Liberatchik

Daily Drawings February 1-7

The main image for this post is the base layer for a new series I am working on for the upcoming ReHatched Market at the Gainesville Chicken Festival. I am using book pages from salvaged pulp fiction to create a series of bird themed art. Each piece will start with a line drawing on a book page. Additional layers and mixed media will be applied as inspiration dictates.

 

BE Banner

 

This bald eagle and banner is an artistic rendering of a metal bas-relief in a local historic district. I am planning to use this design on a series of tavern-style signs, as well as in the Book Pages series.

BE Sketch

 

This is the preliminary sketch for the featured image in this post. It is a simple line drawing of a bald eagle. My main focus here was catching the spirit of the bird and conveying the strength and integrity it embodies as our national symbol.
Though there are a couple of minor issues in scale and anatomy, it’s a pretty solid sketch. I will use it for graphics and the base image of future paintings.

 

 

Let’s Talk Solutions

I recently read an article shared with me by a friend about the transition of the office of President to that of pop-culture celebrity. Please read the article first, so you can fully understand my response below.

Let’s Talk Solutions

Time and time again, I read articles about the problem with culture and politics; with little or no discussion of solutions. Though this piece alludes to the necessity of getting involved in the culture, it falls short of saying how or why.

I was so excited and optimistic about our ability, on the right, to address culture when I first attended CPAC in 2011. After the first day, I was disappointed by the myopic view of the majority of people being given a voice at the event; and their petty determination to be the sole arbiters of culture. You can read more about that in my article “What I Learned at CPAC“.

When I had a second opportunity to attend the event in 2013, I thought, surely people are starting to realize how vital culture is to controlling the narrative. Conservatives quote Andrew Breitbart all the time, after all. Nope. I was told I’m too confrontational and aggressive. I was shunned because I don’t fit the mold. This, by the way, is why we fail with our youth. We need to stop trying to cram them into a pair of khakis and a blue blazer, and listen to what they have to say.

Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, let’s get back on point. Do we need a pop-culture president? No. Do we have one? Yes. The precedent has been set, and we can cry about it, or we can do something about it. Does that mean we need a glitzy campaign in 2016? No. It means we need to use the culture to spread ideology, move people’s hearts, and impact the national perspective.

Let’s have a serious conversation on the impact of culture on mainstream ideas and political progress. Let’s stop complaining about the Hope poster by Shephard Fairey, and have a serious discussion of why it was affective and how we can utilize such means to promote smaller government and individual liberty.

The first step requires honesty on our part. Do we truly want smaller government, less spending and self-reliance? If we’re going to be honest, we’d have to accept that most of the people in D.C. are not truly interested in these concepts, much less acting upon them. It’s time for an ideological house-cleaning. I don’t mean personal attacks and infighting. I mean silence. Stop giving support to those who don’t share our goals. Work with those who do. Promote their ideas and records. What we don’t say is just as important as what we do say. I’m not demanding lock-step adherence to dogma. I’m saying figure out where you have common ground and work together on those issues with each group, candidate, individual. We should’t be demanding talking points, we should be taking back our culture and our country.

How do we shift from a presidential popularity contest, to the concept of conducting a job interview? We find ways to illustrate and promote the proper role of the Presidency. Diplomacy and statesmanship. Legislative record. Real-world experience. Connection to and understanding of the American people. Take the candidates off their Ivy-League pedestals. Make them dust off the glamour of Martha’s Vinyard and the Lobbyist’s boardrooms. Demand principle in action.

Simultaneously, we need to create work that inspires civic engagement. We need to teach people America’s history through images and entertainment. We need to revitalize national pride and dignity. We need to inspire people to take back our country and raise their voices for tomorrow’s generations. We need to give them reasons to believe in America and reasons to hope.

#TakeBackOurCulture
#IgnoreTheEstablishment
#SupportTheArtYouWant
#BeTheSolution

My Mission to #TakeBackOurCulture

I didn’t realize it at the time, but over a decade ago, I was laying the foundation for a movement to #TakeBackOurCulture. For years, I had been struggling with the desire to create art that would sell and painting things that I found inspiring or meaningful. My passion and inspiration took me in the direction of meaningful work, but the more involved I became in the art community, the more I realized that, as a libertarian, I was an outsider.

Two articles by my partner at Liberatchik describe the way I was treated, time and time again, when it became obvious to my peers that I did not share their social and political views.

Stunning piece: Ten Reasons Why I Am No Longer a Leftist
The Top Three Reasons Why Liberals Hate Conservatives

Over six years ago, Christopher found me, compliments of the internet, and asked me to help him find other artists who were going through the same things and help him build a community where all of us could show and discuss our art and ideas. We have gone through many metamorphoses over the years and grown exponentially. Today, there are over 40 artists working with us in some capacity, though all do not share their art in our public forums. 

Below is my artist statement, which hasn’t changed all that much over the years. I look forward to the day when I can work in my studio or write, as the mood strikes me, without the need to fight for equal representation in the arts and culture or open-mindedness and honesty from the cultural elite.

Artist Statement:

In our current political climate, a new vanguard of artists are beginning to raise their voices through works depicting previously unexpressed (at least openly) conservative political views. As an individual expression, political art is a powerful tool for political activism, and arguably crucial to fomenting political change. Propaganda techniques are indispensable. Whether or not you agree with the artist whose work you are viewing, you should be able to respect their right to free speech.
As artists, I believe we have a duty and responsibility to put forth opposing points of view to that of the establishment, whomever they may be. We need to combat lies and misrepresentations with verifiable facts and expose the treachery of blindly following ‘approved’ ideas and agendas. It is time that those of us who still hold the individual supreme stand up and make our voices heard. We now face a turning point in the history of America, where we can succumb to the whims of the State and willingly accept bondage, or lead the way to a Liberty Revolution with the purpose of restoring America to a Constitutional Republic. Mrs. Pelosi once sneered, in a statement meant to squash open dialogue, “Are you serious?”; I say “Yes Ma’am, I Am”.
As libertarians and conservatives, what should we be promoting through our art? Self-reliance, personal responsibility, a return to the principles of individual liberty and limited government. Freedom over tyranny. Reverence for beauty in reality and imagination, and the use of ugliness sparingly, as a means to illustrate a point, not an end goal.
We must define our principles clearly, then promote them effectively and repeatedly in ways that are quickly and easily understood. We have the ability to make a lasting and significant impact in this war of ideas, if only we can find the nerve and the strength to oppose the status quo.
Art, regardless of genre, has the ability to reduce complex concepts to easily grasped ideas, raise people and ideas to the status of icons, and reach wide audiences through a variety of means. It is my goal, through my personal art, to promote the ideas of Liberty and individual integrity. I believe that America is a great country and patriotism should not be a stigma. There is nothing selfish in taking pride in one’s accomplishments. I hope that America will one day return to a truly free nation, because it has not been so in my lifetime. I want to leave America better than I found it. My art is my tool for shaping that future.

Machine Politick: Art by Category

Editorial Work

Art Community

Illustrating the Constitution

Liberty

Murals and Public Art Projects

Political Figures

The American Crow Series

Writing

Creative Conservative Action Tools

#TakeBackOurCulture

Liberatchik

Physical Location

Libertas Americana

 

Folk to Fine Art is on it’s Way!

Libertas Americana

It’s that time of year again! The annual Folk to Fine Arts Festival in Commerce, Georgia is coming up the first weekend in March. I will be returning as a vendor with the work I have been creating under the name Libertas Americana.
In addition, I will have work by several regional artists and a few members of Liberatchik. This is a great opportunity for me to discuss art and culture with members of my community while introducing them to fine art by conservatives and libertarians from across the country.

If you have been following me for a while, you know I am new to the Folk Art scene. It’s a big deal, and I am becoming more open-minded about the genre than I once was. I have even started to work in a more simplified style in order to appeal to the existing market. Check out my Libertas Americana and Americana/Patriotica links for examples.

 

Here is my review of last year’s festival. Please consider making time in your schedule to come out and see what we have to offer. The venue alone is worth the drive. Additional events are also being organized outside the venue to generate interest in our community.

2015 Press Release

Two years ago, my family and I had a dream of moving to the country and getting a farm. Well, we didn’t get the farm, but we did move to the country; and this is how it happened.

We have been driving up to Commerce for fifteen years now, to attend family reunions. The small-town charm has always appealed to us, so when we heard about the Folk to Fine Arts Festival in the midst of house hunting, we made a trip up to check it out. As an artist, I was hoping to see what the art community looked like. 
Driving into Commerce is a little like going back in time, and it is that slower pace that has always made us enjoy our visits. 
When you pull off the interstate there’s a beautiful, rusty, old water tower across from a quaint country church. A little further on, the railroad track begins to parallel the main road which opens up into a traditional Main Street with shops on either side. Most of the architecture is original and has that unmistakable aura of a small community and historic charm.

The Civic Center, which hosts the festival, is in an old denim factory that has undergone minimum renovations and retains much of it’s original charm – and it is a sight to be seen. The festival has grown by leaps and bounds each of it’s 4 years, and, with over 70 regional artists it has a little bit of everything for everyone.
My experience at the festival itself was quite different than I had expected. I am used to the Atlanta art scene, so the friendly atmosphere and vibrant personalities of the artists was unexpected. The majority of people here are just nice. They want to know about you and where you come from. If you pass muster, they want to know what makes you tick. Suddenly, you’re a part of the ‘community family’ and folks are helping you out. Many of the vendors know one another from the festival circuit and they come in shouting hellos and sharing stories. There’s a sense of belonging and community spirit here. This atmosphere also extends beyond the festival into the community of Commerce itself. 

Upon entering, I found myself surrounded by brightly painted gourds(chickens of course, that I wanted to buy up and take home), eclectic jewelry, face jugs, story quilts, metal art and a wide variety of folk and fine art paintings. I suddenly felt a sense of belonging I had never felt in the Atlanta art community. Perhaps, as my husband often says, I need more whimsy – and I found it at the annual Folk to Fine Art Festival in Commerce, Georgia.

Festival Details

Friday, March 6th Meet the Artists Reception
6-9pm $15 includes complimentary drink tickets and weekend re-admission to the festival

Saturday, March 7th Festival is Open
10am – 5pm $7 admission; Children 10 & under are free

Sunday, March 8th Festival is Open
10am – 4pm $7 admission; Children 10 & under are free

Conventional Art Forms as a Tool for an Unconventional Approach to Culture

Kathy Graybill has been one of the most directly inspirational artists I have met over the years. Her beautiful and complex body of work has motivated me to pursue an artistic avenue that I previously thought impractical – hand painted furniture and primitives. I have become familiar with her work over the last year, through a good friend and business partner Claudine at Our Town Antiques in Commerce. This is the store where I opened a mini-gallery over the summer. There are several of Kathy’s pieces in the store and I enjoy the opportunity to admire their artistry and share them with our customers.
This summer, I drove down to Atlanta for the 21st annual Folk Fest. Kathy and her husband were there with a wide array of their painted signs and furniture. Seeing an entire booth of her beautiful work was intimidating and overwhelming – but also inspiring. I can’t even begin to imagine the number of hours invested in the layering of the paints and glazes applied to the pieces.

I think one of the things that most inspires me about Kathy’s art is the heritage it conveys. Her furniture simultaneously gives the viewer a tangible connection to the history and culture of America. Through painstaking attention to detail and exquisite craftsmanship, Kathy and her husband (as well as several other artisans) recreate antique reproductions or repurpose and refinish antique pieces that have not weathered time as well as one might hope. Kathy’s painted furniture motifs have a strong historic aura about them because she has spent many years developing her style and technique.

Below is some information provided by Kathy directly, as well as a link to her web page. Please take the time to visit and share her work with others. If we want to instill a sense of heritage and pride in our country again, we must take a direct cultural approach. Patronizing the work of an artist who lovingly and painstakingly preserves the history, heritage and antiques of America is a wonderful way to support the growing movement to #TakeBackOurCulture.

www.graybills-hiddentreasures.com

Kathy Graybill Interview

Kathy, can you explain for those unfamiliar with some of the styles encompassed by your work, what each entails?

My husband and I do many different styles of painting, on many different mediums. We make our own pieces like the cupboards, chests, shelves, and signs. We also paint on antique boxes, furniture, etc. We do a lot of antique reproduction painting; recreating images on those pieces from the late 1700’s through the late 19th century.
I am a self taught primitive Folk Artist. I hand-draw everything and hand-paint as well, just like the original artists did back then. There are many steps and many layers of paint and finish, and each is hand applied, hand distressed, and antiqued by hand. It’s a lot of work, and it has taken years of doing this to get our look and finish.

Not many artists veer off of what they do or are comfortable doing, and stick to one style or medium. But, what sets us a part, and me in particular ,is the diversity in my work. After doing this for 16 years, and with both Jeff and I doing this for a living as our only source of income, it has been a struggle, a blessing, and many other things. But, we love what we do and do our best every day. This is usually 6-7 days a week.

 

What would you say is the dominant style in which you work?

Folk art is what our work is considered. I paint in a loose, freehand style. Many other artists have told me that they wish they could paint like me; that they are too tight in their work. Folk Art style is something you are born with, it is inside you, and it comes out and is expressed in your work. It really can’t be taught. I love what I do and I hope it shows in my work.

 

Do you upcycle or use existing antiques as a base, or is each piece custom-built before you paint it?

We got our start 16 years ago by painting on antique pieces. These include boxes, chests, cupboards, tables,etc. We make reproductions like cupboards, boxes, chests, shelves and our tavern signs, as well.
Jeff, my husband, is also an antique dealer who deals in period furniture in original paint, accessories, stoneware,etc. We are not painting anything with a great antique value, we use pieces that were “stripped and dipped”, or refinished, which was the craze years ago. They are great pieces, in great condition, with dovetailed joints, turned feet, etc. They’re very nice pieces, but we like to figure that we breath life back into them with the paint and images we put on them. They are then distressed, but not too much, and an antique finish is hand rubbed on. Upcycling, recycling, whatever you want to call it; we are recreating family heirlooms, or Hidden Treasures; hence our business name.

 

What is the inspiration for your folk sculptures?

The Folk sculptures come from our love of antique Folk Art. We collect Antique Folk Art, carvings, and other period pieces like original painted furniture, stoneware, etc. But, with the folk sculptures we make, we try to be creative and do our own versions of Folk Art.
We use antique materials to create them, like antique posts, turnings, bed posts, pieces from furniture, etc. Jeff sometimes adds carving to them ,then we make bases and podiums to put them on. I use real wool for their hair, beards,etc. I make hats from canvas, and hand-paint them.
I am also a rug hooker. But, I like to make 3-d sculptures out of the rug hooking. I start with drawing a pattern of what I want to make, like Uncle Sam holding a flag and riding a pig ,or a life-d Indian. We also incorporate antiques into them like the bases they are mounted on, or an antique bow and arrow for the Indian sculptures. They are really fun pieces that no one else is making, and a real statement and conversation piece for our customers.

Where can people see your work in person?

We have many customers who have become close friends over the years, and many who have furnished their entire homes with our work. We have a good bit of hard-core collectors, some with 100’s of pieces of our work. This is very humbling, as is the work we do for Colonial Williamsburg. We make and paint all the signs sold at all their locations and on their website, as well as boxes,chests, and furniture. We love that our work is carried, sold, and on permanent display at the top Historic Village and Museum in the Country. We have come a long way from doing street festivals and High school Craft shows.
We have designed things for the American Folk Art Museum in New York, and sold through them also, and have been sold through several other Museums as well. We have exhibited for years at all the top shows in the country, like The Wilton Historical Show in Wilton,CT., to the Winterthur Musuem show in Delaware. We show at the Designer Craftsmen Shows of Philadelphia and Boston, and have gone as far west as Cincinnati ,Ohio, and and as far south as Atlanta, Georgia. We used to do 20+ shows a year all over the place. Now we only do 3-4 shows a year, including the Folk Fest in Atlanta, and have a few Open House’s here at our Showroom. We sell off the internet on our website, and through Colonial Williamsburg.

Hidden Treasures Originals by Kathy Graybill

www.graybills-hiddentreasures.com

Kathy Graybill on Liberatchik

Matt Perdie Interview at Smart Girl Summit 2014 in Atlanta

Thanks to the ladies at Smart Girl, and to Matt Perdie, for the opportunity to discuss Liberatchik’s efforts to #TakeBackTheCulture

 

Smart Girl Politics on YouTube

Smart Girl Action

Frances Byrd is the National Director of Liberatchik.com, and a contributing writer at Western Free Press and BlogBytes. Her articles have also been published at Big Hollywood . Mrs. Byrd’s conceptual art and writing can be viewed at MachinePolitick.

Smart Girl Summit 2014

As always, I am in over my head and late to post on current Liberatchik projects. The few weeks since the conference have been a blur of back-to-school shopping, follow-up from the Summit and rushing to meet a deadline for paintings I am donating to an organization that is raising awareness about human trafficking. On top of that, I have local Arts Council projects, an upcoming project for the City of Commerce, a half-empty booth at Our Town Antiques that needs to get ready for Christmas, and a neglected garden. Some days I wonder what possesses me to take on so many things – then the crazy woman in my head reminds me that she doesn’t think I’m doing enough. I’m not posting all this to say ‘hey, look what I’m doing over here’, but more as a reference to those who know me directly and occasionally experience my fits of anxiety and loopy artist behavior.

First, and foremost, I would like to thank the artists who participated in the event by sending donations to help cover the cost of marketing, as well as those who sent artwork. If you haven’t stopped in to see what we have been up to in a while here at Liberatchik, we were exhibitors at SGS14 on August 2, 2014. Please take a moment after reading this article to visit and share our participating artists’ links:

Livia Bota

Rich Gibbs

Kate Barnett

James Byrd

Ursula Fernandez

Daniel Baran

Nancy Lowe

Barb Smith

Ashley Tomashot

Christina Hasigan

Kevin Williams

Christina Butorac

Doris Bond

Michael Prescott

Richard Bledsoe

The conference itself was not only inspiring to attend, but surprising in its genuine goals for grassroots activists and networking opportunities. I cannot begin to express the many ways in which Stacy Mott stood in contrast to people and organizations I have dealt with in the past. I have never met someone so nice and so dedicated to cultivating the success and corroboration of the attendees at a conference. After several grueling experiences with local groups and two frustrating trips to CPAC, the Smart Girl Summit was a welcome example of the way things can be done to generate political and social activism.

Being the anti-social ogre that I am, I arrived early and found what I hoped would be a table where I could sit back and observe the Opening Reception without drawing attention to myself. My partner, Christopher Cook wasn’t there to keep me company or make introductions, so I felt a little out of my league. I was there to display the artwork on Saturday, after all, and not sure how to make contacts based on past experiences at such things. Shortly after I settled on a roost, Stacy walked in and she was having none of it. She promptly took me under her wing and set off across the room to make introductions and park me at a table of vibrant ladies, whom I now consider to be great friends. In fact, I ended up staying on much longer than expected after the event to hang out and eat dinner with these ladies.

 

Dinner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since our keynote speaker for the reception, Rep. Tom Price, was entrenched in the amnesty battle going on in DC, he was unable to attend the reception and it quickly turned into an impromptu networking/social event. No need to let an opportunity go to waste!

Amy Kremer was asked to step up and give some brief comments to kick off the summit, in which she touched on the need for a cultural as well as political approach to restoring the American Republic. I couldn’t agree more, so I handed her a Liberatchik Artist Directory and let her know I will be getting in touch with her to discuss what she has in mind and how we can collaborate. I’m hoping to follow up on that opportunity next week.

Saturday was the main day of the event, and I was there early with one of our Photographers, Livia Bota, to set up the exhibition space for Liberatchik. One thing I have learned about showing art in informal settings is that there is never enough time, never enough space, and I will always forget something I need event though I couldn’t possibly fit another thing in the car. All of that aside, I think our booth looked pretty good. This, my friends, is the face of Art for Liberty:

 

SGS14 002

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were directly across from the FreedomWorks booth, so I had the opportunity to spend the day talking to Iris Somberg about culture and libertarian principles when we had free time. She was very enthusiastic and had wonderful suggestions for things we can do to grow and generate support for Liberatchik. I am looking forward to following up with her and writing more about that in the future. I also picked up a copy of Matt Kibbe’s Libertarian Manifesto and am working my way through it now. I will post a review as soon as I finish.

Kibbe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It turned out that I had very little time to hang out with Iris, because the Liberatchik booth generated so much interest in our artwork. I was surprised by the level of interest and enthusiasm for our art, and even more so, by sales of some of the pieces at our booth. The day flew by, and I didn’t have a chance to attend any of the panels or speeches, but I could here Herman Cain’s booming voice as he gave the keynote address; as well as the enthusiastic response of the attendees. One thing is certain, people were there to make a difference, and I am confident many of them are working on their own goals as we speak.

In closing, I would like to thank the following people for their support and generosity during the event: Stacy Mott, Teri Christoph, Tami Nantz, Rosa Leonetti, Sandy Chiong, Victoria Casares, and Candi Goldman – Smart Girls Rock!

** Some of them also went home with Art for Liberty!

Frances Byrd is the National Director of Liberatchik.com, and a contributing writer at Western Free Press and BlogBytes. Her articles have also been published at Big Hollywood . Mrs. Byrd’s conceptual art and writing can be viewed at MachinePolitick.

Liberty as a Human Rights Icon

As another Memorial Day approaches, I find myself dwelling more and more on the concept of personal Liberty. Of course this ideal is forefront on a daily basis for those of us concerned with the ever-intrusive nature of our government. But, how many of us are thinking about Liberty in terms of its cultural significance?

CPACFront2

Defend Liberty Border Contact

Activism materials for Liberatchik.com

The left has a plethora of symbols from the iconic Che photo, the clenched fist and the Anonymous/OWS graphics, the Coexist icons to the peace sign. The right gravitates primarily to the American or Gadsden flags and American eagle as icons. These symbols are great for patriotic themes, but are easily demagogued, primarily because we have allowed them to be defined by the Left, as nationalist and politically devisive symbols.

Liberty as a Human Rights Icon

For those of us trying to inject a libertarian or conservative view into American culture, Liberty is an under-utilized icon for positive representation of individualism and human rights in the fine art community. The left is not only tearing down  national symbols like the American flag, they are also working to tear down icons of personal Liberty through cultural means:

LibertyStreetArt

Street art by unknown artist in L.A.

The tired labels the Left attributes to all views other than their own do not apply to the concept of liberty. As the street art above clearly indicates, they will still find ways to demagogue anything representative of the individual. This is because, Leftism/Statism is at its core, an ideology based on the use of force. If one advocates for the use of force, it becomes necessary to denigrate and demonize the individual. The Left has been doing this for generations with little or no cultural counterbalance from the Right.  That is why it is crucial for those of us creating a cultural alternative to not only develop the symbol of Liberty as an icon for the individual, but as an icon for human rights – another concept we have long ceded to the left. We need only produce good works of art that are capable of injecting this concept into popular culture.

Liberty has the potential to become a universal as well as national icon; for individual Liberty is, at its core, a human right.

Give Me Liberty..

Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death, by Frances Byrd

Frances Byrd is the National Director of Liberatchik.com, and a contributing writer at Western Free Press and BlogBytes. Her articles have also been published at Big Hollywood . Mrs. Byrd’s conceptual art and writing can be viewed at MachinePolitick.

Patriotic Symbolism in the Arts

On this Memorial Day holiday, I am drawn to consider all of the lives lost over the generations of American history, in the pursuit of freedom; at home and abroad. I wonder what it is about contemporary American culture that makes the simple concept of Liberty, something everyone should relate to in a positive way a political issue, inspiring the President and members of Congress to label civilians terrorists, making one a pariah in certain circles and the whipping boy of the media and Hollywood elite in the public forum.

Then I think back to the founding of this nation, the great sacrifices made by those who would not be tyrannized in the name of false security; who made hard choices and great sacrifices to see their ideals realized for an entire nation. I think of the fight to end slavery that contributed to a war that nearly destroyed this nation and the repercussions which are still felt in parts of this nation today.

I think of all the times our soldiers have gone out into the world in defense of others, whom they do not know, based on an ideal of service, self-sacrifice and honor – to help those who cannot help themselves. The fault for misplaced engagements and ill-advised meddling falls with the bureaucrats who reduce these great individuals to numbers, not in the men and women themselves. It is for these reasons and many others that their sacrifices deserve our remembrance and respect.

Restore our Republic Now, Restore Liberty for our Future

Liberty for a New Generation by Frances Byrd

All of these things, and many more personal experiences, are the impetus for my patriotic and liberty themed art. American Flags, Liberty, eagles, historic quotes and pop-culture references are not just the inspiration for my paintings, they are often components of the underlying design. They are my attempt to define the positive ideals that are the foundation of our culture and our nation.

Being an artist with an illustration degree, I tend to break things down into terms of graphics and quotes. Maybe that is why I see the significance of having an icon to promote ideas. The American flag is a bold and universally recognizable symbol. It can and should be used to promote patriotism and inspire perseverance. How do we make this happen? We display it proudly and shamelessly. It not only sends a message to those who despise America that we will not be silenced, it sends a message to our fellow patriots that they are not alone. More importantly, it tells those who protect our liberty that we appreciate their efforts and sacrifices on our behalf. The image of Liberty is as culturally significant as the ideas it represents; if for no other reason than the iconographic importance of a national symbol.

The shining light of her torch guides those seeking freedom and greater opportunity. Her grand scale symbolizes the strength of a nation, built not on the imperialism that has driven other nations to conquest, but as a haven for those who want to improve their lives.

George-Washington-vs.-Godzilla

George Washington vs Godzilla by Taylor Overby

Over the last few years, a movement has been slowly building that incorporates these themes and ideals into cultural manifestations. There are now, several groups and many more individuals, exploring these concepts in their art. Contrary to what the left would have you believe, they are not all talentless hacks regurgitating tired themes. Some of the work is quite contemporary, and much of it is of excellent quality. You should take the time to seek it out, and more importantly, support the artists creating it.

A Gown for Lady Liberty

A Gown for Lady Liberty by Colby Stephens

 

Punk Rock Didn’t Need Our Money, Nor Should Other Artists

 

My third article is up at Big Hollywood and there is a rather lively discussion going, with issues from both sides of the political spectrum popping up. I hope you will take a minute to read and participate in the discussion.

Public funding of the arts has propped up a culture of elitism and mediocrity for too long. It is time for a change.

I can already hear the collective gasp of the art community. “How dare you suggest the era of publicly-funded art come to an end?”

It’s actually quite simple. Public art funding has been the crutch for hangers-on and entitled elitists for generations. It is time they stand on their own merit and answer to those from whom their handout has been taken. It is not acceptable to expect families with children to feed to contribute to the career of some distant artist whose work they may not even like, or ever see for that matter. Even staunch advocates for public funding of the arts have asked themselves how arguing for public funding gets anywhere when the argument seems so self-serving. …

Read the full article here, then share and comment, please.

Frances Byrd is the National Director of Liberatchik.com, and a contributing writer at Big Hollywood and BlogBytes. Her art and writing can also be viewed at MachinePolitick.