Make A Marc Art Exhibition, A Unique Experience

There’s a major group art exhibition happening in downtown Pittsburgh Saturday, April 1, 2023. It’s called “Make A Marc, one day only in the Brightspace Room (take elevator to 3rd floor) at the Energy Innovation Center, 1435 Bedford Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15219. Hours are noon to 3pm casual opening / 5 to 9pm evening event).

About 107 Pittsburgh region artists are participating, with others coming in from other areas specifically for this unique exhibit. So why is this exhibit different from any other?

The theme is to bring attention to the incarceration of Marc Fogel, a teacher working there and other Americans in Russia. Pittsburgh artist Tom Mosser @tommosserdesign is organizing this massive endeavor to spread awareness and effect change.

From Tom's very informative emails "About Marc written by one of his family attorneys Sasha Phillips:

Marc Fogel is a 61 year-old Pittsburgh teacher, who was detained in Russia in August of 2021, and, after ten months in Russian jail was sentenced to fourteen years in a maximum security penal colony - more than what major drug traffickers, rapists, and murderers receive. This exorbitant sentence was given for less than an ounce of medical marijuana recommended to Marc by a U.S. doctor for chronic pain and debilitating spinal condition. The only explanation for this sentence, given all the facts, is politics - Marc was held as leverage in Russia's hostage diplomacy. Given his health and age, this is likely a death sentence.

Art is a powerful advocacy tool and we can use it to show the world that we want Marc to come home. "

The event is being covered by local press, podcasts, the BBC, as well as tweets by The Washington Post.

See this recent article in the Cranberry Eagle.

Podcast Interview with exhibit organizer Tom Mosser 1028 Podcast This Is Art with Malcolm & Corey @malcolmxavier7 and @muve_78 @1028podcast #talkthattalk @freemarcfogel

KDKA radio broadcast interview with Tom Mosser @kdkaradio @tommosserdesign

Many of the artists do not know Marc personally including myself, and I had not known about Marc Fogel and his connection to Pittsburgh before this exhibition call. I was reluctant to join as I am not a portraitist and was not familiar with his story at first.

As I followed the posts for the show and learned of Marc's situation, it dug deep as I live with chronic pain as he does. His situation is absolutely horrid and unjustified. It is not any better for all the others wrongfully detained in Russia for political leverage.

I simply could not sit this out. It is an honor as a Pittsburgh artist to be included in such a powerful exhibit. Let’s bring them home!

For more information contact Tom Mosser on Instagram @tommosserdesign.

Author: Joann Renner

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