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The Rat Gallery

Copywriter | Immersive Exhibition + Campaign (Spec)
As much as New Yorkers hate rats, they serve as an iconic role in the urban landscape—especially as a symbol of labor activism.
We'll partner with the NYC Central Labor Council to reclaim the rat as a city and labor
 icon through an immersive exhibition.  

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Let's face it. This city is obsessed with rats.
Ah, rats. You dirty rat. Scabby the Rat. Subway rat. Pizza Rat. Pigeons as flying rats. Rat Race. Rat Czar.
Even N
ew York City Sanitation Commissioner Jessica Tisch seems to have rodents on the mind. 


Humans share 99% of genes with rats. New Yorkers may share more.

Rats are resilient, intelligent, and tough-as-hell. They aren’t bothered by a little cold or a little grime. They aren’t afraid to get in your face if you cross them. And they're willing to carry a greasy slice through the subway in the middle of the night. Sound familiar?


Scabby the Rat says, "Viva la Rodent Résistance." 

The iconic protest tool's led New Yorkers through many successful union fights. But in 2017, National Labor Relations Board counsel, tried banning Scabby, calling it too “confrontational.” Guilty. Get between a New Yorker and our labor rights, and we aren’t backing down.

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Let's reclaim the rat——as an NYC icon and agent for labor change. 

Using the already popular protest tool, Scabby the Rat, we'll collaborate with the NYC Central Labor Council to create an immersive gallery that critiques exploitative companies and encourages New Yorkers to embrace our furry residents like Scabby.

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Art and Rat are anagrams. Coincidence?

As guests enter the exhibit, they are faced with our Community Nest: a tunnel collaged with artwork by union members. 

Not to mention a Ratty the Riverter portrait. 

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E Plurbus Rodente Unum 

Interactive mouse traps, dynamic rat signals, and golden cheese wheels critique NYC corporations guilty of union busting. With union reps available to answer questions, guests are invited to join the movement, while nibbling off of a complimentary gouda board.

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Pictures with NYC Royalty 

Interactive Guests end their experience with photo opps with the Rat Czar, City Ballet’s Rat King, and, of course, Pizza Rat.

Is that a real rat fur coat? Can I wear that rat fur coat? Yes, it is. And, yes, you can. 

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Rat Hats and Rat Races

Revenue from the exhibit and merchandise would go to the NYC Central Labor Council supporting local city unions.

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The Team
Alec Zbornak (Concept Development, Copywriter)
Andy Zhao (Art Directio
Nora Massie (NYC Labor Activist)

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