A Face of Change: MLK Day 2021

Showing Jan. 17-18, 2021 related to MLK events at VCU. 

In honor of MLK Day 2021, a portrait of Dr. Martin Luther King displays on the Cabell Library Screen. The piece is by Dallas-based illustrator Richie Pope, a former VCU School of the Arts student. The artwork displaying on the big screen is a cropped version of the Google Doodle commissioned in 2016 by Google.

Google Doodles are creative design alterations of Google’s logo on its homepage that are reserved for commemorating holidays and other special occasions. An art director at Google contacted Pope, complimenting his work and offering two Google Doodle assignments.

Now a full-time freelance illustrator, Pope started drawing early in his childhood. “My earliest memories are drawing pictures in the white spaces of my children’s books because I thought that space was for me,” he said.Pope says that his art comes from his subconscious and he tries to not let outside influences distract him. “I draw, consume and repeat,” Pope said. “My work kind of naturally does its thing, which is exciting.”There is a problem-solving aspect that is rewarding to Pope when he draws, “It’s like figuring out a puzzle,” he said. “I also like experimenting from time to time to push my work forward. There’s a bit of searching, in a way.”

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King Week opens Sunday, Jan. 17 with a virtual keynote program and also features a school supply drive. In previous years, a march and candlelight vigil was held on Monday, MLK Day, progressing through campus to the library. In 2021, there will be no vigil due to COVID-19 distancing.

An article by Polina Wells, published in 2015 by University News, contributed to this blog posting. The complete article

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