The itinerant artist Emile B. Klein biked across America to observe, interview, and paint subjects along his travels. Klein believed art can capture both the individuality and cultural commonalities that link all of us as Americans.
He had three main objectives for the You're U.S. project:
- To celebrate America's diversity using traditional portrait painting, oral histories, and brief biographies.
- To use American products whenever possible and inspire national pride, awareness, and investment in America's craftsmen/women.
- To create an accessible, physical, and engaging archive of American history that is told by its' subjects and provides diverse perspectives and honest representations of those documented.
In New Jersey, Linda Langschied, manager of the New Jersey Digital Highway Project at Rutgers University, recognized that the project could provide innovative new material for the Digital Highway, an online statewide repository for New Jersey cultural heritage organizations.
This exhibit's portraits, interviews, and biographical essays comprise the New Jersey subjects of Klein's multi-state exploration.