A Call to Consciousness

Kevin McKelvy has created sixteen originals to produce eight blended images of historical characters, political icons, and religious and social figures. We are featuring five of those pieces here. The question Mr. McKelvy raises is, “Within the 3-dimensional image, which one is the sinner, which one the saint? Which one is beloved and which one reviled? Who is the patriot and who is the terrorist? Who is the charismatic and who is the lunatic?” The answer depends on where you stand—your particular point of view, perspective and approach.

About the Artist…

Kevin McKelvy is a fifty seven year old amateur artist from Southwest Missouri. He began college as an art major in the early seventies but changed his direction to psychology and education. After a nearly 35 year hiatus, Kevin was mysteriously drawn back into the art world in 2007.

Following the election of Barrack Obama, Kevin could not shake the desire to commemorate this historic event but wanted to do so in a unique way. After a great deal of meditative reflection he awoke to the idea of presenting two images in one piece that would change as the viewing perspective changed. The subjects came easy to him. President Obama of course, and Abraham Lincoln, the president whose actions set into motion the political and social transformations that would allow an African American to be elected to the highest office in this great land. After much trial and error, two originals were created and blended into one unique piece of art. The originals are acrylic on canvas. That piece ultimately led to the entire series he now refers to as One Life. Sixteen originals were created to produce eight blended visions of social, political and religious icons from around the globe. “One Life” is his challenge to the viewer to see beyond labels, affiliations and tribalism that threaten our societies.

For more information about his exhibit, visit:

Subject Biographies

Dalai Lama (6 July 1935) Tenzin Gyatso, is the 14th and current Dalai Lama. During the 1959 Tibetan uprising, the Dalai Lama fled to India, where he denounced the People’s Republic and established a government in exile.
Mao Tse-tung (26 December 1893 – 9 September 1976), was a Chinese revolutionary, political theorist and communist leader.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948) was the pre-eminent political and ideological leader of India during the independence movement.
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill (30 November 1874 – 24 January 1965) was a British politician and statesman. Churchill opposed Mohandas Gandhi’s peaceful disobedience revolt and the Indian Independence movement in the 1930s.
Mohammed Yasser Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini (24 August 1929 – 11 November 2004), popularly known as Yasser Arafat, was a Palestinian leader and a Laureate of the Nobel Prize.
Menachem Begin (16 August 1913 – 9 March 1992) was an Israeli politician and the sixth Prime Minister of the State of Israel.
George Armstrong Custer (December 5, 1839 – June 25, 1876) was a United States Army officer and cavalry commander in the American Civil War and the Indian Wars. Today he is most remembered for a disastrous military engagement known as the Battle of the Little Bighorn.
Sitting Bull (c. 1831 – December 15, 1890) was a Hunkpapa Lakota Sioux holy man who led his people as a war chief during years of resistance to United States government policies. He is notable in American and Native American history for his role in the major victory at the Battle of the Little Bighorn.
Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) served as the 16th President of the United States from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led the country through its greatest internal crisis the American Civil War. He issued his Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, and promoted the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, abolishing slavery.
Barack Hussein Obama II (4 August 1961) is the 44th President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned after his election to the presidency in November 2008.