Many sources of inspiration and encouragement have been unavailable in 2020 as a result of the devastating coronavirus pandemic, but now The Art of Elysium has paired up with artist Shepard Fairey to lend their combined voice to the fight against social injustice — and of course, to celebrate the 23rd anniversary of the renowned non-profit organization.
Fairey’s original works cover the exterior of the Art of Elysium site, creating an innovative socially distant public art display for all to view and be reminded that “injustice anywhere threatens justice everywhere,” one of many messages on the installation’s panels. More specifically, the works are on display at Live Nation’s Hollywood Palladium at 6215 Sunset Blvd. in Los Angeles.
The Founder Explains
Jennifer Howell, who founded Art of Elysium back in 1997, explains that the programs and mission of the organization are “…all centered around bringing the healing power of art to those who need it the most. At this moment in time, the world is in great need, and in celebrating our anniversary we wanted to create a moment to honor exactly where we are.” She believes that art can change society for the better and much quicker than any politician or policies have been able to. She adds that “art unites. Art inspires. Art calls to action the people. Art allows us to transcend.”
Fairey Expresses Gratitude
Fairey expressed heartfelt thanks for the opportunity to work with the non-profit, one of numerous he’s been involved with for many years “to help encourage healing through art” in all forms. He told The Hollywood Reporter that he appreciates the Palladium’s generosity in donating their venue for the installation, which since the onset of the pandemic has been restricted from presenting its traditional offerings of large-scale concerts and gatherings.
He added that “the main way COVID-19 figures into what I’m making is that I think the universal anxiety and vulnerability to the virus might open people up to empathizing with their fellow humans in key areas of justice. I see the pandemic as an opportunity to ask people to be compassionate and summon the better angels of their nature…I’m creating a lot of art to encourage people to vote and use their voices, creativity, and other powers to shape the world in an ideal way. My creative response to the world is therapeutic, and I know creating helps everyone feel less powerless and hopeless. I try to demonstrate that principle in my processes and ultimate creations.”
Industry Supporters Lend a Hand
Many industry supporters of both The Art of Elysium and Fairey have also lent a hand in launching the #artheals campaign. Their goal is to motivate everyone to create their own art at home and post it on social media to showcase the wide variety of creative beauty that exists in the global community.
Who the Project Helps
For over 22 years, The Art of Elysium has raised crucial money to support veterans, hospitalized youth, elders, and members of the homeless community, as well as inner-city and special needs schools. In 2019 alone, 32,660 individuals of need were served, 1268 workshops were provided, 2,145 artists volunteered, and 48 facilities participated in programs.
With the pandemic and subsequent rise in suicides, domestic abuse, and depression still very much a part of our reality, the organization hopes that their #artheals campaign will reach more people now than ever before. A spokesperson stresses that the company is “launching this campaign to encourage everybody at home to create and transcend this together.”
You can help by donating $23, and you’ll even receive a downloadable artwork courtesy of Fairey and Obey Giant in exchange.