Michael Thompson, aka Freestylee, studied graphic design at the Jamaica School of Art in Kingston, Jamaica, now the renowned Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts. In the early 1980s, he landed an apprenticeship in Kingston, and started to experiment with simple, silhouetted design concepts suitable or screen printing and print poster art. Thompson has been living in the United States since 1990 and worked as a freelance graphic designer and consultant. He has been described as a “creative activist” in a recent interview in Arc The Magazine, due to the subject matter his work expresses; from reggae music, police brutality, homophobia in Jamaica, the Arab Spring and persecution of fellow artists such as Ai Wei Wei. He launched the First International Reggae Poster Contest in order to celebrate the pioneers, musicians, artists and institutions that made Reggae music possible.
On Mon 16 Jul at 6pm Kalaboration will launch an exhibition at “The Drum” on Freestylee’s Reggae Poster Collection and will be on until Fri 14 Sep.
Kalabroation is a parntership project between Birmingham Institute of Art Design (BIAD), Birmingham City University and RoguePlay Theatre. Funded by Arts Council England and Birmingham City Council and granted the Inspire mark by the London 2012 Inspire programme. We are pleased to announce the following artists commissions; Sara Fowles’ Knit2Together and Jaskirt Dhaliwal “The Everyday Olympian”. Each artist has drawn inspiration from the themes of the Olympic Games and Jamaican 50th independence anniversary and will be producing this new work commissioned by Kalaboration between June and August 2012. For more information on Kalaboration’s projects and exhibitions visit www.kalaboration.co.uk
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