Tuesday, April 20, 2010

100 Heads for Haiti

This is a piece I created for the 100 Heads for Haiti exhibition, a benefit sponsored by fellow illustrator Dave Plunkert. 100 illustrators were invited to create an original piece of art, with the proceeds from all sales going to the Doctors Without Borders relief effort in Haiti.

The April 8th opening, at Spur Gallery in Baltimore, was packed with a crowd of illustration lovers taking in the 100 Heads neatly lining the walls (photos below). By evening's end, brisk sales had left the walls nearly empty. Also for sale at the opening were posters featuring all 100 heads, which are also available online.

While it wasn't a requirement, I wanted my artwork to reflect the situation in Haiti, and I wanted to focus on the resilience of people when faced with tragedy. With one leaf forming the eye, a connection is made between the victim's outlook and the possibilities of regeneration and growth.

The "red" version was my original vision of the artwork, with all of the energy and emotional connotations that attach to red. But for the 100 Heads for Haiti show, the head needed to be floating on white, to work with the poster design. In fact, that, and size, were about the only requirements. So the piece that hung in the show is the one you see at right. Even more of the background was removed for the poster.

It was tremendously gratifying to be able to use my artwork in a way that benefitted others. And it was an honor to be included in a group show with these illustrators — an amazing range of styles and experience.

This piece was a last-minute submission to the Illustrators Club of Washington, Maryland and Virginia's biannual juried exhibition. As luck would have it, it won Best of Show. The show's jurors were illustrators Greg Manchess, Chris Payne, Jack Unruh and Keith Kasnot, and designers Chris Sloan, Mary K. Baumann and Will Hopkins.

The Illustrators Club of Washington, Maryland and Virginia is the third largest illustrators organization in the country, behind the Society of Illustrators (NYC) and Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles. The show opens May 13th, 6-8:30 pm, at the Edison Place Gallery in Washington, DC.

Here are some pictures from the 100 Heads for Haiti opening:

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