Thursday, December 12, 2013

Milestones: African-Americans in Comics, Pop Culture and Beyond opens at GEM


November 20, 2013                CONTACT:    Tatiana EL-Khouri
                                                                                                Creative Force Group
                                                                                                Geppi's Entertainment Museum



November 18, 2013 (Baltimore, Maryland): Geppi's Entertainment Museum President Melissa Geppi-Bowersox announced the Museum's collaboration with Inkpot Award recipient Michael Davis of Milestone Media on a historical exhibit featuring numerous artistic examples of African-Americans' contribution to pop culture throughout America's cultural revolution.  

The invitation-only opening night gala has been set for Friday, December 13, 2013 from 7pm- 10pm. The exhibit will officially open to the public on December 14th and run through April 2014. "We are thrilled to be showcasing such an extraordinarily diverse collection of artistic pieces in so many different mediums within the Museum," comments Melissa Geppi-Bowersox. "There are some truly amazing comics, designs, drawings, paintings and programming that have been set for this exhibit, and Geppi's Entertainment Museum is proud to be the sole exhibitor for such a terrific group of artists." 

Milestones: African-Americans in Comics, Pop Culture and Beyond will feature not only the work of mainstream Black creators, but also the work of those who are considered outside the mainstream and even some who actively avoid the spotlight. Milestones "offers many different examples of profound contributions to the comic book medium by showcasing the vital roles that Black superheroes have played in shaping the unique narrative thread of so many ongoing narratives," comments Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso.  "The true beauty of this exhibit is the moment when race and color become obsolete, and you see the creative genius of the amazing worlds established that are mainstream." Not only will the exhibit focus on the comic and art world; it will also be dedicated to the internet market, today's newest medium. Says actor/producer Orlando Jones (currently starring on the hit FOX TV show Sleepy Hollow):

"African-Americans have made an indelible mark on the pop culture and entertainment landscape in front of the camera, behind the scenes, on the stage and in the recording booth. Although not as widely known, this is equally true in the world of comic books, where a renaissance of Black writers and artists are creating new characters and telling unique stories that are reaching larger audiences than ever before. As a lifelong comic book nerd, it's my greatest pleasure to showcase the art from my digital graphic novel Tainted Love within the Milestones exhibit at Geppi's Entertainment Museum. This labor of love has enabled me to bring together some of my favorite artists who are leading the charge in creating increased diversity within the industry."

Adds director/producer/comics writer Reggie Hudlin (Django Unchained): "If comics are modern mythology, then Black participation and representation is crucial. The Milestones exhibit will document on paper those dreams through the years and give all Americans a chance to see them up close."

The exhibit will offer patrons a full spectrum of Black historical contributions made throughout comic book and graphic novel history. "From movies to film, from music to art, from graphic novels/comic books to TV, and from politics to sports, all aspects of America's pop culture contain different aspects of the African-American viewpoint," says Exhibit Curator and Milestone Media co-founder Michael Davis.  "America has changed, and the attitudes about Black people and their limitless creativity touch, embrace, or lead all aspects of culture."

"I'm especially excited that young people of color will see themselves represented in so many different ways," added Tatiana EL-Khouri, Co-Curator. "This show may well influence future careers in comics, and perhaps even fine art. We have significantly made enormous strides to find a place within society, and I'm so excited to be in these times where we are now being nationally recognized in every field. In so many ways, African-American culture has always been a part of pop culture, and curating this exhibit will be one of the most significant things that I do in my lifetime."

Adds Museum President Melissa Geppi-Bowersox, "Honestly, this is exactly what Geppi's Entertainment Museum is all about. Our focus on American pop culture really showcases one of the youngest nations in the world and shines a light on our history as well as our contributions to the international community. Milestones: African-Americans in Comics, Pop Culture and Beyond is a very important part of the fabric which makes up our country.

"With America being a dominant force in the world, we strive to continue with our exhibits highlighting every aspect of American culture—and will continue to be the leading museum in America showcasing not only who we are, but where we came from and where we're going."

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