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“Now it’s time for action”: Lonnie Holley’s “In the Grip of Power”

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Lonnie Holley’s work has dealt with hard issues since the beginning of his career: His first commission was carving tombstones for his sister’s children after they passed away in a house fire.

His work has appeared in the Birmingham Museum of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the American Folk Art Museum, the White House and the High Museum of Art. In this most recent work, In the Grip of Power, Holley addresses the importance of a vote and the volatile political environment within the United States today. “I really want to talk to the humans about the distractions between the action of those that had participated and struggled, and walked, and bled, and sweat, and got beaten, dog bitten, had the hosepipe turned on them then washed against brick walls with the thrust of a firehose.”