On 5/31/20, Long Beach, California talent buyer veteran Jonathan Halperin (The Glass House, Isle of Light, Gridlife, Music Tastes Good, etc) walked nearly four hours with his wife in a peaceful protest against the murder of George Floyd. Jonathan went home and was called shortly after to assist a friend protect his business from being looted. Standing in front of the friend’s record store, businesses were being looted all around the city and some even burned to the ground. His heart broke seeing the city he loved crumbling before his eyes.
Longtime friend Annie Pham saw this destruction on TV and wanted to help. She put Jonathan in touch with Long Beach artist Francisco Reyes Jr. who produces work under the moniker “Never Made”. It was immediately decided that something had to be done to help these Long Beach independent businesses that suffered greatly. Never Made had made his mark in Long Beach with his murals and art exhibits, so it made absolute sense.
It was decided that they would release 500 prints (the cost of which was greatly covered by Inhouse Design) and 500 t-shirts (donated by Absolute Merch). The entire sale of each print and t-shirt will be donated to the independent businesses in need within the city of Long Beach.
When asked about the print, artist Francisco Reyes Jr. AKA Never Made stated:
“I love Long Beach. I have laughed here, cried here, and laid roots here. I grew up in an adjacent city, but Long Beach was always a destination for myself and my family. I got married here and plan to spend the rest of my life here. I am so proud of my city. I am proud of all of the people who came out to voice their opinions on the systemic racism that has plagued our nation forever. Everyone peacefully marching for real change and having hard conversations has made me really hopeful.
Long Beach is extremely diverse, which is my favorite thing about this city. It is huge and welcomes every walk of life. It is home to so many beautiful people and SO many small businesses. On Sunday, our city suffered vandalism, fires, and violence. It was taken advantage of by outsiders who came to steal and destroy what wasn't theirs. Many of these small businesses were holding on by a thread already, due to the pandemic.
I was left with feelings of despair seeing and hearing what was happening to my city and I felt helpless.
On Monday however, I witnessed people ALL over the community walking around with brooms and dustpans, donating their time to clean up Long Beach. I thought to myself, what can I do to make sure these businesses are okay and can possibly rebuild one day? My friend and fellow Long Beach resident, Jon Halperin reached out to me about releasing a print dedicated to the city of Long Beach. ALL proceeds for this print will be donated to small businesses that were hardest hit here.
I've been fortunate enough to have done public art around the city of Long Beach and have always been supported by my community. The image that I made harkens back to the "boardwalk era" of old Long Beach. It was inspired by travel posters and some famous landmarks across the city. Women are a constant theme in my work, as is my specific color palette. My art is and always will be subjective, but I hope that it invokes a sense of calmness, beauty, inclusivity, and pride.
Long Beach is strong. I know that we are resilient and will rebuild.”
The limited print and t-shirt will be available on 6/5/20 at 12:00pm at:
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