Artist Rae Engelbrecht (BFA 2024) made headlines at ABC 10 when she used her design and printmaking skills for a guerilla protest movement. Engelbrecht hoped to draw attention to the manslaughter charges against power company PG&E with self-described “propaganda posters” that have appeared all over Chicago. The fire for which PG&E faces charges took place in 2020, in Sacramento, near Engelbrecht’s hometown.
Engelbrecht made a poster that pays homage to Rene Magritte’s famous surrealist painting, The Treachery of Images, which shows an image of a pipe captioned (translated from Magritte’s native French), “This Is Not A Pipe.” In Engelbrecht’s version, a PG&E powerline is engulfed in dark red flames, and the caption, “THIS IS NOT A CRIME.” She made stacks of the poster and put them up all over town, entreating her classmates to do the same. She’s also made a digital version available so people can print (and hang up) their own copies. The artwork contains a QR code that links to a journalistic investigative reporting project by ABC10, which focuses on the PG&E crisis.