Holding Out for a Hero

Entrance to the Gallery at the Wichita Art Museum

Heroes, Legends, and Legacies” recently opened at the Wichita Art Museum.  I was drawn to it because of the comic book imagery and pop art, which I have always been attracted to as an art lover.

This exhibit examines what a hero is.

Here I Come by Judith Schaechter

I decided to take the Art Museum’s description of the exhibit and I asked ChatGPT to write a condensed version this is what it came up with:

“The exhibition “Heroes, Legends, and Legacies” at the Wichita Art Museum explores the concept of heroism and its representation in American art. Artists from the past 50 years have grappled with the changing culture of the United States, addressing issues such as civil rights, economic insecurity, and global conflict. Through their artwork, they retell and reconsider hero stories, drawing inspiration from pop culture, history, and mythology. Some artists create new heroes with bold colors and comic book imagery, while others critique or uplift existing figures. The exhibition offers insights into our values and concerns, showcasing a diverse range of artistic approaches to expanding the roster of American heroes.”

That’s a pretty good look at the idea of the exhibit.

Naturally, I liked the Wonder Woman and Superman art pieces. Those icons are usually the first things you think of when you think of a hero, certainly with the onslaught of Marvel and DC movies.

Wonder Woman by Roger Shimomura

I also believe heroes are people like ministers, Walt Disney, nurses, Davy Crockett, firefighters, Clara Barton, doctors, Marie Curie, schoolteachers, Nelson Mandela, parents and grandparents, Mother Teresa, mentors, Oskar Schindler, judges, Steven Spielberg, police officers, Harriet Tubman and zookeepers.  There are many types of heroes.  This exhibit also mentions a few presidents and leaders of different movements.

Top: Washington by Alex Katz Bottom: Teddy Roosevelt by Andy Warhol

I don’t want to give it all away.  I really encourage you to stop by the Wichita Art Museum and check out the small exhibit for yourself.  Take some time to look at the art works and take a moment to think about what it means to be a hero and who your heroes are and why you look up to them.

American vs. American #2 by Roger Shimomura