When Mister Rogers passed on to that great big neighborhood in the sky, popular culture lost one of its most original and enduring voices. For over three decades on PBS, Fred Rogers asked young viewers, “Won’t you be my neighbor?” And for over three decades, millions answered in unison, “Yes, thank you. We most certainly will.”
Starting June 17, 2004, a group of contemporary artists, designers, illustrators and photographers—both big names and emerging talent—will join GUM as the magazine presents “Fred Was Here,” a multimedia homage to the man in the cardigan. The show will be held at the ISSUE Project Room in New York City, and Puma will be joining in the fun. It’s going to be, as Fred would say, “fancy.” From there the show is expected to travel to various locations across the country.
“Fred Rogers was a man who wasn’t afraid to do things his way, however uncool that way may have been,” says Kevin Grady, who co-founded GUM with designer/artist Colin Metcalf in 2002. “Despite all common wisdom, there was no rapid-fire, attention deficit disorder-pandering on his TV show. No neon-colored mayhem at all. Just the same hand-knitted sweaters, the same simple puppets, the same old self-sung theme song.” And a simple, consistent gentleness that now, more than ever, is a comfort in a violent world.
Contibutors will include Phil Frost, Dalek, Richard Colman, Rick Valicenti, Guido Vitti, Michael Wiener, MCA/Evil Design, Bask, Aye Jay, Visibl, Magmo The Destroyer and members of The Drama collective, along with Grady and Metcalf from GUM. Other artists will be added to this list as the event approaches.
For more information contact Kevin Grady at 978-318-9988 or write him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More About ISSUE Project Room
Located in New York’s East Village, ISSUE Project Room is surrounded by an enormous arts community where in fact few neighborhood resources currently exist. Acknowledging this critical deficit, the Project Room emerges as a vital meeting place for the most disparate forms of creativity whose sole criteria reflect the spirit of artistic expression and exploration.
ISSUE Project Room provides an open and versatile environment where both established and emerging artists can conduct, exhibit and perform new and site-specific work according to their respective visions. Through an evolving collaboration with curators, artists and educators, the Project Room fosters a wide-range of artistic projects that challenge and expand conventional practices in art. The Project Room fulfills its mission through a series of innovative programs, events, exhibitions, performances, talks and concerts. For more information, see www.issueinc.com/projectroom/space.html.
More About GUM
Since its initial release last year, this unique new annual—covering art, design, pop culture, music, social issues and more—has attracted a very loyal fan base. In a market flooded with gorgeous art books short on substantive content at one end and content-driven publications lacking a sense of humor and aesthetic savvy at the other, GUM bridges the gap between style and content. GUM 2 features legendary author Ray Bradbury, Nancy Sinatra, artists Dalek, Nonconceptual, Chris Yormick, musical acts Interpol, Cornelius, RJD2 and much more. For more information, see www.gumweb.com.