About the Site

Tom Joad Was Here is a self-initiated street art project by a Denver, Colorado-based artist and graphic designer. The current state of our economy is in a severe crisis and is beginning to resemble the Great Depression of the 1930’s. The purpose of this project is to spread awareness of the financial crisis by using various forms of visual communication and self-expression.

You are apart of this project! Users can submit posters based on this economic crisis to info@tomjoadwashere.com. The only requirement is that the posters must relate to our economy, the chosen posters will be posted on this site. The "Best of Show" poster will receive a $50 (usd) prize. Everyone will have access to download the posters as a pdf format via this site so they can paste, post, distribute, use them as desktop backgrounds, etc. More details can be viewed here.

Also a special thanks to Shepard Fairly, the street artist who was one of the inspirations for this project. (If you didn't put 2+2 together yet, "Obey your MasterCard" is a shout-out to Shepard's work)

Who is Tom Joad?


Tom Joad is the protagonist in Grapes of Wrath, which is a novel published in 1939 and written by John Steinbeck, who was awarded the Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize for Literature for this novel. In the story, the Joad family suffers greatly from the Dust Bowl in Oklahoma and as a result, the family had to default on their loans. With their farm repossessed, the Joad’s seek solace and try to find hope by traveling to California for work, but only to seem to find more troubles and heartache. Ironically, the last decade has a lot of similarities to the Roaring 20’s...living a lavish lifestyle on credit, and banks giving out loans to those who can’t afford them. It is sad that America can’t seem to grasp the concept of learning form past mistakes, and always seems to stumble on its Achilles heel...greed, the real American dream.

Resources & Links

Legal Notice


Please be aware that Tom Joad Was Here is not responsible for any individual’s actions. Street art or graffiti on private property is against the law. A simple way to avoid this issue is also sometimes the most effective. For example putting up posters on designated areas, such as campus bulletin kiosks, or on telephone poles much like a lost dog or garage sale posters.