Alumnus Brings International Artists Together to Raise Money

Poster from "S.O.S"

Advertising & Graphic Design alumnus James Alicea (CCAD 1992) recently finished a project where he was not only able to rally artists from Japan and New York, but also helped raise money and awareness for victims of the 2011 tsunami and eathquake in Japan.

Alicea and his business partner Shin Ono created S.O.S: Suns of Silence, a one-day exhibition featuring work from 28 artists, 14 from Japan and 14 from New York City. The show was held in Tokyo, Japan, on April 13, 2012.

"I connected with artists from my everyday movements," Alicea said. "Creatives that I have met or have had the pleasure of working with all helped out."

The artists had to put their own artistic touch on a 3D mold of a human skull. The designs ranged from an abstract neon painting to a realistic recreation of a face.

"There were no guidelines as to what was suppose to be painted," Alicea said. "[The skulls] were meant to represent the destruction that the earthquake and tsunami left in their wakes."

The exhibition served as an auction for the skulls. Guests also enjoyed a live photo session with internationally known photographer Yone. Every skull was sold, and the money raised was donated to Bond&Justice, a grassroots organization helping the victims of the 2011 disaster.

"It was a successful turnout not just because of the cause and the money that was raised, but it introduced artists from two different worlds," Alicea said.

Alicea and Ono have started planning and creating a similar exhibition for next year, which will tour through Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore and end in New York City.

Additional photos from the event can be viewed here, and video here.