Rosalie Koldan

Images of Labor
assemblage. wood, metal, paper, acrylic
24 x 16 x 3 in.

I’ve always found artistic value in discarded objects. In this piece I am pleased to showcase the people who work with or produce those products and by-products that make my art-form possible.

In May of 1886 at Haymarket Square in Chicago, to achieve the goal of 8 hour work days, clothing cutters, shoemakers, and warehouse packers, held a general strike. The strike turned into a riot. Eight men were held responsible and sentenced to hang.

They were August Spies, Albert Parsons, Adolph Fischer, George Engel, Louis Lingg, Samuel Fielden, Oscar Neebe, and Michael Schwab.

Four of the men were hung, and one committed suicide while in prison. People were outraged and protested in the streets at the funeral processions. The three remaining men were released by pardon from the Governor.

In the face of death these men stood behind their beliefs.

It is with this same courage and strength today’s working class continues to fight for equitable working conditions generation after generation.

© Rosalie Koldan