Wendell Berry, Helen Keller, Malcolm X and Eleanor Roosevelt are just a few of the prominent figures whose portraits have been painted by artist Robert Shetterly for his Americans Who Tell the Truth series, a portrait exhibit celebrating courageous citizens who have spoken out for democracy and human rights.
Forty paintings from Shetterly’s collection will go on display at the Muhammad Ali Center Saturday, including a new portrait of civil rights activist Anne Braden that will be unveiled at Metro Hall this afternoon. Each portrait includes a significant quote from the subject.
Jeanie Kahnke, the Ali Center’s vice president for communications, says the exhibit celebrates a profound sense of citizenship and a commitment to seeking and speaking the truth.
“I think it’s a great reminder for adults that there are many people from our history who have stood for the truth and in turn have paved the way for all Americans to really carve out a better world,” says Kahnke.
“This is about a profound sense of citizenship, and looking at the words others before us have said and did, and how they conducted themselves all for the purpose of truth,” she adds.
Muhammad Ali’s portrait, with a quote about his refusal to be drafted into the Vietnam War, will also be included in the exhibit, which runs through November 11.