raise awareness, give people something to rally around, provide a song for the cause that could be used at rallies.”

While both Meredith Jones and Laurelyn Dossett remain hopeful that their work will encourage North Carolina residents to vote against the harmful amendment, they acknowledge that North Carolina is split 60/40 in favor of the amendment.

“I feel like it may pass,” Jones admitted. “While Charlotte is a very progressive area, the rest of North Carolina [may not be as progressive]. And I feel kind of upset about that. I know a lot of churches are pushing for their congregation to vote for it under the precedents that it’s outlawing gay marriage. But it’s a lot more than that.”

Amendment One takes away rights from single parents and makes it harder for them to secure their children. Jones among others also describes the amendment as “poorly written and poorly designed.”

Those critical of the amendment have also pointed out that state government should work to give its citizens more rights, rather than take rights away from them.

“How are we supposed to vote on human rights?” Jones asked. This Tuesday many North Carolina residents will flood the voting booths to do just that.

This article was originally published on Yahoo! News through the Yahoo Contributor Network which was shut down in July 2014. For more content by this author that was originally published on Yahoo! News, click here