Local artist celebrates milestone year for women’s voting rights on Rose Parade float

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – When you think of women’s suffrage, names like Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton may come to mind.

But for local artist Marilyn Artus, she prefers to focus on the still unsung heroes.

“I’m not really interested in talking about Susan B. Anthony. I like talking about Ida B. Wells and Miriam Leslie and all kinds of suffrage fighters people don’t know about,” artist Marilyn Artus said.

From a coffee cup to her artwork, little details of women’s history are sprinkled throughout Marilyn’s home, which is just blocks away from the state capitol.

It’s a passion that started years ago.

“Fifteen years ago I picked up a book about the suffrage movement, and I fell in love with it. There were things that I never learned about in my history class,” Artus said.

Marilyn’s latest art project — the “Her Flag” — is traveling to the 36 states that supported the 19th amendment.

Artists from each of those states then add to the piece.

Right now, it’s in Kansas City.

And on January 1, Marilyn will represent Oklahoma in the famous Tournament of Roses Parade as a way to celebrate the 100th anniversary of women’s voting rights.

“One of the projects I learned about was Pasadena celebrates 2020, and they are the organization that’s putting this gorgeous float together,” Artus said.

She’ll be one of the 100 women and men wearing a 1920s era costume.

A milestone year for Marilyn, and one she hopes will teach younger generations about the unsung heroes who stood up for women.

“The tenacity and the 72-year-long fight it took to get the amendment passed. It was just an incredible heroic effort by democrats, republicanss, independents,” Artus said.

The 131st  Rose Parade airs 10:30 a.m. to noon on January 1.  You can see it on KFOR.com.

To find out more about Marilyn Artus work visit https://www.herflag.com/.

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