Million Man' posters available here!

by CHRISTOPHER R. WILLIAMS

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.

This 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.

"Stars 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 Memorial.

"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

To order this print send check or money order payable to:
Cultural Circles 1424 Belmont Street, NW Washington, DC 20009
or call: Phone:(202) 667-4324 Fax:(202) 667-4320
or Email: BlackArt@erols.com
(Please add $8.00 to your total order for shipping and Handling)
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