Artist Mitchel Coffman Commemorates Mentor with "Strength"

New York City-based artist Mitchel Coffman is fast approaching his Kickstarter goal to fund his upcoming exhibit, "Strength."  The weeklong exhibit, which will combine painting, music, and performance, will be dedicated to both Coffman's own growth as an artist and to the memory of his mentor, Columbian muralist Jorge Alvarez, who died due to complications from HIV/AIDS in 2007.

Coffman earned his M.F.A. at the Savannah College of Art and Design, under the mentorship of professor Jorge Alvarez.  The death of Alvarez in 2007 took an intense toll on Coffman, and has played an especially formative role in his journey as an artist.  Since then, Coffman's work has been featured at events for LGBT advocacy groups like GLAAD, Live Out Loud, and SAGE (Services and Advocacy for LGBT Elders).  A dedicated athlete, his art frequently offers meditations on athleticism, masculinity, and manhood, an embrace of what he calls the contemporary art world's "unabashedly masculine side."  His upcoming exhibit "Strength" employs these themes to illustrate Coffman's own struggle to craft an artistic identity in Alvarez's honor.  "I want to give people an experience," Coffman writes, "to present the story of my mentor and my journey as an artist through a performance that allows the viewer to witness a physical expression of the struggle and the subsequent strength I found."

Coffman plans to show his exhibit for one week this Winter, including a one-time performance on its fourth evening, at Judson Memorial Church in New York City.  You can contribute to his Kickstarter here: