The Art of MARCH: A Civil Rights Masterpiece walks visitors through the story of Congressman John Lewis’s experience in the civil rights movement as depicted by the pen of MARCH trilogy illustrator Nate Powell. This landmark exhibition of Congressman Lewis’s celebrated graphic novel memoir, co-written with Andrew Aydin, takes visitors on a visceral tour of the movement, illuminating pivotal moments, people, and philosophies through the display of over 150 pieces of original art, interactive materials, and new exhibition essays by Jonathan W. Gray, Associate Professor of English at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and author of Civil Rights in the White Literary Imagination: Innocence by Association (The University Press of Mississippi. 2013). The exhibition gives a glimpse into how this graphic novel was created, with behind-the-scenes process art and artifacts from Powell’s illustration process. A portion of the exhibition also shows how Eisner Award–winning Powell evolved from an SVA student steeped in the punk zine culture into the illustrator of MARCH.
The Society of Illustrators will be organizing events open to the public in conjunction with the exhibition. An opening reception will take place on Thursday, March 1st, beginning at 6:30 PM. A schedule of lectures, panels, tours and workshops geared toward students, teachers, as well as the general public will be announced in the coming weeks. More information on the exhibit and related events can be found here.
In addition, Nate Powell and Andrew Aydin will be Guests of Honor at MoCCA Arts Festival. This 2-day multimedia event, Manhattan’s largest independent comics, cartoon and animation festival, draws over 8,000 attendees each year. Held on April 7 and 8th, the Fest will include speaking engagements, book signings, and parties. Further scheduling information for MoCCA Arts Festival will be available in future announcements.
The MARCH trilogy has been recognized for its groundbreaking storytelling with numerous accolades. MARCH: Book One became the first graphic novel to win a Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, MARCH: Book Two won the Eisner Award, MARCH: Book Three is the first graphic novel to receive a National Book Award, and the trilogy has spent a combined 99 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List. MARCH is published by Top Shelf Productions, an imprint of IDW Publishing.
The Art of MARCH: A Civil Rights Masterpiece exhibition is co-curated by John Lind (Creative Director, Kitchen Sink Books, an imprint of Dark Horse Comics) and Charles Brownstein (Executive Director, Comic Book Legal Defense Fund).