#JoieMuseSeries is back! And we couldn't think of a more appropriate Muse for this month than Christine Messineo. Former stylist and now Los Angeles based art professional by trade, Christine fused her love for art with the importance of civic duty through the creation of Plan Your Vote (www.planyourvote.org) - a visual arts initiative from Vote.org that encourages people to exercise their right to vote, as well as provides resources on how to create your own voting plan. We met up (safely) with Christine to discuss this important topic and also learned a little about her fall style.
On your career...
WHAT WAS THE IMPETUS BEHIND YOUR INVOLVEMENT WITH PLANYOURVOTE AND HOW DID YOU MAKE THE SWITCH OVER, FROM BEING A FASHION STYLIST TO AN ACTIVIST?
It's been a moment since I worked as a stylist, but I've always maintained my love for fashion. I've gone from fashion to art to this current amalgamation of art and activism.
I believe that art is often the seed for transformation. Plan Your Vote activates our cultural architecture — artists, museums, non-profit organizations, galleries — to encourage their larger local communities to be civically minded. The institutions benefit from being a 50Ic3 org, so it is inherent in the ethos is to be a site of civic engagement. Some museums are early polling locations. Both the the Hammer and the ICA LA are open for early voting. Many of these organizations, closed in the midst of COVID-19, embedded a Plan Your Vote "sticky button" on their site, which links out to Vote.org tools allowing individuals to check their registration, register and get a mail-in ballot. Right now, I think it's important for people to think about how they will he voting. Safely in-person? What are your early voting options? Can you drop your mail-in ballot off at a polling location? All these questions circle back to our message: #planyourvote
THE ARTWORK IS BEAUTIFUL AND SO UNIQUE. DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE PIECE/SUBMISSION?
I love hearing that! I'm truly thankful that over seventy artists generously contributed their images and voice to this endeavor. To hone in on a particular favorite is totally impossible, but I will say its given me the opportunity to get to know artists that I hadn't worked with previously, like Muna Malik and Dyani White Hawk. But Plan Your Vote never would have been able to approach them to be involved if we hadn't beta tested the design process with artists that I've known and collaborated with for years like Tom Burr, Barbara Kasten, Isabel Yellin, Rob Davis, Paola Kudacki. That initial trust and investment built the foundation for an expansive initiative.
WHAT DO YOU SEE FOR THE FUTURE OF PLAN YOUR VOTE?
We've created a library of voting advocacy images that can be downloaded and shared by anyone. Plan Your Vote is non-partisan, so we don't endorse a candidate or proposition — these visuals can be used in any future election. Its a project that is hopeful, joyful. I would love for that sensibility — having a voice and being civically invested and involved, is rewarding and manifests.
IF YOU WEREN'T WORKING IN THE POLITICAL SPHERE WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING?
This is my first foray into politics! I've been working in galleries, organizing exhibitions, collaborating with artists for the past decade.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO FIRST-TIME VOTERS?
Just do it! Get your pod, your friends, your family excited to do the same. It always feels good to embark on new things with someone.
DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE USING THREE WORDS.
High heels and sneakers. Both. Sometimes a pair of sneakers are stashed in my car, sometimes the heels are packed in my bag. I go from one to the other in a single day. Hooded sweatshirts and structured coats. Both. Baseball hats and blow-outs. Both. A contradiction, maybe, but an accurate portrait of a mama and her career.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE PIECE FROM THE SHOOT?
The vegan (!!) leather pants. Such an upgrade from sweatpants and so comfortable. (Because let's be honest, there are days during the pandemic, where that's where I go). But really, the cliché word, buttery, that's how I would describe them.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FALL STYLE STAPLES?
A white poplin/cotton shirt with a strong silhouette. Blazer (the leopard one is the perfect weight for all) with a cashmere scarf. Blue denim. I'm loving navy, blues and greens right now. Clothing I don't have to dry clean, because having an eight-month-old, means I am constantly discovering some dried-up food stain on my sleeve or shoulder. *Sigh* Long leather skirt, and loose monochrome looks. And my VOTE necklace from Haverhill Collection!