“Signs of Time”-an Image Driven Journey Through Activism

Samantha Walker, Staff Reporter

Robert Fleming, a Lakeland Alumni’s exhibit “Signs of the Time” is up and going on currently at the Bradley Gallery. The exhibition is dated from October 19 through November 20. 

Activism is the high point and common theme throughout this entire gallery. Not only through portraiture of other activists, but just pieces that display multiple messages from varying branches of activism.  

Fleming is an activist for peace, climate change, and the Black Lives Matter movement here in Sheboygan County. The first piece you see when entering the exhibit is a painted banner of a young woman named Malala Yousafzai along with a quote from her. This piece is where Fleming says, “[…] Has been a starting point for me to explore the leadership of young women worldwide.”  

Fleming has spoken a great fondness of his piece on Greta Thunberg. Much like Malala’s piece, Fleming recounts that he went to find the largest piece of upholstery remnant and spent many hours on creating that piece. He was very pleased when he was able to complete it in time and have it ready to be displayed during the 4th of July Parade in Sheboygan. “I have gone into other aspects of how, what she [Greta Thunberg] was doing, was affecting me,” Fleming added.  

 “I transitioned into the idea of becoming more active myself,” Fleming said, as he explained his inspiration from working on banners to then continuing making new pieces through the use of repurposed materials. Many of my posters that are on display are made of corrugated cardboard he was able to get through his day job, and painting with remnants of latex paint. Demonstrating the use of repurposed materials to get the idea of activism across. Somewhat relating back to how him learning more about Greta Thunberg’s stances had actively made him want to change his own lifestyle.  

Even with COVID now shutting down the campus you can see a virtual tour, along with Fleming’s commentary on his pieces here: youtube.com/watch?v=4VzwP-z5bjw.