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Shepard Fairey returns to Providence — and RISD — this month

David L. Ryan/Globe staff/file 2009

Some giant news in the contemporary art world: Acclaimed street artist Shepard Fairey, who got his start at the Rhode Island School of Design, returns to Providence this month for a lecture, film screening, career retrospective, and to complete his 100th mural, according to RISD.

“Facing the Giant: Three Decades of Dissent,” which Fairey calls his 30-year-anniversary show, is on view in London this week, and will soon hit select US cities, including Providence.

His beginnings are now the stuff of legend: In 1989, Fairey was a RISD kid who stumbled across a wrestling ad in a newspaper, created a graphic image of Andre the Giant, and sparked a street art movement. Today, his website boasts, “Manufacturing Quality Dissent Since 1989.”


“Obey Giant” is only a slice of what Fairey is known for. His “Hope” poster of Barack Obama quickly became iconic, as did his “We the People” posters created in the wake of Donald Trump’s election victory.

Here’s the rundown of events, as Fairey returns to Providence:

Oct. 21 at 7 p.m.: “In Conversation With Shepard Fairey: Three Decades of Dissent.” See a 15-minute documentary screening about Fairey’s 30 years of work, followed by a conversation with RISD Senior Critic Tom Roberts at the RISD Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

Oct. 25, 6-9 p.m.: “Shepard Fairey: Facing the Giant” public exhibit opening at 233 Westminster St. The exhibit will run through Nov. 16 and features a selection of 30 hand-painted multiples that “address critical topics and recurring themes in Fairey’s career,” according to RISD’s website.

From Oct. 21 to 25: Fairey will paint his 100th large-scale mural on the Founders League building at 91 Clemence St. in Providence. He will create a limited-run print of the Providence mural, sold at all these events for $50, in support of AS220’s fund-raiser.


Lauren Daley can be reached at
Follow her on Twitter @laurendaley1.