By Michael Gibbs
Be Inkandescent Magazine
Illustration (right) by Michael Gibbs
In the wake of the earthquake in Haiti, illustrator Dave Plunkert wanted to do something to help.
So he tapped his network of fellow illustrators and issued them a challenge: He asked them to each produce an original work of art on paper that he would mat, and then hang in his Spur Gallery in Baltimore and sell for $100 each. The gallery is a space Dave set aside in the building he bought for his design studio several years ago.
“The goal was to raise money for Doctor Without Borders so we could provide them with a $10,000 donation to help the victims,” explains Dave, noting it didn’t take long for dozens of artists to volunteer.
An amazing show of support
Illustration (right) by Scott Bakal
“I was surprised how many signed on very quickly, but I admit it took a while to get to the last 15,” Dave says. “It had been a while since we had a gallery opening, and whenever we do it makes a nice energy in the studio leading up to the opening and a sense of relief when its over.”
Dave proudly notes that he raised slightly more than his goal of $10,000, and says the best moment came on opening night.
“I looked around the packed gallery and was able to see the impact we were making,” he shares. “I was thrilled to see how quickly the paintings sold on opening night.”
One goal, one concept
Illustration (right) by Lou Beach
Many of the artists and visitors remarked that they were surprised at the how varied, and yet cohesive, the paintings were.
“It’s a graspable concept that allows the artist to do their own thing but still fit in a group exhibit,” Dave insists. And since there were 100 Heads for Haiti — a title Dave says he chose in part because of its alliterative quality — there was a built-in cohesiveness.
“I was interested in coming up with a show where everyone’s art was sold for $100 to keep it a true group effort and not make it a competition of whose art raised the most. I think it’s important for everyone to do what they can not just artists and I think any artist should be able to produce a piece of art for $100 for a worthy cause.”
Dave adds that he was exposed to the generosity of artists in the past, which perhaps is why he knew he could count on his circle of friends to step up again.
“Years ago I had the pleasure of having dinner with Paul Davis after he gave a talk at AIGA Baltimore,” shares Dave, referring to the highly regarded and well-known illustrator who is famous for the posters he created for dozens of Broadway shows.
“During dinner he painted a watercolor picture of myself and Joyce (my then girlfriend but now my wife) and gave it to us,” he adds. “It had a profound affect on both of us how both odd and nice this artistic gesture was. I’ve come to think that making a picture for someone casually should be a thing that artists do when the mood strikes, or when the cause is important.”
Meet the 100 Artists
Scott Bakal • Karen Barbour • Melinda Beck • Lou Beach • Ana Benaroya • Nicholas Blechman • Cathie Bleck • Barry Blitt • Sam Bosma • Rebecca Bradley • Steve Brodner • Calef Brown • Marc Burckhardt • Chris Buzelli • Ronald J. Cala • Harry Campbell • Seymour Chwast • Michael Cho • Joe Ciardiello • Kali Ciesemier • Greg Clarke • Christian Clayton • Rob Clayton • Timothy Cook • David Cowles • Allen Crawford • Susan Crawford • Matt Curtius • Paul Davis • Sandra Dionisi • Richard Downs • Jeremy Enecio • Emily Flake • David Flaherty • Doug Fraser • Shaun Flynn • John Foster • John Gall • James Gallagher • Jimmy Giegerich • Michael Glenwood Gibbs • David Goldin • Josh Gosfield • Alexander Gracey • Jessie Hartland • Joyce Hesselberth • Jody Hewgill • Jason Holley • Jordin Isip • Colin Johnson • Elena Johnston • Federico Jordan • Andrea Kalfas • Daniel Krall • Stephen Kroninger • Anita Kunz • Travis Lampe • Kelly Lasserre • David Lesh • Warren Linn • Luba Lukova • Greg Mably • John Malloy • Mark Matcho • Adam McCauley • Aaron Meshon • Joel Nakamura • Chris Silas Neal • Jess Neil • Christoph Niemann • Christian Northeast • Tim O’Brien • Jayme Odgers • Ken Orvidas • Dan Page • Joe Parisi • Daniel Pelavin • Dave Plunkert • Martha Rich • Scott Roberts • Edel Rodriguez • Jonathon Rosen • Marc Rosenthal • Paul Sahre • Zina Saunders • Whitney Sherman • Yuko Shimizu • Bob Staake • Nolen Strals • Dale Stephanos • Otto Steininger • Katherine Streeter • Gary Taxali • Mark Todd • Gina Triplett
• Pol Turgeon • James Victore • José Villarrubia • Mark Ulriksen • Chip Wass • Noah Woods • James Yang • Jaime Zollars • Curated by: SPUR Design
Artwork © 2010 The Respective Copyright Owners
About Dave Plunkert
Dave Plunkert’s illustrations have appeared in advertising campaigns for Fortune 500 companies as well as major newspapers, magazines, and recording labels. His work has been recognized by American Illustration, Communication Arts, Graphis, Print, the Society of Illustrators, and The New York Art Directors’ Club. He has been featured in numerous books including: “Cool Type,” “New Masters of Poster Design,” “The Greatest Rock Albums that Never Were,” and “Mixing Messages.”
He has taught graphic design and illustration at Shepherd College and Maryland Institute College of Art in addition to lecturing for AIGA Chapters throughout the US. His work has been collected by museums and private collectors, and has been exhibited internationally. He has received a bronze medal from the Society of Illustrators LA and a gold medal from the Society of Illustrators NY. In 2009, his poster for The Dungeon Masters won best poster at the SBSW festival.
For more information, contact Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org.