The Art of Elysium is behind a new socially distant public art installation by noted artist Shepard Fairey.
The original work, now on view on the exterior of Live Nation’s Hollywood Palladium at 6215 Sunset Blvd. in Los Angeles, is meant to mark the nonprofit organization’s 23rd anniversary, and is focused primarily on activism. “Injustice anywhere threatens justice everywhere,” reads one of the panels, shown below.
The Art of Elysium founder Jennifer Howell says, “August 2020 marks 23 years of the Art of Elysium’s mission and programs that 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. My personal belief is that art can change the society for the better much quicker than any politician or policies have been able to. Art unites. Art inspires. Art calls to action the people. Art allows us to transcend. It is an honor to have Shepard and his creativity mark 23 years of this mission.”
Fairey said he’s had the privilege of working with Howell and the Art of Elysium for “many years to help encourage healing through art” in all its forms. He tells The Hollywood Reporter that he’s grateful to the Palladium for offering the alternative use for the venue while its primary creative function is on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic which has put a hold on large-scale gatherings, concerts and events.
“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. Also, since COVID-19 has limited access to art venues like galleries and museums, it is great to provide accessible public art,” he explains of the piece. “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.”
Alongside Fairey, many of the organizations top industry supporters are coming together to support the launch of the #artheals campaign, which serves as a call to action for everyone to create art at home and share it on social media as a means of inspiration. Also as part of the news, the org has a call out to donate $23 and receive a downloadable gift of art courtesy of Fairey and Obey Giant.