In the Fall of 2017 The Colour of Music Festival announced and released the official Colour of Music Festival poster, collaboratively designed by Charleston-based artist Colin Quashie and graphic designer Gil Schuler. The bold statement of the all-black classical musicians festival was a good fit for Quashie nationally known for his audacious art.
The Festival has decided to re-release the poster among increased requests as people have started using the image in social media settings.
Resistance, solidarity, and togetherness is the context for Quashie’s use of a five-string violin and a fist, a symbol of black resistance, that commemorated the Festival’s fifth anniversary. Graphic designer Gil Shuler hand drew the Festival name and dates for the 2017 Festival.
As the Black Lives Matter movement recently intensified after George Floyd’s death, white supporters around the globe have joined black protesters using the raised fist as a show of support and solidarity.
Though socially and politically current, the visual illustrates the dogged defiance of black classical composers and musicians who for centuries withstood cultural biases from audiences and who now are pushing the current orchestral community to do more to showcase black artists’ talent and composers’ works.
Now in its eighth season, the Festival itself has defied the odds by presenting in major cities throughout the U.S. Based in Charleston, South Carolina—a city rampant with opportunity but selective in its financial support and acknowledgement of black cultural contributions—it has bountiful white art galleries selling works of birds, low country landscapes, and very often, elderly black and white women with only one black-owned art gallery in the historic district.
24 x 36 color posters are available for $35 or $135 signed by the artists
Colin Quashie’s art faces off against hard issues of culture, politics, and race with a self-conscious awareness that often offends (or disturbs) black, white, and other. He discriminates with equality and equanimity. Quashie was born in London and raised in the West Indies and later Florida. He pursued an art career which ended abruptly in 1995 after an exhibition was censored. Frustrated he landed a job as a comedy sketch writer for Mad-TV. His love for art re-emerged again and in between writing gigs (six comedy series, associate produced an independent feature film and received an Emmy award for documentary writing in 2001), he continues to produce his unique brand of art. He lives in Charleston, South Carolina. quashie.com
A native South Carolinian, Gil Schuler has been drawing all his life and still drawing all the time. Raised on a farm by hardworking parents who instilled hard work, good craftsmanship, and strong relationships his firm GSGD is a graphic design company that makes art for commercial purposes. Branding, research, strategic thinking, fun, interesting, conceptual, strong, always interesting, never boring. gilshulergraphicdesign.com