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By Angelo Lopez on January 30, 2009

I recently did a painting for a coworker on the Obama Inaugural. I did two different versions, because I wasn't really satisfied with the upper left corner of the first painting. I really wanted to show the people who made Obama's election possible, people like Martin Luther King Jr., Sojourner Truth, Malcolm X, W.E.B. DuBois and all those who fought for the rights of African Americans and paved the way for the opportunities that all Americans have today. The struggle continues, but it was good to celebrate how far our country has come.

Read more of this post here ...

By Angelo Lopez on January 23, 2009

During college, my artistic heroes were Diego Rivera and Thomas Hart Benton. They were the premiere muralists of the 1920s and 1930s in the United States and Mexico. Their way with composition, the use of color, and their subject matter all had a lasting effect on the way I view art. In their subject matter, both artists tried to put in pictorial form the legends and culture of the people of their nations. Rivera and Benton both wanted their art to connect to the concerns and traditions of the average person. I've had a few chances to do a few murals, and these were opportunities for me to paint on a large scale and try to emulate my heroes.

My first mural opportunity was in 1995 for the Berryessa Branch of the San Jose Public Library. A really nice librarian named Ruth Phebus gave me the opportunity to do two large canvasses for the Children's Department. It was a lot of fun, and I learned a lot. Since I had never painted anything that big before, a lot of the process was just trying to figure out how to do things. Who sells 8 ft. by 13 ft. canvases? I called around and found a place in Palo Alto, California called Accent Arts. A very knowledgeable person named Gil was able to give me the canvas and he was a great source of information on how to prime the canvas, how to patch up a hole on the canvas, and other things that I never thought that came up when I was painting such a big canvas.

Read more of this post here ...

By Angelo Lopez on January 21, 2009

One of the things I liked about the Inaugural of Obama's last Tuesday was the poem of Elizabeth Alexander. Elizabeth Alexander is a Professor at Yale University for the African American Studies course “Freedom and Identity in Black Cultures.” Only three other poets have read at presidential inaugurations: Robert Frost at John F. Kennedy’s, Maya Angelou at Bill Clinton’s first inaugural, and Miller Williams at Clinton's second inauguration. Alexander, a 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist, is the youngest poet to be bestowed with this honor.

Elizabeth Alexander's poem is called Praise Song For The Day.

Read more of this post here ...

By Angelo Lopez on January 18, 2009

I just read recently that Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson was chosen to deliver an invocation at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial two days before the swearing in ceremony. Rick Warren said in response,

"President-elect Obama has again demonstrated his genuine commitment to bringing all Americans of good will together in search of common ground. I applaud his desire to be the president of every citizen."
I thought that was very gracious of Warren to say of Bishop Robinson, especially considering the controversy surrounding Robinson as a gay bishop. I hope this graciousness extends to an openness to having a dialogue between Conservative Christians and the LGBT community.

Read more of this post here ...

By Angelo Lopez on January 16, 2009

This January I've been kind of depressed about the news headlines, but hopeful as well. In spite of the bad news, I still look forward to seeing Barack Obama become President. At my work a coworker asked me to do a picture of Barack, so I did a picture of Barack surrounded by people who have been important in African American history. Barack couldn't have become President without the work of those who came before him. It was fun to do. While I was watching Obama during election night when he won the Presidency, I was deeply touched by a scene where Jesse Jackson was crying. Jesse Jackson had been at the scene where Martin Luther King Jr. had died, he was a part of the Poor People's Campaign, he ran for President twice in 1984 and 1988. He was a good reminder that Obama is following in the footsteps of Frederick Douglass, Soujourner Truth, Jackie Robinson, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and others who came before him.

Read more of this post here ...

By Angelo Lopez on January 6, 2009

This December was a time for me to contact old friends and spend time with family. I enjoyed the time to relax and catch up with people and see how they were doing. During that time, I got a chance to paint and do some art projects that I had been putting off for a while. This year I've gotten in the habit of scouring the newspapers and magazines for ideas for the cartoons that I've been doing for the Tri-City Voice. For the months of October and November, I've been mostly doing cartoons on the sad state of our economy and I wanted to try to do new subjects.

Read more of this post here ...

By Angelo Lopez on January 4, 2009

For the past week I've been reading the news of the military skirmishes between the Israelis and Hamas in the Gaza Strip with a sense of sadness. I have to admit that I am not very knowledgeable about the issues that have lead up to this latest fight between the two, but after the terrorism in Mumbai, both events just seemed tragic reminders of the problems in this world.

My wife had gotten the movie Joyeux Noel from Netflix, and as I watched the film yesterday night, I began to think about the Palestinians and the Israelis and the tragic history that prevents them from living together in peace.

Read more of this post here ...

By Angelo Lopez on January 2, 2009

As supporters of gays rights become more galvanized by the passage of Proposition 8, I thought it would be good to list several gays rights organizations that people may think of joining. Since conservative Evangelicals, Catholics and Mormons were especially prominent in supporting Proposition 8, I tried to find organizations that would help out Evangelicals, Catholics and Mormons who were either gay, lesbian or supported gay rights and perhaps help them speak out.

This is only a short list. If you know of an organization that I did not list that you support and wish to be known, please feel free to let us know the name and website of the organization. It would be especially appreciated to know of any Mormon groups that would cater to Mormons who are gay, lesbian or are gay rights supporters.

GLAAD is dedicated to promoting and ensuring fair and accurate representation of gays and lesbians the media as a means of eliminating homophobia and bad stereotypes. In their webpage is a great link to LGBT organizations that could be found in your local area.

Read more of this post here ...

By Angelo Lopez on January 1, 2009

As we near the inauguration of our first African American President, it would be timely to reflect upon the organizations that have played a large part in fighting for the rights of African Americans in our country's history. Darryl Fears wrote an article for the April 14, 2008 issue of the Washington Post Weekly on the state of the great civil rights groups that were so involved in the 1950s and 1960s struggles to fight to topple segregation laws, empower people through laws to protect voting rights, and overcome prejudice in the law books and in people's attitudes. Fears found that after the 1960s, when these organizations were at the peak or their influence, many of these organizations have either declined in membership, face financial problems, or have simply disappeared.

Several reasons are offered for the decline of these organizations. Many of these civil rights groups were subject to government harassment and spying. The rise of more radical groups like the Black Panthers made older civil rights groups seem timid in their efforts and attracted younger African Americans.

Read more of this post here ...

More blog posts by this author:

Want to read more pieces written by Angelo Lopez? We have more here! This page you are on right now is an archive of entries written by Angelo Lopez in January 2009. This author's preceding monthly archive is Angelo Lopez: December 2008.

The next monthly archive, after this one, is Angelo Lopez: February 2009.

To see all entries ever written by Angelo Lopez, see the complete blog archives for Angelo Lopez.

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This is an archive of blog entries written by Angelo Lopez in January 2009.

The preceding monthly archive is Angelo Lopez: December 2008.

The next one in chronological order is Angelo Lopez: February 2009.

If you'd like to see all the blog entries by this author, you can go to the Complete Archives for Angelo Lopez here.

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