Chuck Sperry is best known for his rock concert posters of bands like The Who, Pearl Jam and Black Sabbath. But the San Francisco-based graphic artist is also passionate about street-level politics. His protest posters, available for free, often show up wherever people are protesting.

100Days_300x300z“I wanted to find some icon to show that our future is with our support for science,” says Sperry of the poster image featuring a close-up of a human eye he created for the March for Science that’s happening Saturday, April 22 — Earth Day — in Washington D.C as well as elsewhere around the country. Thousands of people are expected to descend on the National Mall in protest against the Trump Administration’s naysaying stance on climate change and bid to cut billions of dollars from science-focused federal agencies and scientific research.

“That’s the trick: Take a complex idea and boil it down to one thing,” Sperry says. “This eye gazing into the distance with a galaxy reflected in it; I wanted to show wonder and discovery.”

Poster design for the Apr. 22 March for Science by Chuck Sperry.
Poster design for the Apr. 22 March for Science by Chuck Sperry. (Photo: Courtesy of Chuck Sperry)

For the backside of the poster, Sperry created an image of an astronaut, along with a list of adjectives like “adventurer,” “explorer,” and “risk-taker.” He says these words “positively express the discovery and the risk-taking” of scientific endeavor. “I’m trying to ignite kids to see themselves as adventurers and explorers,” Sperry says. “I’m also a huge space nut. I’ve got some space memorabilia myself.”

The backside of Chuck Sperry's poster for the March for Science.
The backside of Chuck Sperry’s poster for the March for Science. (Photo: Courtesy of Chuck Sperry)

Sperry, who previously designed a poster for the Women’s March in January, says he was inspired to make these images by the science education company Planet 3. He says the organization is helping to distribute the images for the march by sharing a downloadable link to the poster via its website and social media channels.

Chuck Sperry designed this free protest poster, called "Resist" for the Women's March in January of 2017.
Chuck Sperry designed this free protest poster, called “Resist” for the Women’s March in January of 2017. (Photo: Courtesy of Chuck Sperry)

The San Francisco-based artist owns his own silk screen print studio in Oakland, so it’s easy for him to make and distribute thousands of copies.  Sperry will be distributing posters himself at the San Francisco March for Science, an offshoot of the main protest happening in Washington D.C. on Saturday.

“I’m on call,” Sperry says. “Waiting to activate.”

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Rock Poster Artist Chuck Sperry Turns Focus to Science March 22 April,2017Rachael Myrow

Author

Rachael Myrow

Rachael Myrow is KQED's South Bay arts reporter, covering arts and culture in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz Counties. She also guest hosts for  The California Report and Forum, files stories for NPR and hosts a podcast called Love in the Digital Age.

Her passion for public radio was born as an undergrad at the University of California at Berkeley, writing movie reviews for KALX-FM. After finishing one degree in English, she got another in journalism, landed a job at Marketplace in Los Angeles, and another at KPCC, before returning to the Bay Area to work at KQED.

She spent more than seven years hosting The California Report, and over the years has won a Peabody and three Edward R. Murrow Awards (one for covering the MTA Strike, her first assignment as a full-time reporter in 2000 as well as numerous other honors including from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Radio Television News Directors Association and the LA Press Club.
Follow @rachaelmyrow

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