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Thank you Pratt Institute!

Thank you Pratt Institute and president of Pratt, Thomas F. Schutte for presenting me with this honorary doctorate. I’m humbled and appreciative of this distinction especially from President Schutte who is also the former president of my alma matter, RISD. Thanks to everyone for their support! – Shepard

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PAY UP OR SHUT UP

We must fight the greed of the powerful and restore the basic fairness of our society and our democracy. The most crucial step in fighting against political corruption and forcing politicians to get back to creating the greatest good for the greatest number of people is to reform our current campaign finance structure. This piece is specifically making fun of the idea pushed by Citizens United that money is speech, but following that logic that means that the only speech listened to is the speech with big money behind it. Proceeds from the “Pay Up or Shut Up” print will go to two organizations who are fighting for campaign finance reform, they are Rootstrikers.org and Represent.US. Represent.US created this excellent video depicting the problem of money in politics. This issue affects all of us, including YOU! Inform yourself. Thank you as always for caring.
– Shepard


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Artists For Freedom

Philippe Vergne from MOCA asked me if I would be willing to work on not only the graphic design identity system for the MOCA/Sotheby’s Spring auction, but to also create a fine art piece for the auction that relates to the design for the auction itself. I was excited to explore this concept because we live in a culture of compartmentalization but I believe that things are far more fluid between the fine art and design worlds than many gatekeepers are willing to acknowledge. Of course all of this was in service of an institution I believe does a lot for artists and should be supported by artists. This led to the concept of symbiotic support and creative freedom for the institution and the artists themselves facilitated by this symbiosis. My screen print is based on the painting I created for the auction, once again playing into the concept by yielding a more graphic version of a fine art piece but with a clear relationship to it and a lower price tag. I’m a populist so all of this works for me, hope it does for you.
– Shepard

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Book Signing with John Densmore from The Doors in LA

John Densmore, former drummer for The Doors will be at Mr Musichead Gallery signing copies of his book Unhinged: Jim Morrison’s Legacy Goes on Trial on Saturday, May 16th from 7-9pm.  If you’re in the LA area, be sure to check it out.  Books will be available for purchase and signing.  Also available are the “Occupy Joe Strummer” poster that Shepard created and signed with Densmore.  Check it out!

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SABER Limited Serigraph Release | TOOLS OF DISSENT

Saber, who happens to be featured right now in our gallery Subliminal Projects for the show SURFACE: Portraits of Street Artists by photographer Søren Solkær, is a longtime friend and the graffiti artist behind the world’s largest-ever graffiti piece on the bank of the LA River (read more about it in Art Now SF). He has a very cool print called “Tool of Dissent” available. Check it out.

-Shepard

SABER Limited Serigraph Release!
“TOOL OF DISSENT”…..

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SUpport Halsey x 24 hour day of giving!

One of the highlights of 2014 for me was my show at the Halsey Institute in my hometown of Charleston, S.C. The Halsey has supported my career from the very beginning and it was an honor to show with them alongside one of my all-time favorite artists, Jasper Johns. Low Country Giving Day is Tuesday May 5th, a 24-hour day of giving to raise money for local nonprofits and community based organizations. Let’s help Halsey meet their goal and continue to support the arts! Find out more and show your support HERE. Thanks for caring!

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Manifest: Justice is here!

REMINDER: Be sure to check out the Manifest: Justice pop-up exhibit! It’s only running for 10 days and there’s a lot to see from a lot of talented artists!

From the organizers:

MANIFEST:JUSTICE is a creative response and community convening surrounding the conversations happening around dinner tables nation wide – conversations about race, justice, bias, representation, safety/security and systematic disenfranchisement.

Over the 10 days our 16,000 sq foot pop-up exhibition is open, we will convene over 30 events/programs including a Congressional Forum (as in CSPAN), Roger G. Smith performing his one man play “Rodney King”, an interview with Sybrina Fulton (Trayvon Martin’s mother) and a Prop 47 record change day (people will come in with felonies and leave without them.) And thats just the tip of the iceberg. The full calendar of events is available HERE!

Open to the public May 2 – 10.

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Pratt Institute x Honorary doctorate

In high school I told my dad I would pursue being an artist because I could never be like him and be a doctor. Well, it turns out only part of that was true since Pratt Institute has deemed me worthy of an honorary doctorate. I’m incredibly honored because Pratt is one of the most prestigious art schools in the world and I have friends like street artist Swoon, designer and illustrator Eric Elms, and heroes like Daniel Clowes and Stefan Sagmeister who attended the school. I’m also honored to be in the company of other amazing honorary degree recipients like punk poet Patti Smith and provocateur Ai Weiwei. I’ll have to think of some meaningful ways to express my artistic philosophy and gratitude for an honor of this magnitude. -Shepard

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Cornel West facing attacks on free speech

Cornel West has been facing attacks recently, including an attempt to block him from speaking at UCLA, because of his criticism of Israel’s policies in Palestine. I stand with Cornel West. I support his right to call out human rights violations and injustice by the Israeli military in Palestine, just as I support anyone’s right to call out injustice on the part of militant groups or the U.S. government. Injustice is injustice, no matter how it is packaged and I admire Cornel West’s courage to pursue justice regardless of the backlash he will endure. I have spent time with Dr. West and even in more candid moments he is outspoken in his quest to shield the powerless from the transgressions of the powerful. His compassion is not biased based on religion, culture or race, which may be the reason those who are usually shielded from criticism take offense at his commentary. We live in a society that claims to protect and value free speech and rigorous discourse. Let’s encourage, not punish, the voices who have the courage to stand up for an idea that may be unwelcome by some… progress has always been catalyzed by such voices.

-Shepard

Click HERE to read a recent LA Times article on the situation at UCLA

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Stop Police brutality / free ACLU mobile justice App!

Empower yourself and help fight police brutality. Download the FREE Mobile Justice app courtesy of ACLU of California​!

As someone who’s had to deal with police brutality, I’m all for this initiative. I think that police oversight is very important because even though I think most police are doing the best they can at a challenging job the people who are abusive need to be held accountable and weeded out. – Shepard

Empowered by the ACLU of California, MOBILE JUSTICE CA is a free mobile application available on Android and iOS!

Communities across the U.S. continue to suffer from over-policing, racial profiling and excessive use of force. MOBILE JUSTICE CA app will be one way we can put a check on law enforcement misconduct. With this app you can:

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