Arts in the City Visits The Art of MARCH: A Civil Rights Masterpiece

Ernabel DeMillo of CUNY TV’s Arts in the City got a chance to chat with Nate Powell, the illustrator behind the MARCH trilogy, and CBLDF Executive Director, Charles Brownstein about The Art of MARCH: A Civil Rights Masterpiece. The exhibit, which Brownstein co-curated with John Lind, Creative Director of Kitchen Sink Press (an imprint of Dark Horse Comics), is comprised of Powell’s original artwork and artifacts of creation for the award-winning graphic memoir MARCH about Congressman John Lewis and his dedication to the Civil Rights Movement. The exhibit is now on display at Society of Illustrators in New York City through June 30th.

“We hope that people who come to this exhibit will have a sensation that the lineage of John Lewis continues through them,” said Brownstein, who also spoke eloquently on the power of viewing Powell’s work and the importance of connecting history with the world today.

Powell walked DeMillo through some of the art at the exhibit, sharing what it was like to work closely with Congressman Lewis, and how the scope of the work changed from its inception to its reception, including being the first graphic novel to win the National Book Award (MARCH 3).

The video segment is the first in the episode and takes about five minutes to watch.

And to those in the New York metropolitan area, make sure you get to Society of Illustrators before June 30th! The landmark exhibition of Congressman Lewis’s celebrated graphic novel memoir takes visitors on a visceral tour of the movement, illuminating pivotal moments, people, and philosophies through the display of over 150 pieces of original art, interactive materials, exhibition essays. The exhibit gives viewers, both familiar with the story and newcomers, a chance to experience the narrative visually as they walk through the breathtaking pages of Powell’s artwork, aided by exhibition essays created specifically for The Art of MARCH by Jonathan W. Gray, Associate Professor of English at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and author of Civil Rights in the White Literary Imagination: Innocence by Association (The University Press of Mississippi. 2013).

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