John Lennon Exhibit Imagines No Hunger

Feb 13, 2014

Volunteer Leonard Rang sorts through food donated during the holidays. Volunteers must inspect each item before putting it on Food Bank shelves.
Credit Krista Almanzan

Singer-Song writer John Lennon died more than 30 years ago, but both his songs and his art live on. And like Lennon once did, his art is doing tours on the road. The traveling exhibit opens Friday in Carmel. 

The exhibit features nearly 100 limited edition lithographs, serigraphs and copper etchings of Lennon’s pen and ink artwork, and hand written song lyrics. Rudy Siegel of Legacy Fine Art & Productions says most were printed after Lennon’s death in 1980 and some have been colorized by Yoko Ono.  

“I always notice the self-portraits. He really seemed to be introspective and expressed those thoughts, how he was feeling about himself through his drawings,” said Siegel.

Legacy Fine Art & Productions works with the John Lennon Estate to produce these exhibits.  The money from any sales is split between the two, but each stop is also tied to a local charity.  

"Imagine there's no hunger. I think we can all relate to that. So it's a natural match," said Melissa Kendrick, Development Director for the Food Bank for Monterey County.

In this case, visitors to this weekend’s exhibit in Carmel will be asked to donate at least $3 to the Food Bank for Monterey County.  “Yoko has set this up so we are able to benefit local non-profits in the country.   In the last five years or so, it’s really focused on feeding people and we use the great tag line from the song, Imagine there’s no hunger,” said Siegel.

“Imagine there’s no hunger.  I think we can all relate to that.  So it’s a natural match,” said  Melissa Kendrick, Development Director for the Food Bank for Monterey County. 

Walking through the Food Bank’s warehouse in Salinas she stops next to a row of food collection barrels. “Right here you are probably going to recognize these.  We were just talking about the barrel campaign during the holiday season. We had an exceptional year.  We collected over 175,000 pounds of food,” said Kendrick. 

Getting that food from the barrels onto the food bank shelves can be quite labor intensive.  Volunteers stand at a table, sorting through those barrels one item at a time, looking for this like expiration dates. 

On the other hand, monetary donations go to use much more quickly.  Kendrick says for every dollar donated she can buy $5 worth of food.  So she was more than happy to get involved in the Lennon exhibit. 

“We have a warehouse full of food, that being said, we always need more food. There’s a great need, and sadly our cost have risen just as our recipient population has risen,” said Kendrick.

The exhibit has been traveling the country for over twenty years and has previously stopped in Monterey.   But Rudy Siegel says its changed over time as prints sell, and new prints are added.

“Who knows what Yoko has in terms of sketchbooks from John and each year she releases two or three drawings turned into prints, so the collection has grown in that regard,” said Siegel.  Still he adds, it’s getting harder and harder to pull together a show of 100 pieces.

The John Lennon “All You Need is Love” art exhibit opens Friday at noon in the Carmel Plaza and continues through Sunday.