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Artistic Inspiration

Freedom's on Me: Poto Leifi

As Memorial Day approaches, we are reminded of the sacrifices many make on our behalf. This year, as a dedication to those who have served in Afghanistan and Iraq, a special exhibition called Freedom's on Me will be shown at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM), Los Angeles, CA. Specialist Poto Leifi, U.S. Army Reserve, exhibition artist, veteran and graduate of FIDM, will unveil his exhibit of 25 poster art portraits of fallen heroes of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

The 25 poster art portraits of the Freedom's on Me exhibit are evocative of the patriotic posters that were displayed in America's storefronts during World War II -- such as "Uncle Sam Wants You" and "Rosie the Riveter" -- and are a patriotic twist on the expression,"Drinks are on Me". Poto Leifi, a California native and soldier, began his poster project in 2005, though his story began on 9/11. "After the 9/11 experience, work kind of lost its flavor," he explains. Leifi enlisted in 2005 after several more years as a freelance artist, and then began making new posters inspired by the World War II vintage art.


Along with the exhibition of Leifi's artwork, a special opening ceremony will open at 11:30 a.m. Friday, May 24, 2013. The public exhibition will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through Saturday, June 1.

Opening Ceremony Highlights:

The FIDM Chapter of Student Veterans of America will open the ceremony with the color guard presentation and greeting from the Los Angeles Mayor's office.

Student Veterans of America is a non-profit organization founded in 2008 as a result of the newly formed 9/11 GI Bill. The SVA's mission is to provide the needed resources, support and advocacy for student veterans to thrive in post-secondary education and beyond. Starting in 2008 with 20 chapters, the organization has grown to 750-plus chapters across America. FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising has more than 100 members in its Student Veterans of America.

To find out more about Freedom's on Me, visit www.fidm.com
All images courtesy FIDM and Poto Leifi