KPFA Protest - John Sheridan with Placard Protesting Pacifica's Lynn Chadwick, 1999

John Sheridan, a Berkeley-based artist and activist, said he initially made large-scale placards because he wanted passersby to see in an instant, in compelling and witty form, what demonstrators were upset about.

``What ended up happening is that the pieces became very much visual rallying points. They could be seen from a distance, and they were attractive to cameras,'' he said. ``The signs gave a sense of animation and liveliness to the demonstrations.''

His favorite placard, included in the Berkeley exhibition, depicts Lynn Chadwick, executive director of the Pacifica Foundation and a particular target of criticism, waving a hatchet over a kneeling and gagged staff.

``Initially, some of us blocked the front entrance to KPFA and others to Pacifica,'' Sheridan recalled in a recent interview. ``Lynn Chadwick walks up and wants to get in to the front, and it dawns on her that we're not going to move. She gives us this very surprised, half-horrified, half- angry look and then looked up to her own face on my placard. She blanched when recognized herself. You know how people's heads snap back and their eyes get big for a split second? That was a wonderful moment. . . . It was verification of the power of that piece.''

-- Rona Marech, San Francisco Chronicle Staff Writer
Friday, November 19, 1999