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June 25-30

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Free State Fest 2023 Unveils Artwork by Dayon Royster

This year’s festival poster was designed by Iowa based print artist Dayon Royster! Inspired by silent film pioneer Oscar Micheaux (whose image appears prominently in the foreground of the poster), Royster’s color palette harkens back to movie poster artwork from Micheaux’s era. (See this link for reference imagery).

In addition to Micheaux’s iconic image, the poster also features headliner Boots Riley, Gumbo Coalition documentary subjects Marc Morial and Janet Murguia, and comedian Chris Estrada. The colorful piano keys nod to neoclassical musician BLKBOK and the turntable references DJ Spooky.

Look for these gorgeous posters in downtown storefronts and on official festival t-shirts on sale soon!

Originally from Richmond, Virginia, Royster received his BFA in Printmaking from East Carolina University and an MFA in Printmaking from the University of Iowa. Royster’s current work conjures universal themes of accessibility, curiosity, empowerment, self-doubt, identity, suppression, symbolism, and the “other.” Dayon Royster was the printmaking Artist-in-Residence at the Lawrence Arts Center from 2019-21 and is currently working at the University of Iowa.

Learn more about Dayon on his website.