You’re U.S. is launching April 9th, 2011. Over five years Emile B. Klein will bicycle across America’s 50 states to observe, interview, and paint portraits of Americans. Subjects will be given their portraits in exchange for providing room and board. The collaborative relationship formed between painter and subject will inspire unique insights into the diverse character of our nation. Klein plans to paint 150 lasting American impressions.
Chris Hoff, an oral historian, will create audio biographical profiles of each subject from interviews conducted by Klein during the painting process. You’re U.S.’s literary staff will write biographies of the subjects based on the interviews, as well as Klein’s portraits. Klein will also give talks in each state highlighting portraiture and the great tradition of American craftsmanship.
A new set of the visual, audio, and written portraits will be published online every month. The paintings will be collected annually and coupled with their audio and literary counterparts for a traveling exhibition to be shown in public spaces throughout the country.
· To use the classic art of painted portraiture, accompanied by oral and written biographies, to celebrate America’s diversity and search for its underlying character.
· To promote national investment in America’s craftsmen, and inspire pride in the quality of U.S. goods by using American-made artisan materials (paint, brushes, bicycle).
· To create an engaging and accessible public archive of U.S. people and their histories, providing diverse opinions and honest representations of those documented.
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