Robert Maniscalco has created a series of paintings , called “The Quench Project” (view the gallery of Quench Paintings), inspired by his vision trip to Haiti in November 2014. He has also written a big, full color book, called Quench, reflections on God, art, water, desire and equality and produced a short documentary, Out of Darkness (view the 17 minute documentary below).
The Quench Project explores alternatives to societal ideas about beauty, tragedy and survival. The theme is the resilient nature of humans to rise “out of darkness.” Robert, who is a survivor of child sexual abuse, has dedicated his artistic life to telling the stories and celebrating the triumph of human spirit; specifically, our capacity to turn great adversity into victory. These are stories each of his fellow beings share in common, in our creative journey of survival.
“Throughout The Quench Project my goal has simply been to give a face to the “faceless hordes.” When seen as a wash of humanity it is easy to lose sight of the individual. When we can understand and connect with “the other,” they are far more likely to become us. My intention in traveling to Haiti was not to document the misery of the masses, or even to find a few representative faces to win sympathy in the States. My goal was to find out, through my art, how a people, one person at a time, and in a million different ways, are finding a path to survival.”
Following a successful Kickstarter campaign Robert used the seed money to create/frame his 17 paintings, write his book and make his documentary short (view above). The vision is that The Quench Project will continue to grow and evolve, continuing as an exhibition in a variety of venues in several states, where people from all walks can come see the work in person and become part of the conversation. Robert has taken TQP into churches and community centers, spreading the good mission of light and love. TQP has exhibited at The North Charleston City Gallery, the Kairos Gallery (St Andrews Church-Mt Pleasant), The Greater Flint Arts Council, The Buckham Gallery in Flint, MI, and most recently, at the Coastal Community Foundation, back in Charleston.
TQP has also evolved to include recent courtroom sketches for the Dylan Roof Trial, which was completed in January of 2017, in Charleston. This trial and Robert’s sketches were really more about the Emanual 9 and the resiliancy of their survivors than about this misguided, hate-filled young man. TQP is about people overcoming great adversity through actively pursuing faith, hope and love. There is an exhibition of the over 80 trial sketches in the works, as well as a possible book. Please take a moment to read some of Robert’s recent blogs about his experiences and insights from the trial.
If you know of a venue that may want to feature an artist talk and/or an exhibition of The Quench Project, or if you are a member of the media interested in featuring Robert and TQP, please contact Robert directly.
“The Quench Project is one of those crazy “Close-Encounters-of-the-Third-Kind-Richard-Dreyfus-building-a-mountain-in-his-living-room-Noah’s-Ark-kind-of-obsessions” that I simply cannot accomplish alone. I really need your help. Please join with me on this mad quest to make a difference with my art.”
What you can do to support “The Quench Project:”
ART for AID
In the tradition of the Social Realist movement, the project’s goal is to raise awareness for societal issues in Haiti as well as the U.S. Robert doesn’t avoid biting social and political commentary. Water shortages, spirituality, economic inequality and racism are all part of his focus. He has created a body of 17 paintings, mostly of Haitian subjects. More recently, he has added subjects from Rwanda and Flint, MI. His ongoing series, The Faces of the Lowcountry also are an extension of the mission of TQP. A portion of sales will be donated to Water Mission and to the Bread of Life Orphanage in Jacmel, Haiti.
Please contact Robert for future talks and exhibition opportunities around The Quench Project.
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