AWTT Celebrates Black History at York Public Library and York Middle School

Robert Shetterly's portraits will be exhibited at the York Public Library with a concurrent exhibit at York Middle School. This is a special opportunity to view an artistic and cultural expression by an artist who gives honor and remembrance to Americans that dared to speak the truth, often in the face of nay-sayers and worse, to bring justice and dignity to generations of people. This exhibit is in commemoration of Black History Month and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. A biography will be hung with each portrait. "Americans Who Tell The Truth" will be on exhibit from Jan. 7 through Feb. 28.

Shetterly will be at the library for a reception and talk at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 7. He will meet with seventh- and eighth-grade social studies students on Jan. 8 and 9.

This portrait artist has dedicated himself to remembering many of these activists with his portrait series "Americans Who Tell The Truth." While there are the more familiar social change icons, Martin Luther King, Jr., Cesar Chavez and Howard Zinn, Shetterly invites us to acknowledge the many men and women who have been no less dedicated to change, but worked under the radar in efforts to improve the lives of millions.

Art as expression has the power to engage the viewer on many levels. When a painter chooses to fuse his skill with his vantage point of the political and cultural landscape, art becomes activist commentary, documentation and a statement of honor of people who made a difference in the world, often at great risk.

For more than 10 years Robert Shetterly has been painting the series of portraits "Americans Who Tell the Truth." The exhibit has been traveling around the country since 2003. Venues have included everything from university museums and grade school libraries to sandwich shops, the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City, and the Superior Court in San Francisco. To date, the exhibit has visited 26 states. In 2005, Dutton published a book of the portraits by the same name. In 2006, the book won the top award of the International Reading Association for Intermediate non-fiction.