Artist Michael Anthony Brown says he'll show
his atonement through his art.
"This is my special way of participating
in the Million Man March on Washington, D.C., (on) Monday," Brown
said by phone from his art studio, Cultural Circles, in northwest
Washington, DC Brown has been tapped to produce the commemorative
poster for the march, which is designed to get the attention of
the president, Congress and the nation.
And he has selected Peoria -- specifically Expansion
Art Gallery, 134 SW Adams St., Suite 190 -- as the site of first
distribution for about 9,000 prints of the poster. Signed and
unsigned prints will be offered.
"They came to me because some organizers
of the march were familiar with my work," said Brown, who is nationally
recognized for his piece, "Stars and Stripes. " The poster is
based on that work.
poster by artist Michael Anthony Brown commemorates the Million
Man March on Washington, DC, which takes place Monday. Peoria's
Expansion Art Gallery is the site of first distribution for about
9,000 prints of the poster.
and Stripes" is based on an authentic photograph of a slave
named Gordon, taken by a team of Civil War photographers and published
in Harper's Weekly 1864 edition, Brown said.
"The image is striking and has left a
lasting impression on me," he said.
The Washington, DC, native took whip marks from
the photograph and assembled them in the shape of the U.S. flag.
The artist places his limited- edition work
in the forefront of a backdrop of hundreds of black men converging
on the capital mall between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln
"I restructured the face from `Stars and
Stripes' to represent the spectrum of black men that the march
represents," Brown said.
Brown said he did not want to upset the integrity
of his original work.
"I wanted to display a real and surrealism
of black men from the Civil War era to the present," said Brown,
who is a graduate of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts and
the Maryland Institute of College of Arts.
Sean and Tina Means, owners of the Peoria art
gallery, report sales of the prints have been brisk so far. "We're
pleased to have been selected as the first distributors of the
print," said Tina Means as she sold two copies to a patron moments
after their arrival on Thursday.
"Michael could have chosen Baltimore,
New York, Chicago or Los Angeles to make his debut, but he chose
us because we believe strongly in his work," Tina Means said.
The gallery is planning
a display of Brown's works Nov. 10-11.
"He will be available to answer questions
from the public," she said.
His works have been shown
and featured in Manchester, England, the Baltimore Museum of Art,
The National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta, the Artist Salute
to Black History in Los Angeles, the American embassies in Kenya,
France, Canada and the New York Art Expo. He has also exhibit
in Brazil and Haiti.
"I try to display black men in their daily
heroic majesty which is simply being men," Brown said.
Reprinted with permission, Peoria Journal Star.
Oct. 15, 1995