Alumnus Shepard Fairey ‘88 Street Artist, Illustrator & Graphic Designer Gives Guest Artist Lecture

February 1, 2012 at 12:14 pm Leave a comment

(January 30, 2012) Idyllwild Arts is honored to host artist Shepard Fairey, class of 1988; creator of works such as the iconic Obama HOPE poster and OBEY street art, and a featured subject of the acclaimed 2010 documentary “Exit Through the Gift Shop.” Mr. Fairey has distinguished himself as graphic designer, illustrator and street artist, as well as a savvy guerilla marketer. This is Shepard’s first time to speak to students of the school he attended in its earliest years.

Shepard will give an artist lecture on Friday, February 10 at 3:30 pm in the Idyllwild Arts Foundation Theatre on the campus of Idyllwild Arts. The event is free and open to the public, with limited seating. His artwork will also be included in the Visual Art Alumni Show that opens the same evening in Parks Exhibition Center.

When Shepard graduated from Idyllwild Arts Academy in 1988, he was part of only the second graduating class. Carolyn Lowman, wife of Bill Lowman—the founding head of the academy—describes Shepard as “a breath of fresh air.” He brought his skateboard with him to Idyllwild, inspiring the Lowman’s to build a half-pipe in their front yard for him and their young son, Nate. Upon graduation Shepard enrolled at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) where he completed his education.

Bringing alumni back to Idyllwild Arts to share their memories, experiences and perspectives with students is an active part of the academy’s education experience. Idyllwild Arts strives to build a student experience that not only includes a strong arts and academic education, but also gives them tools to excel upon graduation. Sidney Morgan, a senior Visual Art major said “I am excited to see an alumni that is not only making a decent living with his art, but making a life with his art as well. “

Earlier this year, Idyllwild Arts hosted alumnus Liang Wang, principal oboe of the New York Philharmonic. Mr. Wang worked closely with the music students and performed an oboe concerto with the orchestra. More alumni from all areas of the arts will return throughout the Spring Semester to address seniors in their Life Skills class. This program, managed by the Arts Enterprise Laboratory (AEL), recruits alumni to speak about their post-Idyllwild Arts education and careers.

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