Since Shepard Fairey, creator of the iconic Obama poster, labored hard for Obama’s victory, he would have been totally justified in taking a rest once the electoral returns poured in. Instead, he pulled together his own transition team, of sorts, and began to organize an art exhibit for inauguration weekend. “Manifest Hope,” a celebration of Obama art organized in part by Irvine Contemporary, comes to the old Artefacto furniture store in Georgetown. Based on a similar art exhibit in Denver during the Democratic National Convention, “Manifest Hope” brings together more than 100 artists whose work pertains to three areas of reform in the new administration: health care, workers’ rights, and green energy. It’s a juried show, with some interesting participants—Spike Lee, Thievery Corporation’s Eric Hilton, Hirshhorn curator Anne Ellegood, a curator of the Hirshhorn, and Fairey himself. Still, many of the artists in the show are street artists like Fairey. There’s a number of graffiti and poster artists who prefer brick walls to canvas, or in the case of one tattoo artist, skin. You’ll also find art from big-name museum artists, like Robert Indiana and Ron English, who created a portrait of Obama as Abraham Lincoln. Fairey’s now in the latter category—his Obama poster has been acquired by the National Portrait Gallery, the first image of the president-elect to make it to the museum.
THE EXHIBITION IS ON VIEW FROM 10 A.M. TO 6 P.M. SATURDAY, Jan. 17, to MONDAY, Jan. 19, AT 3333 M ST. N.W. FREE. 202-332-8767.