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Atlanta artist offers 'free art' for those who register to vote

"I wanted to celebrate and thank them for their civic action...As an artist, the easiest way for me to do that is through art."

ATLANTA — From murals on Buford Highway to the Braves' Chipper Jones, Sanithna Phansavanh's mark is all across Atlanta. But his latest project is being shared online as an effort to empower new voters ahead of election day.

"It's an opportunity for us collectively decide how we respond to the pandemic, social unrest ... political instability," Phansavanh said, "All with our votes for our representatives."

"Anyone who engages in that process, especially people who aren't registered yet, I wanted to celebrate and thank them for their civic action," he said. "As an artist, the easiest way for me to do that is through art."

As a result, the artist decided to offer free art as a 'thank you' when people register to vote. His Instagram post prompted responses from across the country.

"I've had people contact me from ages 18 to 33 from Georgia to South Dakota," he said. "All first time voters."

Phansavanh has responded to voters on a first-come, first-serve basis with those showing proof of their new registration receiving a personalized creation. 

"There are a couple of portraits now and flowers as well…a lot of my art is based on nature so they've requested those," he said. 

With the deadline to register looming, a love of art prompted a call for civic action.

"I think I'm just really thrilled that people are engaged in the political process and I can help celebrate that," he said.