Artists play a vital role in addressing social change, and it is a responsibility Niki Johnson takes extremely seriously.
Just look at her newest creation, “Hills & Valleys.”
Created from signage collected from the six Planned Parenthood health centers closed under Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s administration, the piece will make its East Coast debut at the 30th annual Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic East End Benefit at LTV Studios in Wainscott on June 2.
“I am thrilled to bring ‘Hills & Valleys’ to a new audience,” Johnson said in a statement. “Women’s reproductive rights are under attack like never before and access to affordable care is jeopardized. Like me, many of my friends have not been able to afford health care. Putting off appointments. Waiting until payday to take care of themselves. Fearing shame in the exam room on top of the bill. That is the motivation behind ‘Hills & Valleys.’”
Proceeds will benefit the organization’s health care and education programs on the East End, which in many cases, serves their patients’ only access to primary health care services, which include annual gynecological exams, contraception and contraceptive counseling, cancer screenings, pregnancy testing, menstrual cycle irregularities and other reproductive health problems, as well as STI testing and treatment, HIV testing and counseling, abortion services, prenatal care, and menopause management.
“I began collecting signage from defunded Planned Parenthood health centers in Wisconsin in the fall of 2013. As a lifelong supporter of Planned Parenthood and women’s rights, I recognized the aluminum signage as a powerful symbol of love and loss,” Johnson said. “I woke up to a rough drawing of a pair of women’s hips standing in front of a quilt. Across her pubic mound rose a vajazzle of the US Capitol.”
Tickets start at $250. For more information, please call (631) 240-1128 or visit pphp.org/eastend2018.