April 28th, 2018 – 7:00 pm
Modist Brewing Co.
505 N 3rd St, Minneapolis, MN 55401
In December of 2015, Wes Winship was visiting family in the Bay Area. While out with a friend, they received the news of the passing of Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead. Being lifelong fans of both his music and approach to life, they decided to mark the moment with an artistic tribute. They selected San Francisco’s Ocean Beach sea wall. It’s a public place where the attitude toward graffiti has been one of acceptance and even appreciation. Though not legal, per se, the wall has been regularly painted by graffiti artists since the 1980’s and is also a popular destination for both local & visiting photographers. They completed the memorial by dawn on the 29th. It spanned 50 feet and featured a portrait by Winship of Lemmy with iconic middle finger salute framed by the words “Heavy Metal”. Soon after, images of the memorial made the rounds on social media as fellow music fans posted photos of the wall as they paid their respects.
Artwork on the Ocean Beach wall tends to have a high turnover. Since the Lemmy mural managed to stay up for two years, Wes decided to restore it during a later visit in December 2017. The mural was looking worse for wear from the public attention as well as the relentless sand & salt air of The Pacific. Accompanied by his friend Cory who was also visiting from Minneapolis, Wes set about repainting the mural on December 26th. After finishing the touch up work on the portrait of Lemmy, they were approached by an SF Park Police officer. Since there were a number of other visitors on the beach, Cory and Wes assumed the officer was on a routine check. Instead, they were immediately put in handcuffs and detained without questioning. They were both arrested and later charged with felony vandalism. Bail was set at $25,000 each, even though neither had prior convictions on their records. Without $50,000 in cash at their disposal, they had to pay a non refundable 10% bond to secure their release.
A week later, Cory and Wes returned to San Francisco for their arraignment. Appreciative that the two had made the trip back from Minnesota to address the situation and noting their clean records for their age (both 40) the judge and DA agreed with Cory and Wes’s public defenders that the charges were unnecessary.
Cory and Wes agreed to pay $2,560.00 in restitution and all charges were dropped. This left them with approximately $8,500.00 in in legal and travel expenses.
In an effort to make the best out of the situation and with the generous support of many friends, Wes and Cory have organized a fundraising party at Modist Brewing Co. (http://modistbrewing.com/) on April 28th, 2018 beginning at 7:00 pm.
Wes will be live painting a new portrait of Lemmy that will be raffled off at the event ($10.00 / ticket). Click here
Wes & Cory will be releasing some limited art prints at the event.
Group art show of works donated for the cause.
A portion of the proceeds will also be going to the Ronnie James Dio cancer fund (http://www.diocancerfund.org/).
From an early age growing up in Vermont, Wes was fascinated with cartoons and comic books. At 13, he relocated with his father to Minneapolis and traveled to San Francisco during the summers to see his mother. It was in these two cities that he discovered graffiti, and soon became fully engrossed in its art and culture. This led to him teaming up with some like-minded friends in Minneapolis publish their own graffiti magazine, the notorious tongue-in-cheek “Life Sucks Die.” Working on the magazine led to starting the design and screenprinting studio, Burlesque of North America. Beginning as a homemade screen-printing shop, he helped build Burlesque into a world-renowned creative studio. He, along with his team, have spent the last decade plus creating concert posters, t-shirts, album packaging, stage graphics, and more for clients ranging from Grammy Award-winning musicians, Arcade Fire, to Minnesota Public Radio to Nike Sportswear, and beyond.