Street artist Shepard Fairey, November 26, 2011, at the installation of THE BLACK HILLS ARE NOT FOR SALE in Los Angeles.Photo by Fuzheado via

Idyllwild Arts (IA) is honored to host artist Shepard Fairey, class of 1988. He is one of several noted alumni artists to be feted on campus this month.

Fairey is the renowned creator of works, such as the iconic Obama “Hope” poster and “Obey” street art, and is a featured subject of the 2010 documentary, “Exit Through the Gift Shop.”

This is Fairey’s first time to speak to students of the school he attended in its earliest years. His artwork will be included in the Visual Art Alumni Show, which opens Friday evening at IA’s Parks Exhibition Center.

While Fairey has distinguished himself as graphic designer, illustrator and street artist, as well as a savvy guerilla marketer, his actions have also embroiled him in several legal actions involving issues such as fair use and plagiarism.

Bringing alumni back to Idyllwild Arts to share memories, experiences and perspectives with students is an active part of the academy’s educational program. Shepard’s 1988 class was only the second to graduate. The school was then known as Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts.

Fairey will give an artist lecture at 3:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10 in the Idyllwild Arts Foundation Theatre on campus. The event is free and open to the public, with limited seating.

More alumni from all areas of the arts — including alumnus Liang Wang, principal oboist of the New York Philharmonic — will return throughout the Spring Semester to address seniors in their Life Skills class. In December, Wang worked closely with IA music students and performed an oboe concerto with the orchestra.

“15612” by Monica Lundy, oil on linen (the number refers to the female inmate’s number while in prison). Photo courtesy of Idyllwild Arts
Alumni Visual Art Show
In addition to Fairey, featured artists include Monica Lundy, who is making waves in Northern California with her inmate portraits on linen, Nate Lowman, currently involved in the gallery scene in New York City, will lend one of his bullet holes. Artists Paul Waddell, Arianna Sikorski, Jiwon Yoon, Youree Jin, Laurel Sparks, Kaelen Green and Richelle Gribble will exhibit, while artist books by Alison Yates, Sung Yun Yang and Erin Latimer invite your examination.

In the field of photography, Jovielle Gers will show images from her work at Naropa, including one of the Dalai Lama. Greg Jensen, an art director, documented the fall and aftermath at Ground Zero.

“The Yoke of Form” by Kaelen Green Photos courtesy of Idyllwild Arts

Hawkeye Glenn is using his sculptor skills in metal and design to make functional fixtures. Jonathan Taube and Tada Kono are playing with politics and prickly pears, Krista Peters is creating portraits in brass, and Daniel Gray will make a site-specific installation. CJ Dunn has lettered the gallery with his design.

“Past to Present: the Idyllwild Arts Alumni Show” opens Feb. 10 and runs through March 3. The Show is in the Parks Exhibition Center on the Idyllwild Arts Campus.