Posts Tagged ‘Robert Shetterly’


Ashley Bryan

December 16, 2016

I Know a Man

screen-shot-2016-12-06-at-9-24-43-pmI Know a Man … Ashley Bryan celebrates the life and works of an extraordinary Black artist whose life sends audiences across all races and ages a message of joy, kindness, peace and inclusion.  Ashley Bryan has visited many Maine schools to share his stories. He was born in 1923 and has written and illustrated many children’s books. Most of his subjects are Black American. He was the U.S. nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Award in 2006 and he won the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for his contribution to American children’s literature in 2009. Ashley Bryan’s “Freedom Over Me” was short-listed for the 2016 Kirkus Prize.

A documentary of Ashley’s life is underway but help is needed to tell his story to the world. You can contribute at Kickstarter by going to:

Take a look at the trailer by CLICKING HERE. Part of it is filmed at the Ashley Bryan School on Islesford Island (off of coast of Maine).

Please take a look at this Kickstarter, consider a contribution, small or large, and let your friends know about it.

All contributions are tax deductible as the project’s sponsor, the Union of Maine Visual Artists, is a 501(c)(3) not for profit educational organization.

More info on Ashley Bryan and the films

screen-shot-2016-12-06-at-9-24-19-pmI Know a Man … Ashley Bryan (2016, 73 min) and Ashley Bryan’s World (2016, 32 min) are two important new films by Richard Kane and Robert Shetterly that can help spark needed conversations about race and racism in our country. In a media environment where Black males are often portrayed in a negative light, or only portrayed in connection with tragic news, I Know a Man … Ashley Bryan celebrates the life and works of an extraordinary Black artist whose life sends audiences across all races and ages a message of joy, kindness, peace and inclusion. We need your help to tell his story to the world

Ashley, now 93 years old, is a spiritually deep, creative wonder whose experience in an all-Black battalion in World War II exposed him to the  carnage of war and the reality of institutionalized racism. In response he dedicated his life to art — creating beauty and joy, spreading love and peace.  During a recent radio interview Ashley spoke about how the smallest kindness offered to another acknowledges them as a valued human being and can begin to make the world a better place.

He does this every day with his person and, so powerfully, with his art — magical puppets and sea glass windows made from found objects inspired by his African heritage — and his paintings, poetry, stories and illustrations found in over fifty children’s books, many published by Atheneum Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.


Shetterly Visits Brewer High School

June 12, 2011

Social activism and art

Brewer Art Teacher, Lori Spruce shared information with me about artist Robert Shetterly’s recent visit to Brewer High School. While there he visited with art and other content classes. We know the arts connect with other content and topics in our schools and throughout the world today and historically, culturally, aesthetically. If you’ve ever seen Shetterly’s portraits you know how monumental they are. If you’ve never seen his work my advice is: GO SEE SHETTERLY’S PAINTINGS! Lori describes the opportunity that Robert Shetterly’s visit provided in her own words:

Robert Shetterly addressed Brewer High school Art, English, Journalism classes and others on the role of social activism and art. He discussed his own reasons for starting the “Americans Who Tell the Truth” project as well as engaged students in discussions about important social movements in the past and current issues that affect them today. His presentation challenged the attention media gives to celebrities and encouraged students to speak their own truths about social issues and how much it can make a difference in changing perspectives and sometimes even the course of our history. Honors art classes are taking the challenge themselves and discovering people who have made a difference in the issues that are are personally important to them and doing their own portraits based on the research they have done.

You can see in the photos embedded the power of his portraits. You can learn more about Shetterly and his book ‘Americans Who Tell the Truth’ about the first fifty portraits he painted at

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