'Silent Sentinels' honors brutal fight for women's suffrage

| 02 Nov 2017 | 02:17

— Safe Harbors of the Hudson is honoring the achievements of suffragists who fought courageously to gain the most fundamental right of citizenship: the right to vote.
The art exhibition "Silent Sentinels," coming to the Safe Harbors Ann Street Gallery, 104 Ann St., Newburgh, features 17 women artists and celebrates the centennial of a pivotal moment in history.
On Nov. 10, 1917, Alice Paul organized the Silent Sentinels, militant members of the National Women's Party. They initiated a non-violent silent vigil with picketing in front of the White House to protest President Wilson for not supporting a women's suffrage amendment. As a result, Paul and the suffragists were harassed, arrested, and sent to prison. While imprisoned, Paul led a hunger strike. Beatings and force-feeding by authorities ensued. 
Known for her controversial strategies in campaigning, Paul employed these events to further pressure Wilson and gain public support and national attention for women's suffrage. By the end of 1917, with the movement increasing in political strength, Wilson announced his support for the suffrage amendment. The ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920 secured all women the right to vote.
The Safe Harbors exhibition highlights gender equality in the arts. Selected works incljde the fiber arts, textiles, sculpture, paintings, and a sound installation.
A reception, free and open to the public, will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 4. The exhibit will remain on view through Saturday, Jan. 20.
The exhibition was curated by Virginia Walsh.
"The Silent Sentinel exhibition pays homage to those pioneering suffragists whose ground-breaking activism and perseverance in the quest for women's equality and social reform are an inspiration to all," says Safe Harbors.
For more information call 784-1146.
About Safe Harbors of the Hudson Safe Harbors of the Hudson is a large scale, non-profit re-development project in the City of Newburgh with the mission of transforming lives and building community through housing and the arts. It includes the Cornerstone Residence, supportive housing for 128; the Lobby at the Ritz, a performing arts venue; the Ann Street Gallery, a contemporary visual arts venue; Safe Harbors Green, a green space in the center of the community; and the historic Ritz Theater, which Safe Harbors is committed to restoring into a large scale performance space for the community.