Persisters is an ongoing series of portrait paintings of outstanding women who have made an impression with their tenacious resolve to succeed in their pursuit of justice as they perceive it. The series was inspired by the exhilaration I experienced when life-long advocate for women and children, Hillary Clinton, broke the glass ceiling to become the first female democratic candidate for President of the United States in 2016.

Post-election it was clearly apparent to me that MSNBC political commentator, and author Rachel Maddow, would be my second subject as she immediately and relentlessly took on the task of uncovering the truth with regard to the Trump administration and it’s ties to Russia. This painting was made to thank Maddow wholeheartedly for her continued and exceptional efforts. I have since learned she is an immense source of comfort to many as we live through the terrifying instability of the Trump government.

Currently, I am making individual large-scale paintings of Tamika Mallory, Linda Sarsour, Carmen Perez and Bob Bland, the four national co-chairs of the Womens March on Washington that was likely the largest single-day demonstration in recorded U.S. history. Prior to the march these brilliant, impassioned and remarkable young women have devoted much of their lives to uncompromising activism for human rights and social justice. When complete, I wish that my portraits be a thank-you for their tireless pursuits but equally importantly, an aid in expanding the dialogue around the critical work these women are doing.

Maddow, 2017 Oil on canvas 48x60"

Hillary, 2016 Oil on canvas 48x60"

Notorious RBG, Oil on canvas, 48x60

Notorious RBG, Oil on canvas, 48x60


 Jo Hay With Rachel Maddow