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Life & Work with Patrick Hershberger

Today we’d like to introduce you to Patrick Hershberger. 

Hi Patrick, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Discovered street art and graffiti while in Chicago in the mid-2000s. That work turned into murals and public art over the years when moving back to Kalamazoo. I work with a few local committees: the Kalamazoo County Public Art Commission (current chair) Kalamazoo Earth Day planning committee, and Bike Friendly Kalamazoo Art Committee (current chair). Current art created in-studio are illustrations and comics with watercolor as a primary medium and public art with community engagement as a priority. 

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It’s never been a smooth road, but the bumps help define you. Struggle creates strength. 

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
Murals have evolved into public art projects, where community engagement and equity of content have to be first and foremost. I used to worry about brand identity with murals, but I look at it differently now. If I’m going to create within a community, I want it to represent and engage that community. My personal work is pretty different from the public art projects and explore fantasy worlds within the Midwestern River scenes. I’m collaborating with author and friend Billy McCall on translating some of his stories into comics. Art is part of life’s journey, and I really enjoy working with others on the path to see where it takes us. 

Let’s talk about our city – what do you love? What do you not love?
I love Kalamazoo. I moved away for a while, but it’s where my friends, family, and community are. We have a strong artist community and are surrounded by a diverse education community. We have our struggles, equity being a forefront issue. 

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Image Credits

Patrick Hershberger

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