RVA muralists ‘Feel the Bern’

by | Apr 5, 2016 | POLITICS

The Virginia primary may have long passed, but Bernie Sanders advocates are still showing their support for the Democratic candidate in a major way here in Richmond.

The Virginia primary may have long passed, but Bernie Sanders advocates are still showing their support for the Democratic candidate in a major way here in Richmond.

RVA muralists Mickael Broth and Hamilton Glass were hard at work all day today painting Bernie Sanders murals on the front of Highpoint Point Gallery, the white building across from the CBS news station on West Broad Street next to the former Triple bar.

The two, along with David Morrison of the Billboard Art Project wanted to let Richmond know the race isn’t over just yet with two big murals dedicated to Sanders himself just in time for the Wisconsin primary.

Well known RVA muralist Mickael Broth depicted a fun, sillier side of Bernie on the side of the building with the words “Feel the Bern” in bold black letters sprawling across the top.

“The pose and the lettering is based off the Circle Jerks punk band, basically their old logo, that’s something I grew up listening to and kinda formed my ideas about politics,” Broth said.

Broth mentioned it’s also reflects the popular meme of Bernie Sanders running through the airport getting off thee escalator.

The artist was very vocal about his political stance, stating Sanders is one of is one of the only viable candidates in the running.

“The fact that he actually talks about real issues for one, and beyond that I think he’s speaking to ideas of that really boil down to a greater good mentality,” Broth said. ” As a society, there’s a common goal to treat every person as a human being, that human lives are more valuable than dollars and unfortunately I think a rare position among most politicians and I think Bernie Sanders has shown through decades of being in office that that’s not just something he’s using to try to get elected.”

Broth added having a large political piece of art was something that’s been lacking in Richmond.

“As far as in Richmond, we’ve got tons of murals here, but I think most of them could be described as decorative, there’s very little political imagery. I was excited to have someone offer up wall space with that intention because ive wanted to do work that’s more political in the past.”

Hamilton Glass also has an outline of a more serious Bernie Sanders with a bird sitting atop his shoulders with a Superman “S” on its chest, a nod to the now famous YouTube clip of a bird landing on the podium during the candidate’s Portland rally.

“We collaborated a bit we definitely said that we wanted the bird to be a part of it,” Glass said. “We wanted to do something funny and quirky with the bird. I chose to show Bernie, his hair is a little ruffled, you see the feathers around the bird, and Bernie is kind of a nitty-gritty illustration.”

Morrison sketched the outline for Glass’ piece, which faces the CBS news station on Broad Street on Monday night and Glass will add the color in the next few days.

Morrison owns the building the murals are painted on at 3300 West Broad St. He fueled the Bernie murals project and is also behind the Billboard Art Project, a national art project that promotes art through digital billboards across the country. The building is currently under renovation to become a space for creative professionals.

“It was something about the campaign that’s caught people’s attention and in this particular case both Hamilton and Mickael wanted to do it,” he said.

The images of the murals will be open-sourced and posted online at Murals for Bernie so people can download them all over the country and paint them on walls to show their support for Bernie Sanders and his message.

“We’re doing an open-sourced format where they have the black and white sketches where somebody can pull those images offline, they can find a projector and then they can project it like these guys do and volunteers can come back and paint it so you don’t necessarily have to be an artist to put up artwork,” said Morrison. “Even though we’re in Richmond, Virginia and the primary’s long past, this is something that can go out anywhere and people can show their support for this candidate.”

And with as heated as these political debates have been, the decision for a large political work of art on a building is a risky one, but Morrison said they’re not worried.

“There are differences of opinion, but I think most people are respectful of someones art,” he said. “That really wasn’t even a concern.”

As for Morrison himself, he said Sanders’ campaign is the first he’s donated to.

“I think for me supporting Bernie Sanders this is a person with a lot of integrity and a lot of experience even though I might not agree with all of his platform, i agree with a lot of it,” he said.

Be on the lookout for photos of Hamilton Glass’ final piece once it’s finished.

Amy David

Amy David

Amy David was the Web Editor for RVAMag.com from May 2015 until September 2018. She covered craft beer, food, music, art and more. She's been a journalist since 2010 and attended Radford University. She enjoys dogs, beer, tacos, and Bob's Burgers references.

more in politics

There Will Be No Casino: The Lessons of November 7th, 2023

It’s over. Again. Richmond beat back the ghouls of predatory greed and political prostitution. After a battle, all seems eerily quiet. The quiet unsettles if not followed by the housekeeping of the battlefield - damage reports need filing, and new plans need...

Who Are We Becoming?

Voting No Casino & Reclaiming a Radical Vision of Solidarity & Economic Freedom Amidst a Divisive Casino Campaign Over the weekend, I learned that one of the owners of the proposed casino who is also one of the most powerful Black women in America, Cathy...

What Virginia College Students Need to know About Voting

This story is for subscribers to VCU’s Capital News Service. If you have questions or comments, please contact Alix Bryan at bryaneg@vcu.edu or 804-921-0114. RICHMOND, Va. – College-aged people are among the largest voting block, yet tend to have the lowest turnout in...

Labor Peace or Lawsuits?

This piece is one in a series of opinion pieces by Jon Baliles about the proposed Richmond Grand Resort and Casino. You can read his other pieces HERE. The casino advocates made a big deal about their labor peace agreement that was reached with the Washington,...

Make It Impossible to Happen Again

This piece is one in a series of opinion pieces by Jon Baliles about the proposed Richmond Grand Resort and Casino. You can read his other pieces HERE. The Richmond Times-Dispatch Editorial Board and reporters sat down this week with the casino opponents who said the...

Resorts Like Airports

There has been a lot of boasting from the casino advocates about their partnership with Kentucky-based Churchill Downs, Inc. (CDI). The rebranded Richmond Grand casino developer Urban One is a radio and TV conglomerate that has said they are partnering with CDI...

Pin It on Pinterest