Manifest Hope: DC opened tonight in Georgetown. The show was sponsored by MoveOn.org, SEIU, and Obey and supported by Irvine Contemporary Gallery and several other organizations (complete list can be found at the Manifest Hope: DC website.
Kudos go to Martin Irvine and Lauren from Irvine Contemporary who brought order to chaos (fun chaos but chaos nonetheless) from handling the invitations to the event, conducting the art sales and assisting Yosi Sergant in setting up the event. Martin Irvine hosted an event last week at the Gallery hosted where Yosi Sergant spoke about the Manifest Hope: DC and the effect that artist can make for the causes they believe in.
Location. The show is held at a storefront at 3333 M Street NW, Washington DC from 17-20
January. Artists were invited to submit work which fit into one of three themes: Health care reform, worker’s rights, and the green economy. The art ranged from absolute genius to some very avant garde pieces which people really put their hearts into.
So what was it like? Picture a large store, a very large two level store with white walls and floors. Now add people, lots and lots of people. Mix in some great music with a kickass sound system and great music (last time I felt bass like that hitting me was at a Pink Floyd concert in Mannheim Germany).
While I do not want to write a post about Shepard Fairey (I’ve written about him here, here and here) his influence at this event was inescapable. Many of the artists riffed off of his now iconic portrait of President Elect Obama.
As you walk into the door, there is a stage on your right with a large manifest hope collage on stage. Once the presentations were over, we were told we were welcome to step onstage and take our pictures with the collage. It was also interesting to see other street artists such as Ron English and Sam Flores who had works in the show.
The prices for the artwork was wildly divergent. I saw prices from $50. to $18,000 (trust me the work was absolutely worth it –it was gorgeous!). Those were the prices for the art which really drew me. I can’t guarantee this was the entire price range. Proceeds from the show (10% of all sales) benefit the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in DC. Students from the school performed during the event and they have some gifted musicians, vocalists and dancers.
A friend of mine snagged a great screenprint titled U.S. HealthCare Just iLL, by Sharee Taylor. I was unable to find out anything about her with a google seach, but I will continue looking and add what I can find.
Obama=Lincoln was a recurring theme to the show. Sometimes this was done quite well and sometimes it fell a bit flat. I felt no one handled it as deftly as Ron English. Ron had two fantastic prints in the show both casting Obama as Lincoln. They were beautiful and I honestly felt they were an incredible bargain.
I fell in love with two works by local artists, Scotlund Haisley and Michael Gibbs. Michael’s print American Worker is a brilliant piece of design. The image and colors were so captivating I kept going back to it. The print for sale was #1 of 50 and I want it very much.
There was a great triptych that you just see in the crowd picture. It consists of portraits of Ghandi, the Dali Lama, and Dr. Martin Luther King titled Watching, Hoping, and Dreaming (respectively). There was also an amazing etch-a-sketch portrait of President Elect Obama that was phenomenal. Of course with my luck I’d buy it and find a neighbor’s kid shaking it so they could play with it. Hopefully who ever buys it will keep it displayed out of harms way.
My purchase for this evening was modest, I purchased one of the signed street posters of President Elect Obama. I guess I am greedy since I do have a larger one (gift from a good friend who attended the Convention in Denver) but it’s unsigned. I guess we all want a piece of history.
It’s very late and I want to post this so I’ll say goodnight…night!