Local artist hopes to spread love with latest library exhibit

Local artist hopes to spread love with latest library exhibit

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - This Valentine's Day Weekend love is at the library. An art exhibit tackling the ills of today and inspiring love is at the Benjamin Hooks Central Library.

Memphis Artist Lonnie Robinson thought of a quote by James Baldwin when he created Good Love: Culture, Humanity and Dissent through Graphic Design. It says, "If I love you, I have to make you conscious of the things you don't see."

“I wanted to address what we deal with in humanity,” Robinson said. “We need to see hate is just as real as love and we need to counter it with love.”

Robinson said he first wanted to address all the ills of society in the exhibit, but after getting advice from a relative he took a different path.

“She said precisely those are symptoms we have to look at the cause and the cause is the absence of love,” Robinson said.

The Friends of the Library is sponsoring the exhibit which mixes Robinson’s drawings with his graphic design.

“The concept of love grabbed me because this is exactly what we need to bring about the unity that is so important,” Friends of the Memphis Public Libraries President Jacqueline Wallace said.

Robinson is a Memphis native and trained at the Art Institute of Chicago. He has made a big mark on Memphis including as designer of the MLK50 graphic.

He's glad this exhibit is on display during Black History Month. He took inspiration from different civil rights icons including Muhammad Ali and his haiku Me, We.

“I wanted that to come through. We all breathe the same air,” Robinson said.

“Good Love” is on at the William Goodwyn Gallery at the Central Library until Feb. 28.

A reception at the exhibit will be Friday, Feb. 21 at 6 p.m. It’s open to the public.

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