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My Manifest Hope:DC Press Release

I'm sending out this press release in the morning, to see if I can drum up some more publicity about my impending trip to DC. It's a pretty good summary of my year with this design. Oh, and yes, that's one of my Manifest Hope:DC pieces there, to the left.

New Orleans Artist Margaret Coble To Participate In Inaugural Art Show Manifest Hope:DC

Among the throngs of Barack Obama supporters making the trek to Washington D.C. for the President-Elect's inauguration later this month is local artist and crafter, Margaret Coble. The Mid-City resident was invited to participate in a high profile pre-inauguration show of what has become known as "Obama Art," artwork inspired by and made in support of Barack Obama's campaign for president over the past two years.

The Manifest Hope:DC show - similar to the first Manifest Hope show that was showcased in Denver for the Democratic National Convention last August - takes the Obama art phenomenon one step further now that Obama is the President-Elect, challenging artists around the country to create and submit artwork on themes of health care reform, workers' rights, and the green economy, in a nationwide contest. The winners - five from each category - will also be included in the Manifest Hope:DC gallery, alongside artists whose work has come to define the Obama Art movement.

Coble was asked to participate based on her "Believe" stencil design, which she created last February while still displaced by the levee failures of Katrina in Louisville, KY. "I was originally inspired by Shepard Fairey's now iconic "Hope" and "Progress" posters of Obama, which spread like wildfire through the underground street art community and then eventually hit mainstream pop culture and were embraced by the campaign itself. I felt like this was the most important election of my adult life, so I wanted to do my part, as an artist - however small - to help his campaign."

Being an independent, self-supporting artist/crafter and part-time music journalist, Coble couldn't really afford to make donations to Obama's campaign outright. But, inspired by many other grassroots artists creating for the campaign, she made her "Believe" stencil design and quickly started selling prints and t-shirts online and at local art markets, setting aside $5 from each sale for the campaign. All told, she was able to raise over $600 to donate to the campaign from the sales of her wares. "I would have never been able to come up with that kind of donation out of my own pocket."

Through exposure via her Flickr.com web page, she was asked to donate her design to the production of 20,000 bicycle spoke cards, an idea hatched by California PR whiz and Obama campaign volunteer Yosi Sergant. An avid cycling advocate, Sergant wanted to target the biking community, specifically in Portland, OR, ahead of the Oregon primary last May, highlighting Obama's pro-biking and sustainable-community platforms. With Shepard Fairey's help, the spoke cards were made using Coble's design, and distributed via bike shops, volunteers, and the website Obamaspoke.com.

Coble was finally able to return home this past summer, and found the New Orleans community very receptive to her design. In the months just prior to the election, Coble teamed with Stickerobot.com to distribute 1000 stickers utilizing her design, which she gave out for free at local markets and Obama rallies at Tulane University and downtown. Her stickers were also included in Stickerobot's highly collectible, limited edition "Election Collection" sticker packs, which are now sold out.

Between the prints, t-shirts, spoke cards and stickers, Coble has amassed quite a bit of national and international publicity, including mentions in LA Weekly, Paper Magazine, Business Week, the HuffingtonPost.com, and Politico.com. Her design even appeared on the cover of Norway's largest news-magazine, Aftenposten Innsikt, as well as one of Berlin, Germany's daily newspapers, Der Freitag.

In addition, her prints will also be showcased this month in two additional "Obama art" gallery shows - one in the Dominican Republic, and another in Bethesda, Maryland.

For the Manifest Hope: DC show, she chose to send two 18"x24" stencil paintings on canvas, which feature a larger version of her "Believe" stencil with folk-art style writing around the edges. "I missed out on the Manifest Hope show in August due to being out of town, so I really wanted to have the chance to show my 'Believe" design off to a larger audience," Coble says. "The words around the edges drive home the intent of the design, which hasn't really changed now that Obama has won the election: Believe in Obama, as a leader and a man of integrity and honesty, but more importantly, believe in us, the people, in our collective ability to work together, with Obama at the helm, to put this country back together again and fix the messes left behind by the Bush administration. Believe in hope, in unity, and in our future together."

Complete info about the Manifest Hope:DC show and nationwide art contest can be found at: http://www.manifesthope.com.

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