KAPOW! Michigan Mighty Mythos exhibition features British sculptor’s superhero art, and much more

Britain’s Martin Dallard is one of three artists whose sculptures have been included alongside an incredible exhibition of superhero-inspired art and memorabilia at the Lubeznik Center for the Arts in Michigan City, Indiana.

The KAPOW! Mighty Mythos exhibition opened in the American city on 1st July, with special opening events this weekend, and runs until 19th October, so if you’re heading stateside for any reason, perhaps a diversion is called for.

Sponsored by Mayor Angie & the City of Michigan City and Michigan City Community Enrichment Corporation, the exhibition provides an opportunity to view a curated selection of vintage comic books, toys, ephemera and original artworks created between 1960 and 1980 amassed by Werner Graf, a Michigan City native who began collecting superhero memorabilia as a young boy and recently transitioned the collection to the Graf Dairy Hero Foundation (GDHF).

The Foundation is now extremely excited to share a portion of its 6000-plus items publicly for the first time at Lubeznik Center for the Arts, which will eventually be housed in a permanent museum.

Image: Lubeznik Center for the Arts

The Graf Dairy Hero Foundation focuses on fostering traditional American values and virtues in the youth by promoting a culture of thoughtful actions and character habits. It supports individuals and organizations that exemplify these ideals through financial backing.

The GDHF’s core mission is to inspire young people to espouse character virtues that superheroes exemplify; courage, responsibility, integrity and doing right even when all others are silent or doing wrong.

Image: Lubeznik Center for the Arts

“Whether you are a comic fan or not, this exhibition will blow your mind,” declares the Lubeznik Center, “as it includes a stunning collection of original character art by the most prominent artists of the era as well as rare and exciting items like a pristine 1966 comic book vending machine.”

A small selection of one of the world’s largest toy collections and ephemera also features, including Stan Lee’s first office sign and the working papers for the original lyrics for the 1967 Spider-Man cartoon theme song. 

The work of three great superhero sculptors also features in KAPOW! exhibition. Randy Bowen has his invaluable “artist proof” bronze Spider-man on display, along with stunning plaster and acrylic work by Ms. Fine Tekiko (or “FineT”) from the Philippines, and Martin Dallard, whose brilliant metalwork is well known by collectors everywhere.

Sculptor Fine Tekiko, Dennis Villarosa Matsunaga Tekiko & Team created a huge Captain America exhibit, a tribute to one of the all-time comic art masters (and one of the industry’s great guys), John Romita Sr. with a homage to his spectacular July panel for Marvel’s 1976 Bi-Centennial Calendar. The huge, stunning laminated Declaration of Independence here hung in Philadelphia City Hall from 1964 to 1992 before it was acquired by The Graf Dairy Foundation at auction. Image: The Graf Dairy Foundation
Black Panther by Fine T

For those unfamiliar, Martin Dallard is a Welding Engineer/Designer/Artist from the Cotswolds, who specialises in replicating classic Comic Book art in Cor-Ten steel. Martin’s unique sculpting medium brings pop art to life in a new and exciting way.

Martin, a lifelong fan of Marvel’s Amazing Spider-Man and DC’s Batman, pays homage to his passion for comic art by fully leveraging his engineering talents — the results speak for themselves. His steel sculpts have become renown among prominent collectors and are commissioned and collected by superhero fans all over the world.

Martin Dillard’s work on display at the Lubeznik Center for the Arts as part of the KAPOW! Mighty Mythos exhibition. Image: Lubeznik Center for the Arts

Martin hopes his work for the Graf Dairy Hero Foundation inspires children to leverage their unique talents and emulate the virtues of their heroes: courage and responsibility, a service mentality, and pride in family, community and country.

“I am only too pleased and proud to have my work displayed on behalf of such a prestigious Foundation at the Lubeznik Center,” he says, “and hope that in some small way, this work can inspire what hard work and commitment can produce.”

• KAPOW! Mighty Mythos exhibition runs until 19th October 2024, 101 W. 2nd Street Michigan City, IN 46360 USA | Web: lubeznikcenter.org | Graf Dairy Hero Foundation: grafdairyherofoundation.com

Categories: Art and Illustration, Comic Art, Comics, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News, Events, Exhibitions, Other Worlds, US Comics

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