Monday, March 14, 2011

Manifest Equality "We believe in Full & Equal Rights for all Americans with no exceptions."

Meet the Artist : Harvey Pekar :
Why have you chosen to participate in Manifest Equality?
When I heard about this exhibit from my Pekar Project editor Jeff Newelt, I knew right away I wanted to capture my experience of the moment of March 4th, 1970 as a large scale painting, not a comic. It's called "American Splendor: Kent State Shootings Demonstration" and Tara Seibel did a terrific job capturing my memory.
Describe a bit about your submission to the gallery or the creative process you are putting into it.
In 1970, I was working near Case Western Reserve University when the Kent State shootings happened. My bosses were liberal with me, and I had some break time, so I went out to join in the demonstration at Case Western. I went out and there were mobs of people, and they were marching and chanting "Join us! Join us!" So I joined them. i never forgot that and this painting is a perfect way to remember that moment.
What else do you want to manifest?
I don't know what kind of power I have to influence, but through my writing I'd like to bring the world a little closer to peace and equality.
:: You can read Harvey's newest autobiographical comics on the Pekar Project at SMITH Magazine. You can watch Paul Giamatti play Harvey and Harvey play himself in the Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winning film version of his life and work: American Splendor. ::

Meet the Artist: Tara Seibel :
Why have you chosen to participate in Manifest Equality?
The spirit and art created during the Manifest Hope Campaign was drop-dead gorgeous. I'm thrilled to be a part of this on-going quest to bring hope, new possibilities and change to our country through artistic and collaborative endeavors.
Describe a bit about your submission to the gallery or the creative process you are putting into it?
Harvey Pekar and I are working on a piece entitled "American Splendor: Kent State Shootings Demonstration." It's an original large scale painting based on a memory of Harvey's from May 4th, 1970 -- during the day of the Kent State shootings.
Essentially, I will be painting an American Splendor moment on canvas instead of drawing a comic based on his life, like I do for The Pekar Project webcomics series. I'm not sure if that's even been done before.
For the gallery show we did in Cleveland for Harvey's 70th Birthday, I adapted an illustration of Duke Ellington that ran on The Pekar Project into a painting [see above], and did some paintings of Harvey, but this is our first collaboration on a painting. The subject is emotional with not much dialogue. It's about people coming together. I also have an image in my mind for a solo piece as well, we'll see if time permits.
What else would you like to manifest?
Same-sex married couples can adopt unwanted or orphaned children in need of families.. hello?
I would like to see more self-sufficiency through urban homesteading; for example, composting, using rain water, turning your front lawn into a vegetable garden etc.
It would also be nice if we could wipe the stigma off mental illness in this country.

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