Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Dedication, Unveiling and 'SERVICE' Poster

The unveiling and dedication of the mural was a tremendous success! For those unable to attend, it was standing room only and had all the trapping of a media event complete with television coverage. The School of Government Dean, Michael Smith, and the President of the Local Government Federal Credit Union (LGFCU), Maurice Smith, made some memorable comments before I got up and embarrassed myself with my inane comments. I do not function well in large crowds and from the moment I stepped up to the podium my mind went blank and I completely forgot to thank everyone except Juan Logan, the UNC art professor who recommended my for the gig. I had promised to load some pictures from the event but forgot to bring my camera (left it in the car). Even so, I was too busy thanking everyone. However, the SOG had an official photographer there and he promised to send the images on a disc. I will load a few of the pics as soon as I get them. 

I had an opportunity to meet a few members of the LGFCU Board of Directors and thanked them for their involvement. I also had quite the entourage of friends and family that travelled from as far away as the Bahamas. Thank you for your support. 

The LGFCU handed out commemorative posters and the SOG provided color menus that disappeared quickly. I took one of the images that was shot by Rick Rhodes and produced a few posters for Maurice Smith, the staff at the SOG and family and friends. A few people saw them and asked about purchasing them so here they are. If anyone wants one - there are two sizes and they can be purchased on my website. I will sign each. Select each image to get a larger view and hit the 'PURCHASE' link to got to my website. 

18" x 24"
20" x 30"

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Really cool idea

I just ran across a really cool feature on the School of Government's website. They have all of the biographical information contained on the menus loaded onto their site along with composites of the individual panels. You can also download a hi-res stitched image of the entire mural. Ann Simpson mentioned they would be posting the info but I had no idea it would be up so soon. They are really on top of things!

Click here to view the home page and explore, explore, explore!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Time to get back to work...

Now that the family reunion is over its time to get out the water and get back to work. I have an upcoming exhibition at Benedict College (Columbia, SC) and have started making a list of some new works to show. I heading up there to measure the gallery and take a look around sometime in the next couple of weeks. I still have no idea what angle I'm going to take on this exhibit - Tyrone Geter, the gallery director, has pretty much given me an open slate (which is rare for a Curator), nonetheless, I'll see what I can do to find some specifics in the coming weeks. No one likes an unfocused exhibition, least of all, me. Unlike most artists, I don't paint that often since I rarely get invited to exhibitions. I keep a list of completed paintings in my head and when asked, commit as many to canvas as needed. So that's what I'll be doing in the coming weeks, making selections and rendering a few for the exhibition.

From early indications, the mural dedication will be a crowded affair. I am blessed in that my family and friends are extremely supportive so I will have an entourage. They're more excited about this than I am. It's not that I'm not excited, but being the focus of attention is not my thing. I'll be very happy when this is over. To be totally honest with you, I'm more exited for the School of Government. This is something they have been working on for a long time and I'm happy that they can finally share their vision with their  constituents. I'll take my camera along and will post images from the unveiling on Tuesday.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Gone, Baby, Gone

I walked my child down the aisle today and gave her away. She now belongs to another but will always remain mine. The lighting system they installed is phenomenal and really brings the piece to life by washing it with daylight. The installation process was a bit tedious, but after squaring up the piece and smoothing out the puckers, the framing went smoothly, if not slowly. The weird thing is that the painting looks much larger than it did in the studio. Though large, it fits the space nicely without overwhelming it. The staff at the SOG will have an opportunity view the piece before they cover it for the public unveiling. As for me, I shall sleep the sleep of the dead, wake up, watch the world cup final, eat, then sleep some more until Monday when I'll go and clean out the studio. (Sigh)

Much thanks to Random Gott for all his expertise and help with the installation!

As for my friend Kory who made the trip with me - I fear only a slice of carrot cake from the Nantucket Grill will revive him after such a long day.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Photo's and Menu's

The great Charleston arts photographer Rick Rhodes came by the other day and did a masterful photo shoot of the entire painting. I viewed some of the images earlier today and the man makes me look like I know what I am doing. I sent the images to the SOG so they can stitch together the panels for a commemorative poster that will be printed by the fine folks at the Local Government Federal Credit Union and handed out at the unveiling - so if you want one, you have to be there on July 26.

Rick Rhodes and his intern, Franklin

I also finished designing the menu's that will be placed in holders on either side of the painting. They are 2-sided 11" x 17"roadmaps of sorts to the painting and contain biographical and historical info on the subjects and the scenes in the backgrounds. Viewers will be able to keep them.
Front of menu

Tomorrow will be a busy day. I'll be packing up everything and getting ready to travel to Chapel Hill and install the painting on Saturday. I can't believe this journey is nearly at an end. As always, I will post the before and after pics on Sunday.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

International Civil Rights Museum

I travelled to Greensboro, NC last Wednesday to have a meeting with Ann Simpson from UNC's School of Government and two members of the Weaver Foundation, Shirley Frye and Richard Moore. The purpose of the get together was to solicit their support for the unveiling of the painting and see how we could collaborate and use the event to create greater exposure for the International Civil Rights Center & Museum and vice versa. They were incredibly receptive to the idea, so much so that Richard started ripping off a slew of ideas off the top of his head so fast than Ann could scarcely write them down. Pending coordination, there may be a chance that they could transport an actual section of the original lunch counter along with seats for the unveiling (that would be an amazing coup). We would place flyers about the museum next to the biographical menu's that viewers will be urged to take when looking at the painting, and they wanted to sell posters of the painting at their store in Greensboro as well as possibly loan out the painting and place it on display at the Museum. That would be difficult due the size of the piece (it is a unsegmented 50' painting). We decided that after the photographer comes in on Tuesday to shoot the piece that we could have it digitally reproduced and stretched in segments for display and possible touring. He also mentioned developing educational material around the piece since the Museum hosts many school kids. I'm telling you, the ideas were flowing. Ms. Frye remarked that she liked the concept of making the Greensboro 4 chefs in the diner (to which I breathed a huge sigh of relief!). Life would have been easier for me if I had jumped out the third floor window head first had she said that she thought my take on the event disrespectful in any way. 

Shirley Frye                                                                      Richard Moore
Afterwards, Ann and I went to the Museum and met with the Executive Director, Bamidele Demerson, an equally gracious man who had a few ideas of his own, after which, he personally gave us a tour of the facilities. Needless to say, the experience was moving and we were duly impressed with everything we saw and heard. I urge everyone to make it a point to see the facilities. The next time I am there, I will make it a point to travel to the NCA&T campus to see the sculpture of the Greensboro Four. 

Bamidele Demerson

International Civil Rights Center & Museum, Greensboro, NC

For more information on the museum and to schedule a tour, click here: