The Black Commentator: An independent weekly internet magazine dedicated to the movement for economic justice, social justice and peace - Providing commentary, analysis and investigations on issues affecting African Americans and the African world.
November 12 , 2009 - Issue 350


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By Shepard Fairey

Click here to purchase a print of this creation

Stephen Shames, and his art dealer, Steven Kasher, approached Shepard Fairey earlier this year about creating artworks to support L.E.A.D. Uganda, an educational leadership program founded by Shames that locates vulnerable children with innate talents and molds them into leaders.

Fairey agreed to create and donate two unique mixed media collages, valued at $12,000 each, and two editions of 450 prints, which sell for $75 each. The collages and prints will be auctioned off on November 12 at the Steven Kasher Gallery, 521 West 23rd Street, New York, along with works by other noted photographers, among them Joyce Tenneson, Dan Winters, Michal Chelbin, and Lynn Bianchi. The Fairey prints are based on Uganda photographs by Stephen Shames. Fairey had previously created a suite of works based on Shames’ iconic portrait of Angela Davis, which is in the National Portrait Gallery. Fairey received acclaim for his iconic poster of President Obama. THE PRINTS ARE ON SALE NOW at

“My work is about trying to make striking, provocative images that can lead people to take an interest in social issues that I care about – whether it is what is going on in Darfur or Uganda or any other form of injustice that is happening around the world,” said Shepard Fairey. “When Stephen talked to me about his foundation, I thought this is an incredible mission. If I can help raise money for L.E.A.D. Uganda, and also have the chance to make some beautiful artwork based on Stephen’s compelling photographs – this is a very symbiotic situation.”

“I have long admired Shepard’s work and commitment to social justice. I am delighted to collaborate with him to help our children,” said Stephen Shames. “I’d like to thank Shepard and all the photographers who donated prints to the auction, for their generosity. Their support makes it possible for L.E.A.D Uganda’s children to attend the best schools, where they earn high marks and gain self-esteem. Our scholars experience the healing and transforming powers of education. They will become leaders in the country they love. They will help Africa and the world.”

L.E.A.D Uganda, which celebrates its fifth anniversary this year, locates children living on the edges of society – AIDS orphans, former child soldiers, child laborers – and gives them the world class, 21st century skills necessary to lead Africa into the future. The goal is to help Africans become equal partners in a world of democracy and prosperity. All proceeds from the event will go towards the education L.E.A.D Uganda’s students.

This event is open to the public and admission is free. Stephen Magezi, Deputy Director of L.E.A.D Uganda in Kampala, Uganda will speak briefly about L.E.A.D Uganda. There will be music by saxophonist Hayes Greenfield. Steve Shames will sign copies of his new book Transforming Lives: Turning Uganda’s Forgotten Children Into Leader (Star Bright Books). The book tells the inspirational stories of thirteen children in the program.

Contact: Andrea Smith, 646.220.5950, [email protected]

Stephen Shames photo “Blanket” Stephen Shames photo “Yellow Cans”

Click here to read more about L.E.A.D Uganda

Shepard Fairey is a contemporary artist, graphic designer, and illustrator. He first became known for his "André the Giant Has a Posse" sticker campaign, in which he appropriated images from the comedic super market tabloid Weekly World News. His work became more widely known in the 2008 U.S. presidential election, specifically his Barack Obama "HOPE" poster. The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston calls him one of today's best known and most influential street artists. His work is included in the collections at The Smithsonian, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Click here to contact Mr. Fairey.


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