Made with neckties and wood, Jacob’s Ladder Joy and Pain by Kevin Cole is an intensely powerful work that the artist created after a poignant conversation with his grandfather about the importance of participating in the election process.
When Cole turned 18, he told his grandfather that he didn’t see the point in registering to vote. His grandfather responded by taking him to a specific tree, where at one point in history, African American men had been lynched by their neckties on their way to the polls.
“My grandfather tried to instill in me the reason we should vote,” Cole said. “The experience left a profound impression in my mind.”
When you go to the polls on this election day, remember that your vote is your voice and your conversations will impact generations of voters to come.
Image: Kevin Cole, Jacob’s Ladder Joy and Pain, 2002, Mixed media on wood, Gift of Yolanda and Greg Head