Anna Cole

Sioux Falls

About The Artist

Anna moved to New York City after participating in Occupy Wall Street as an organizer and visual artist. For almost a decade, she built a career there as an actress, designer, and teacher. Having a creative, vibrant life in New York City had been her dream since childhood, and overnight that dream became a nightmare. The last day that she worked on a costume fitting in February 2020, she said that the lockdowns currently happening in China couldn’t happen in the US “because people here would riot in the streets”. Only days later, NYC closed down and she lost everything she had in the city– her jobs, social life, apartment, boyfriend– and something indescribable but even more important than those things.

New York had represented freedom of expression and thought in years past; it had represented a place where anything was possible for people who had vision and ambition, and now she could no longer speak or act freely there. Anna’s background in Occupy Wall Street had taught her to always question everything, but it was shocking to feel attacked by old friends who could not accept her skepticism towards the lockdowns that had resulted in substance abuse, suicides, violence, societal division, profound isolation, and the largest upward transfer of wealth in history.

She conceived of the idea for Out of Lockstep in January 2022 during the process of packing to


move to South Dakota for freedom and reflecting on everything that had led up to that decision.


Samples of Work