The First annual “International HOPE Day,” the brainchild of New York art publisher Michael McKenzie, is scheduled to take place with a series of events and unveilings in New York, Munich, Miami and Maine on Saturday, September 13th. Featuring artist Robert Indiana’s HOPE, the first annual event will take place on the artist’s 86th birthday, which he will celebrate on the island of Vinalhaven in Maine. The artist is scheduled to make a public appearance from noon – 1:00 p.m. outside Star of Hope, his longtime residence and studio on Main Street, where he will sign commemorative posters and prints featuring the HOPE image, and pose for photo opportunities alongside a large HOPE sculpture that was installed for the event.
In coming up with the concept for “International HOPE Day,” McKenzie was acting upon an announcement by Indiana in 2011 stating that his goal was “to cover the earth with HOPE and bring hope to every country in the world.” Following the template of “Earth Day International,” McKenzie envisions an event that gains momentum with each passing year and is non-denominational, crossing all faiths and creeds, ages and beliefs, and serves as one day of inspiration to bring hope in its essence to every corner and concern of the globe, just as Webster defined it, Hope is the desire for something positive to happen and the belief that it will.
In addition to the events in Maine, a monumental 10’ high, two-ton metal HOPE sculpture in Indiana’s signature colors of red and blue will be installed on the corner of 53rd and Broadway in New York City. The installation will take place in advance of HOPE day, on Thursday, August 11th, with a team of HOPEFULs on hand to greet media from noon to 4:00 p.m. Similar installations and events are planned for Munich, Caracas and Miami and will be featured All profits from the sales of HOPE memorabilia will be distributed to a variety of charities, including Vinalhaven Medical Facility and Partners In Education (PIE). As HOPE day grows, additional charities and sponsors will be named, all of which will eventually tie into the permanent creation of The Robert Indiana Museum at the Star of Hope.
Indiana, who is best known for his iconic LOVE image from the 1960s, felt the need in the new millennium which brought so many changes, from the September 11, 2001 WTC attack to the stock market crash and war, to create and introduce the image of HOPE in 2008. The artist has referred to HOPE as “the long-awaited sibling of LOVE.” “Robert Indiana has been on the forefront of societal change since the sixties,” said McKenzie, “when spreading the message of LOVE was the antidote to growing pains in the Civil Rights, Women’s Rights and Peace movements. Forty years hence, Indiana at once acknowledges progresses made, while still perceiving the struggles of many in this time of war and economic hardship. ‘International HOPE Day’ is a call to looking forward and striving for a better For further information and interviews with Mr. Indiana and Mr. McKenzie, contact Kathleen Rogers, KLR Communications Inc. (207) 667-0733, Ext. 11 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.