Exhibit Spotlights Grass-Roots Campaigns

Posted January 14, 2009 at 5:24pm

Shepard Fairey is having a big year. The L.A.-based artist’s red-and-blue portrait of President-elect Barack Obama has become a symbol of Obama’s campaign and will be displayed in the National Portrait Gallery.

Fairey even revisited the portrait for Time magazine’s cover when Obama was named person of the year.

Now, the street art superstar previously best-known for his “Obey Giant” campaigns will join dozens of other artists in a show called “Manifest Hope: DC.” The show, sponsored by Fairey’s publicist as well as MoveOn.org Political Action and the Service Employees International Union, will shine “a spotlight on artists who used their voices to amplify and motivate the grass-roots movement that carried Obama to victory,” according to the show’s Web site. It will be held at 3333 M St. NW Saturday through Monday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The exhibit also features a contest. Artists were invited to submit their interpretations in the categories of health care reform, workers’ rights and the green economy. Judges including Fairey, director Spike Lee, musician Eric Hilton of Thievery Corp. and curator Anne Ellegood of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden chose the top five representatives for each category to be displayed in the exhibit.