Silence is NOT Art

Silence is NOT Art
A Holiday Fundraiser by Cary Michael

The Story
Greetings! I am Cary Michael Robinson, and I am a native of Mobile, AL, having resided in the Washington, DC metro area for 6 years. Within this time frame, I have been committed to showcasing my work with one goal in mind: to promote social change and improve the overall quality of life of others through the effective use of creativity in all endeavors.

The Situation
After the passing of my father in May of 2017, I sought healing in continuing my passionate pursuit in the arts, and decided to pursue an artist fellowship with a local arts agency. In a preliminary review of my grant application, my most esteemed artwork entitled, “H.O.P.E.” was highly recommended by the grants programs manager for submission. However, after being accepted into the gallery’s exhibition for this program, I was notified by the curator that my artwork could no longer be exhibited because the content was “proving to be too disturbing to the general public.” After requesting additional clarity on the decision not to display my work, I was further informed that while my artwork contains heartfelt statements of perseverance and transcendence above unjust slaughter, this particular work “exceeds the threshold of violence that can be displayed in the gallery.”

While I appreciate the “behind-the-scenes” praise for my artwork, I disagree with the idea of placing thematic and content limitations on artists’ creativity. These types of restrictions contradict the pure essence of what art actually is and does NOT allow an artist to speak his or her TRUTH. In a mainstream media-driven nation, it’s not foolish to believe that people will soon no longer rely on artistic content for information (as most of us did by studying Art History). It's also reasonable to think that emerging artists will soon accept the belief that silencing is the new ‘normal’, and that they no longer have the freedom to express their opinions through their artistry. However, I believe that silence is NOT normal and it is NOT art – it is the complete absence of “sound,” and “sound” can only be heard through an artist’s “voice” which should be used to connect, amplify and inspire. ALL artists should be encouraged to think critically, not be swayed by rhetoric and fear tactics, keep speaking out, and keep making art that tells their TRUTHS.

The Solution
As an artist of African American descent, I realize that it is important to use my platform to positively engage audiences and address societal issues in an exploratory, honest, yet culturally engaging manner. Therefore, I decided to develop a new series of sequential-styled artwork entitled “Sethemba: Man of Tomorrow” that address prominent issues such as social injustice, domestic violence, depression, acceptance and anxiety. Artwork from this series has been recently featured in the African American Civil War Museum and the Washington, DC Pancakes and Booze Art Show. And, while the aforementioned gallery curator stated that my artwork “exceeded the threshold of violence” that they are able to display, the CEO of the largest traveling African Diasporic Fine Art Show in the U.S. stated that my artwork “exceeded his expectations” and that he would love to have my artwork on display this February 2018!

The Support
While I’ve been presented the opportunity to expand myself globally and participate in the opportunity of a lifetime, none of this will be able to manifest without your support. I am reaching out to all friends, family members, art enthusiasts and those who just want to support a worthy cause, to provide a contribution in any dollar amount and also share this campaign to those whom you think would be willing to contribute and share as well.

Your generous contributions will support me in the following first quarter 2018 events!

·       January 2018: Private Art Show for PNC Bank & Johnson & Johnson (Newark, NJ)

·       February 2018: The Harlem Fine Art Show (Harlem, NY)

·       March 2018: Sethemba: Man of Tomorrow… a solo art show featuring the works of Cary Michael (Washington, DC)

I have approximately 2 weeks to obtain the support needed for these endeavors (as security deposits are due on or around Christmas), so receiving it sooner than later will certainly guarantee my placement in these showcases.

Because I truly value your support (especially those who have supported me during 2017) and realize it is the holiday season, I have prepared the below holiday bundles as a special token of appreciation for your donations:

$15 - Personalized Cary Michael Art Holiday Card

$30 - A Bundle of Five (5) Signed Cary Michael Art
Prints ($50 value!)

$50 - 2018 Cary Michael Art Calendar + Previous Bundle

$80 - Cary Michael Art Fan Bundle!
(Collector's Mug, Set of 4 Coasters + Previous Bundle)

$125 - Purple REIGN Gift Set Bundle!
(Purple REIGN T-Shirt, Collector's Mug, Set of 4 Coasters + 3 Limited Edition Signed 11 x 17 Prints)

$150 - H.O.P.E. Gift Set Bundle!
(H.O.P.E. T-Shirt, Collector's Mug, Set of 4 Coasters + 3 Limited Edition Signed 11 x 17 Prints)

$250 - Receive Both "Purple REIGN" and "H.O.P.E." Gift Set Bundles

$500 - Receive an exclusive 30 x 40 Cary Michael Art Canvas Print of Your Choice (from

Thank you SO much in advance for your support, and please don’t be SILENT – Share, Share, Share!

Take care!

*Special thanks to the following individuals for their help and support on helping me cultivate this vision:

-Sean B (PharmArtist) - @seanbexperience

-Rohaun (Fine Artist) - @rohaunpaints

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See all


Cary Michael 
Washington D.C., DC
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