Labor Advocate Online
LaMP (Labor Art & Mural Project)
by Chris Gauvreau
LaMP has just completed one of our most successful and extraordinary projects ever. Mike Alewitz, our Artistic Director, completed three remarkable murals in Palestine/Israel, each of which related to one of the important sectors of the labor movement. The creation of these works was the occasion for LaMP’s small but important labor solidarity delegation to the region.
Our work in the Middle East brought together Israeli, Palestinian, and U.S. artists and workers for the creation of murals on the theme of "No Walls Between Workers!" At each mural site viewers could gaze through an illusionary hole in the separation wall toward a visionary future created through international working class solidarity.
This spring, LaMP will be collaborating with the mural program of the Art Department of Central Connecticut State University to produce "A Vision of Peace and Justice," a mural in downtown New Britain, CT. One element of the wall painting will focus on working class opposition to war. We expect antiwar unionists against the war, veterans for peace, and members of Military Families Speak Out to join artists to participate and to be present for regular press conferences and community forums. In this way, we hope to strengthen the movement for “jobs not war”.
Next fall, LaMP is organizing to bring two of Mexico’s most prominent artists, Ms. Rina Lazo and Arturo Garcia Bustos, to paint a mural in Connecticut. Ms.Lazo worked for many years as the assistant to Diego Rivera, and Mr.Garcia Bustos was one of the proteges of Frida Kahlo. Both artists have a long history of involvement in Mexican working class politics and art. Having Ms. Lazo and Mr.Garcia-Bustos come to the United States to share their knowledge with young artists and activists will undoubtedly contribute to building an artistic movement that speaks to laboring people the world over.
Our new volunteer organizer and muralist, Marela Zacarias, is currently developing a mural project with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, an organizing center for many of the immigrant tomato pickers facing slave-like conditions in central Florida. Ms. Zacarias is an emerging muralist who recently completed a mural with the electrical workers union in Mexico City.
To accomplish all this we need your help. LaMP has never relied on grant-funding organizations, but on the modest contributions of unionists, artists, educators, and activists in movements for social change. Please consider donating to the Labor Art & Mural Project so that we can continue to stay relevant and in tune with the needs of our movement.
Organizations that donate $200 or more will be listed on the legend "A Vision for Peace and Justice." Individuals who contribute $100 or more will be listed as this sponsors on future literature. A donation of any size will be put to good use.
Thank you very much for your untiring support.
Director, Labor Art and Mural Project
P.S. In addition, we invite those of you searching for last minute holiday gifts to contact us for some of the remaining copies of Paul Buhle's
Insurgent Images: The Agitprop Murals of Mike Alewitz (Monthly Review, 2002) $25
For more information:
Zacarias, Project Organizer (860) 5383921
Please send any donations to:
LaMP, P.O.Box 193, New Britain, C.T. 06053