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Manifest Equality Art Gallery Opens for Oscar Week

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Yosi Sergant, the Echo Park resident who helped bring Shepard Fairey's HOPE artwork to the world and later who was hired by the Obama administration only to resign after Glenn Beck got his hands on him, is back. He's once again at Evolutionary Media with Jennifer Gross, and last night the two, along with a couple of others, brought Los Angeles one amazingly huge art exhibit dedicated to equality.

"It's a gathering of artists from across the United States who've all come together to put their voices into a collective conversation about equality," Sergant explained at last night at the opening of Manifest Equality, which features works from over 100 artists, including Shepard Fairey, Buff Monster, Ron English, Clare Rojas, Robbie Conal and Harvey Pekar.

The exhibit, located in the former Big Lots building--now owned by the Academy as the future location for their museum--on Vine Street in Hollywood, is open through Sunday. "There's a lot of energy in Los Angeles during this time with the Oscars and the media in town," said Co-Organizer Apple Via of the exhibit's timing to open this week. "This is an issue that affects all of us. It's not a gay issue, it's a civil rights issue. We all have to stand up an make our voices heard in this fight... The energy is already here [this week] and we can use that energy to amplify that message."

Rick Jacobs of the Courage Campaign agrees with Via about the scope equality and its challenges. "The whole concept of equality is for everybody," he explained. "I think this exhibition is an analog to [the recent history-making Federal Prop 8 trial], which is to say that all of the damage that has been done over the years through institutional prejudice and legal stigmatization has to be exploited."

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Sergant hopes the show will inspire people to take action. "Equal rights and civil rights and any limitation of those rights affect every single American. It's every single American's responsibility--in fact duty--to stand up in opposition of those."