Sunday, April 12, 2015


This past month I created this poster as part of the Dialogues: Poster Art of the Soviet Union Show at the City Gallery at San Diego City College. Rare historical Soviet posters from the period of Perestroika and Glasnost were featured alongside contemporary posters with political, social or arts themes and a Russian twist. 

My poster was about the potential of the arts to promote peace and social change. To craft a culture of peace you have to first imagine it. Artists around the world and throughout history have given voice to that ideal. A sharp pencil can be a powerful weapon to communicate the pathos of war.  I’m greatly inspired by folk arts, many of which are living traditions. Birds are a common theme in Russian folklore and this region has a particular gift for storytelling. The folkloric pattern inside the bird represents a diverse patchwork of beliefs and opinions. The colors tip their hat to Russian Constructivism. When creating this poster, the recent peace agreement and conflict between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists was on my mind and in the news. The two leaves symbolize differing points of view with the pencil of the artist providing a stable perch for the idea of peace to take hold. 

You can purchase a high quality, 20 by 26 giclee poster for $65 with all funds going to the Doyald Young Reading Room. I am such a believer in books and this design and illustration library at City College is open to students and the community. I'm supporting this effort as this reading room is a great place for aspiring illustrators to find their way.

Dancers in historical costumes performed barefoot in the gallery at the opening. Photo by Edward Honaker

Photo by David Eichinger

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