American Fundamentalists
(Christ's Entry into Washington in 2008)
by Joel Pelletier
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American Fundamentalists Events & Seminars

AMERICAN FUNDAMENTALISTS to be exhibited in Brussels, Belgium EU Exhibit
(6/15/08) The Manchester, UK Arts collective Northern Arts Tactical Offensive has joined forces with the Brussels, Belgium Gallery Gabrichidze to bring the art exhibit entitled Fundamental to Brussels, which will include my AMERICAN FUNDAMENTALIST painting. The exhibit will include works on Fundamentalism throughout the world by artists from many countries. The opening night for the month-long exhibit will take place on Saturday, 19 July 2008, and I will be there to speak about the painting and fundamentalism in the United States.

Bringing this painting (in part an homage to Ensor's painting, created in Brussels in 1888) has been a goal of mine since its inception, and I am very excited about this opportunity to visit Brussels, exhibit and speak about this work. Travel expenses and the value of the Euro have gotten WAY OUT OF CONTROL in 2008, and I will be appealing to supporters of this work and webiste for help making this a reality - watch for the email, or pleae contact me with your ideas.

NATO is a Manchester-based inter-disciplinary art collective, whose aim is to bring art dealing with vital current social and environmental issues out of the confines of its more typical contexts and to expose it to a more diverse mainstream audience. We believe art and culture can be used as part of the transformation of life, society, and our everyday reality, not just a diversion from it.

Host a display or speaking event - email your event request!

American Fundamentalists Events & Seminars

1 September 2007, FUNDAMENTAL Exhibit in Manchester, UK
The painting has been part of a travelling UK/Europe exhibit entitled Fundamental organized by the arts collective Northern Arts Tactical Offensive. I attended and spoke at the opening of this tour in Manchester on 1 September 2007. The talk was captured on video - with less than steller audio - which I am attenpting to salvage and post on YouTube. Thanks to some (admittedly) self-serving research of my own, the tour will culminate in Brussels, Belgium (the city where Ensor created his original masterpiece in 1888) at Gallery Gabrichidze from 19 July-15 August 2008 (and will be available for further EU exhibitions after that time).

31 August 2006, Vandenberg for Congress 2006 Fundraiser, Riverside, CA
I spoke and displayed the original painting with friend and 2006 Congressional Democratic candidate Louis Vandenberg in his future district, Riverside, CA. It will give us an opportunity to speak together again on these issues, and discuss them with those in attendance.

21 August 2006, live on KTLK 1150 in Los Angeles
I was on air with Harrison on the Edge at the Los Angeles Air America Radio affiliate KTLK 1150 AM on Monday evening/Tuesday morning 21 August 2007 from midnight to 1 AM. We discussed the painting and fundamentalism oion the United States.

Event at Ethical Humanist Society of Greater Chicago, Skokie, IL, 30 October 2005, Chicago, IL

I am available for displays of the original work, lectures and panel discussions on the topic of "American Fundamentalism and the Threat to Democracy and Freedom of Faith." I can "install" the work for a month at a time in different US locations; I can also speak or participarte in a public disussion without the work present, or with a full-size color duplicate or slide. This discussion is NOT anti-religious, anti-Christian or anti-American - it's is exactly the opposite, stressing the unique American character and strength of plurality, compromise and diversity. The strength of our country and culture IS the Constitution - we are a nation of laws founded on Greek Philosophy, the Enlightnement and the Magna Carta, NOT the Bible or the 10 Commandments.

I will show up at ANY location with enough room to set up and display the painting (10x16ft floor space, 9ft high x 15ft wide wall space) and at least 20 people (including private home showings, community rooms, small local organizations, etc), but I am especially interested in academic and arts institutions (universities, colleges, museums) with programs that address issues including Art, Religion, American History and Politics, as well as cultural and political fundraisers. The event can simply include a 2-hour talk and discussion with the artist, but formal seminars/forums can include local experts/professors from a range of these disciplines. Costs of a showing of the original painting with a lecture/seminar/forum will be minimal (to cover vehicle, gas and expenses, plus a room or borrowed couch for the evening). The painting can be set up in under 30 minutes; the canvas, stretcher and stands break down into 6inch x 8.5ft tubes, which fit in a rented vehicle. Signed posters will be available at all events for $15, a portion of which can be donated to the host organization (the original painting itself will NOT be for sale). Please call or email with your requests/dates; a complete event package including a poster, transcript excerpts and photos from previous events is available.

Joel with members of Sacramento Freethinkers with one of the duplicates of the painting, 2005.

I also have (2) full-size vinyl banner reproductions of the painting (total size 10x15 feet), suitable for hanging outdoors as well as in. It looks best from about 10 feet away (it's a repro, so very fine details are lost), but works well for specific events where the original painting is either unavailable or unsuited for the situation. The costs of transporting thhis are MUCH less expensive (I can even carry it on an airplane, folded up in a bag); please contact me for more information.

I am active in the Humanist/Freethought/Atheist national community speaking about the need for all Americans, regardless of faith or lack of faith, to band together to protect the values our Constitution discribes and protects - but only if we make our leader accountable and demand that they fulfill their obligation to understand AND protect these values. Atheism is not AGAINST anything - it's simpy a question of faith or belief in something that cannot be proven. The only difference between MORALS and ETHICS is that morality punishes, ethics rewards. We all want the same thing - peace on earth, kindness to all people, animals and the planet. Whether God exists or not, what really matters is what we do HERE (email for more info).

Previous American Fundamentalists Events & Seminars

17 July 2006, Democracy Fest, San Diego University, San Diego, CA
I displayed the painting and spoke on a panel entitled "The Religious Right's Drive to Dominate Government" on Sat 7/15, 11:00AM. Joning me on the panel was Laura Esquivel, Director of Issues Marketing and Research with People for the American Way, and Stacy Taylor, morning radio host at San Diego's Air America Radio affilliate, KLSD 1360 Progressive Talk. The link below will stream the audio from the panel, with just a bit of banter between Tracy and I getting in the way of Laura's intro (bear with it - it gets much clearer within a minute). I would love a transcript of this audio - please email me if you can help out.

Listen to the panel discussion (Real Stream)

The painting was on dislay for the remained of the day Saturday, until I was too exhausted to hold it up in the wind!

2 March 2006, Detroit, MI

Listen to the talk (Real Stream)
Lecture and Q/A with journalist/activist Russ Bellant
Painting event at Birmingham Unitarian Church, Bloomfield Hills (Detroit), MI; display and events sponsored by the Michigan Coalition for Human Rights.

19 February, Detroit, MI

Listen to the talk (Real Stream | 34MB MP3 Download)
with intro by Michigan Coalition for Human Rights' Charles Rooney and journalist/activist Russ Bellant

Institute for Humanist Studies, Albany, NY, 8 July - 9 August 2005
Listen to the reception talk by Duncan Crary, Tim Gordinier and Joel Pelletier, recorded 8/9/05 (MP3, 29 minutes, 23.8MB)

Joel explaining Ensor's original painting at the 8/9/05 reception; clockwise from front: Judy Disco, IHS director of administration; Tim Gordinier, IHS public policy director; Joel Pelletier; Duncan Crary, IHS director of communications

Joel with IHS Founder Larry Jones and Dir. of Communications Duncan Crary; the 8/9/05 reception event
"Fundamentalists storm Institute for Humanist Studies" (download IHS's press release: PDF, HTML, DOC, TXT)
"Listen to artist talk by Joel Pelletier on "American Fundamentalists"... (from the HNN newsletter, 8/10/05; complete story)".

Freethought Society of Greater Philadelphia, Ludington Library, Bryn Mawr, PA, 5 July 2005

Setup in the basement of the Library building; with Margaret Downey and Society volunteer; restaurant discussion afterwards (with inset of desert-like bean soup)

The Freethinkers of Colorado Springs, 22-23 October 2004

Smokebrush Center For Arts & Theater; a nice BIG space; with the panel (transcript soon!); beautiful Colorado skies!

College Freethought Society, University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire, 19 October 2004
(read a review of the event entitled "Fundamentalism is on the March" by Elizabeth Walton, UWEC Alumnus, from

Posing with panel member and president of Minnesota Atheists August Berkshire; the panel also included Dr. Gene Hood & Dr. Jill Smith; daytime display of the painting with faculty members; debating Religious Studies students

Ethical Humanists Society of Chicago, 15 October 2004

Society building; the presentation; snacks and conversation afterwards; I also got to hear the St. Paul University Symphony perform Holst and Hindemith; and visit with composer/pianist Easley Blackwood

American Fundamentalists Display and Seminars in Boston, MA (23-30 July 2004)

AmFund at Milky Way Lounge and Bowling Alley, Jamaica Plain, Boston, 7/30/04 ( event)
Ensor's painting hung for a few years in a Brussels live jazz club; this event was in a basement rock club/bowling alley!

AmFund at Progressive Democrats of America Caucus 7/29/04: behind Tom Hayden; PDA at Reggie Lewis Center

Tuesay, 27 July 2004 on Boston Commons, Boston

AmFund at Emmanuel College 7/25-27; Boston's Finest; Robie Conal & PostGen at Zeitgiest Gallery 7/27; my new friend Ronald

Boston Social Forum, UMass Boston, MA, 23-25 July 2004

American Fundamentalists Gallery Reception, N. Hollywood, CA (7/8/04)

The painting made it's public gallery premiere at the Lankershim Art Gallery in North Hollywood, CA, with a reception on 8 July 2004. It will remain at the gallery until July 17, after which it will be travelling to Boston for the Boston Social Forum and the Democratic National Convention.

The Lankershim Art Gallery; Joel with gallery owner/artist Dover Abrams and LA City Councilman

Gallery viewers taking it all in...

Event Photos: 27 June 2004 American Fundamentalists Panel Discussion
Download PDF of this event
The panel, held at Lo Angeles Valley College in Van Nuys, CA, was moderated by KPFK's Ian Masters, and included Louis Vandenberg, Jean E. Rosenfeld Ph.D., Dr. William Cook and artist Joel Pelletier (read the first hour transcript: PDF | HTML (opens new window))

Order a signed poster (click here).

2004 Joel Pelletier,, email:, web design: the Way Home media

Original text & images protected by copyright law; reproduction without consent prohibited.

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