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Goodness and Mercy | An article written By Anicée Gaddis for the True magazine

November 3, 2013

 

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Michael Thompson, aka Freestylee, is an undisputedly gifted artist, and as you get to know him, you begin to realize that he is committed to a higher cause, namely to transforming Kingston into a global port of call. The catalyst and centerpiece of his vision is reggae, and his ultimate goal, in this lifetime, is to see a Frank Gehry caliber Reggae Hall of Fame Museum erected that celebrates the voice, vision and vocabulary of reggae and related musical genres like ska, dub, rock steady, roots reggae and dancehall. Without a past there is no present, and without a present there is no future. Michael’s vision resonates with the pulse of the future while paying full respect to the roots and lineage of reggae’s past. His mantra is a combination of heritage and tradition, of aspiration and intuition. It’s about celebrating and advocating a music that is pervasive, that’s cosmic, that’s optimistic, that’s righteous, that is a hip, healing and wholesome alembic for these tricky millennial times…
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Ted Bafaloukos, director of Rockers, speaks about Michael’s Thompson Poster Art

November 3, 2013

 
The first work by Michael Thompson I ever layed eyes on was my face on a poster, the way I looked when I was half the age I am now.
As it turned out, I got to meet the artist himself a few weeks later. He came to see me, bearing gifts; two splendid prints, one of my portrait and the other, a poster for the Alpha School in Kingston, about which I’d heard much from Horsemouth, another illustrious alumnus of that miraculous institution.
It is a simple composition, in black, silhouetted against a crimson background. A young boy, his trombone raised, pointing almost straight up, his head all the way back, is about to blow the first note. But what reveals Michael Thompson’s keen artistic insight is the empty chair behind the boy. The lot of the student, to sit in that chair and learn. The chair now left behind. The boy might not have wings, but he is about to fly, his trombone pulling him up into the heavens.

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Michael Thompson’s aka Freestylee Lecture at John J McDonough Museum

October 14, 2013

As part the Graphic Advocacy Exhibition the John J McDonough Museum presented Michael Thompson in Graphic Voices: A Lecture Series on Poster Design and Creative Activism.

Thursday, October 10, Michael Thompson spoke about his work and career in the Museum’s Auditorium.

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Freestylee Exhibition, Keene NY

July 28, 2013

Michael Thompson Freestylee Exhibited his Reggae Poster Art at Keene Arts in Keene Valley on 27th, July, 2013. Visitors had the honor to learn about the history of Jamaican reggae and listen to great music.
Raffles of CDs, concert tickets (courtesy of VP Records) and even one of Michael’s limited edition posters to support Alpha Boys School in Kingston (The birthplace of Ska & Reggae).

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Hard cover! Bookbinded! One copy! Unique Freestylee Book!

July 27, 2013

 

Hard cover! Bookbinded! One copy! Made for the solo exhibition “Reggae Poster Art, The History of Reggae” exhibition of Michael Thompson at Keene Art Gallery, at Keene Valley, NY.


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Lovely Reggae Pins

July 27, 2013

12 sweet ‘Candies’ will be given away at the solo exhibition “Reggae Poster Art, The History of Reggae” exhibition of Michael Thompson at Keene Art Gallery, at Keene Valley, NY. An exhibition dedicated to Ted Bafaloukos, Director of the iconic reggae movie “Rockers”…



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Michael Thompson awarded by the Alpha Boys’ School

May 11, 2013

 

Michael Thompson recently designed and generously donated a logo for the Alpha Boys’ School which has nurtered several generations of Jamaican musicians. Sister Susan Frazer, RSM, Director of the school, first saw the illustration of the boy playing the trombone that would become Alpha’s logo at the ‘World A Reggae’ exhibition held at the National Gallery of Jamaica in September 2012. “The moment I saw Michael’s work and the image which is now the Alpha logo I instantly knew it would fit perfectly with our history and our vision for the future at Alpha,” remembers Sister Susan. “The logo has really become not just about branding but a catalyst for collective action across the Alpha community”.

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Talk at the University of West Indies

May 11, 2013

 

“Design is what we do and it’s a powerful tool that I use for a social cause.” Michael Thompson aka Freestylee.

Michael Thompson (Freestylee) spoke on Thursday, April 18 at the final in the 2013 series of Reggae Talks hosted by the university’s Department of Literatures in English at the University of the West Indies, Mona. The artist spoke about his work as a politically engaged graphic artist, his passion in reggae music and dream of a Reggae Hall of Fame build in Kingston.

Michael Thompson
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Exhibition at the University of the West Indies Museum

May 11, 2013

 

On March 2013 Freestylee Posters were exhibited at the University of the West Indies Museum, curated by Dr. Suzanne Francis-Brown.

Dr. Suzanne Francis-Brown, says Thompson’s exhibition has attracted a lot of positive attention, both for the vibrant graphics and for the reggae music content. Visitors have been intrigued by his visualisation of the music from its early days through to its global incarnations. The exhibition remains up through the month of April, in tandem with an exhibition on the Origins of the University of the West Indies.

The exhibition features the 16 posters used to illustrate the Global Reggae book edited by Dr. Carolyn Cooper, UWI Prof of Literary & Cultural Studies. The book was designed by Maria Papaefstathiou, a Greek graphic designer. http://www.behance.net/gallery/Global-Reggae-Book/7627493

 

Freestylee with Dr. Carolyn Cooper
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The Local Way Posters

April 2, 2013

 

These posters has been created and inspired by the travel series, THE LOCAL WAY, a video series that offers its audience a glimpse into a city’s local life in an attempt to foster “local travel” values in future travelers to the city as well as support local businesses around the world. For the past two years, the producers of THE LOCAL WAY have shot hundreds of hours of HD footage in Dublin, NYC, Paris, and Los Angeles. Each episode, hosted by local experts, features one aspect of a city – “NYC Cocktail Culture” and “Dublin’s Music Scene” providing travelers with insight and tips of the people and places they will encounter on a visit. Their hope is that the series will allow their audience to enjoy the city with ease, engage them with the destinations more thoroughly, as well as help them come to greater understanding of the people and places they visited.

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