Freedom’s On Me: A Memorial Day Exhibition & Opening Ceremony

Presented by: The FIDM Chapter of The Student Veterans of America

Commemorating Memorial Day and US Military members fallen in Iraq and Afghanistan, Freedom’s On Me marks the national day of observance with a public ceremony and exhibition of poster art that features portraits of individual war heroes. Created by FIDM graduate Poto Leifi, the posters are reminiscent of the patriotic posters displayed in America’s downtown storefronts during World War II.

Freedom’s On Me opens at the FIDM Museum on Friday, May 24, 2013, 11:30am, Memorial Day weekend, with a public ceremony and will continue through Saturday, June 1, including Sunday and Monday, May 27 and 28.

The FIDM Chapter of the Student Veterans of America (SVA) will present the public opening ceremony with a Color Guard, a greeting from the City of Los Angeles Mayor’s office, and a special presentation, as well as other notable guests.

Michael Walsh, Jr., President of the FIDM Chapter of the SVA, has planned the opening event with fellow FIDM veterans and will be the master of ceremonies for the Memorial Day Commemorative observance.

Specialist Poto Leifi, US Army Reserve, the Freedom’s On Me exhibition artist and veteran, will greet the public as he unveils 25 poster art portraits of individuals fallen in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. His artwork poignantly recalling such vintage World War II posters as Uncle Sam Wants You and Rosie the Riveter.

A California commercial artist turned soldier, Poto Leifi believed US troops killed in Afghanistan and Iraq should be honored in a way that celebrated their patriotism. Leifi started his poster project in late 2005, but his story begins on 9/11.

“After the 9/11 experience, my work kind of lost its flavor,” he said. Leifi wanted to enlist, but colleagues persuaded him that age 34, was too old. Leifi stayed engaged with his busy freelance career, designing soles for Sketchers, the trendy footwear company, and creating vintage jazz posters for an art publisher. Then in 2005, U.S. soldiers at a coffee shop told him he wasn’t too old to join. A year later, at age 39, he was in basic training in Fort Jackson, South Carolina.

Leifi searched the Internet for patriotic posters, but wasn’t inspired with what he saw. With the help of some friends as models, he began to make new posters inspired by World War II vintage art.

Leifi was assigned as a multimedia illustrator to a military psychological operations unit in Kandahar province, a key front in the war in southern Afghanistan and designed the posters after-hours. When he created the first few posters, word spread, especially through meetings of Gold Star families, the military support organization. He continually has a backlog of requests.

The title of Leifi’s special art project Freedom’s On Me is a patriotic twist on the expression, “Drinks are on me.”

The exhibition will honor and feature the fallen from all branches of the military.

Opening Ceremony:

  • Friday, May 24, 2013, 11:30am–1:30pm

Gallery Open to the Public:

  • Friday, May 24, 2013, 1:30pm–5:00pm
  • Sat., May 25–Sat., June 1, 10:00am–5:00pm

Enter museum through Grand Hope Park, as the rest of the campus is closed for Memorial Day.

From Curator Kevin Jones: Helen Larson Historic Fashion Collection Acquisition Campaign

Evening Gown, Callot Soeurs, c. 1908, Paris, France, Loan courtesy of Pat Kalayjian & Jane Gincig, FIDM Museum L2010.7.4

The FIDM Museum is excited to announce a once-in-a-lifetime fundraising opportunity to acquire the Helen Larson Historic Fashion Collection of important women’s, men’s, and children’s clothing and accessories dating from 1600 to 1950. Gathered over a fifty-year period by Southern California-based historian Helen Larson, this collection is the last of its kind still in private hands.

Currently, the FIDM Museum’s collections span 200 years, from 1800 to the present. The Helen Larson Historic Fashion Collection increases the time-span of study to 400 years, from 1600 on. The 1,100-piece collection includes fashions by the most prominent designers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, as well as objects worn by European royalty —it would be impossible to amass this collection today. Helen Larson’s corresponding archive of personal papers documents provenance and provides a chronicle of correspondence with the most eminent fashion historians and dealers of the mid-twentieth century.

We are seeking your help with this tremendous, four-year capital campaign. Your philanthropy will help keep this unique collection intact and in California.

For further information, please contact:

New Installation Opens in The Annette Green Fragrance Archive

Accessories from The Helen Larson Historic Fashion Collection is one of two current exhibits drawn from Helen Larson’s exceptional private collection. Surveying footwear, fans, gloves, purses, and hats, these objects demonstrate Helen Larson’s acquisition prowess and appreciation of fashion history. From an 1840s straw bonnet to a 1930s lucite and enamel handbag, the importance of adornment is not lost on the viewer of this visually striking installation.

Please note: There are no fragrance related objects on display at this time.

Shoes, H.W. Berenbak, Netherlands, c. 1870, Silk satin, silk faille & leather, Helen Larson Historic Fashion Collection, L2011.13.799AB


FIDM Museum Shop

Hilary Beane: Jewelry Designer & Pearl Expert

The creations of Los Angeles jewelry designer, Hilary Beane, are favorites of the FIDM Museum Shop’s customers and A-list celebrities alike. She has created custom jewelry for rock royalty such as Madonna, the late Michael Jackson, Ozzie Osborne and has crafted spectacular stage-worthy jeweled glasses for Elton John.

Beane has a growing following of the Hollywood elite, having created exclusive pieces for Angelina Jolie, Faye Dunaway, Maria Shriver, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Lisa Kudrow, Zoe Saldana, Oprah, and the late Elizabeth Taylor, to name just a few. She’s also created special pieces for stage shows of everyone from Liza Minelli to the late, great, Miles Davis.

“My designs are pretty much inspired by everything I see around me on any given day. For example, an inlay I spied on a downtown sidewalk led to a recent pendant design,” explained Beane. “Then of course, I adore ancient jewelry. I recently took a trip to the Getty to check out their amazing Greek and Italian collections. But mostly, the materials I pick up to work with inspire me. A wacky shaped pearl calls out for a particular setting and I see it in my mind and build around it. I’m inspired to re-interpret all the time, as it’s what keeps me tethered to the earth!”

Beane personally selects each pearl and jewel to work with. Special dealers offer her Tahitian, South Sea, and freshwater pearls, and she has stones cut to fit her designs.

Ms. Beane’s designs have been spotlighted on the covers and editorial pages of American and Italian Vogue, Bazaar, In-Style, Town & Country and Brides Magazines. She’s been honored by her own industry winning the cover of Modern Jeweler Magazine and is featured in the prestigious book, Tahitian Pearls.

Just back from a show in New York City, Ms. Beane is in a state of perpetual motion, filling orders, finishing up some special commissions, and “of course, creating new and select summer pieces for the wondrous FIDM Museum Shop.”

Visit the FIDM Museum Shop for a fabulous selection of one-of-a-kind jewelry, amazing treasures, and exclusive gifts and see why we have won Downtown LA’s Best Unique Store for the past three years.


Unique gifts for every style of Mom.

Prizes and gifts with purchase throughout the day, including High Teas for Two at the Biltmore Hotel, Hilary Beane silk scarves, and more.

Complimentary treats will be served.

Deeply rooted in skateboard, graffiti, and tattoo culture, and one of the last authentic brands left that incorporate original artistic works within their pieces, REBEL8 will present a unique assortment of apparel and accessories for two days only.

Giant – Eternal by Mike Giant, tattoo artist, graphic designer & the creator of the original art featured on REBEL8 products. Giant features 304 pages with 680 images of Giant’s illustration, tattoos, graffiti, and street art.

Mike Giant and Joshy D., REBEL8 founder, will be in attendance.


Admission to all exhibitions:

Free to the public

FIDM Museum FIDM Museum Blog FIDM Museum Shop on Facebook FIDM Museum Shop on Twitter Facebook Twitter FIDM Museum Shop