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The North Wind

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Dallas Wiertella
Dallas Wiertella
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Through my experience here at the North Wind I have been able to have the privilege of highlighting students through all forms of multimedia journalism. Whether I'm in front or behind the camera, I aim...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Opinion — Its okay to outgrow your college friends
Opinion — It's okay to outgrow your college friends
Megan PoeApril 12, 2024

Artist returns to NMU, paints to music

Last time performance artist David Garibaldi came to Northern Michigan University, the turnout was, according to Garibaldi, “the best we’ve ever had at a college show.”

But that recognition, due largely to the art and design community at Northern, is not Garibaldi’s only reason for coming back to Marquette on March 29.

“The college did an amazing job communicating to everyone what I did, so this year I wanted to come back and give them another entertaining show.”

The show, which will be held in the Vandament Arena, will feature Garibaldi painting four pop-art portraits.

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The portraits often take less than 10 minutes to finish, and in the past shows have included such pop-culture, music and political icons as Barack Obama, Michael Jackson, Martin Luther King Jr. and Kanye West.

“It’s great because he’s a performance painter, so he paints portraits to music,” Sarah Leissring, Northern Arts and Entertainment president, said.

According to Leissring, Garibaldi has one staple image, Albert Einstein, which he does at most of his shows. The other three will be a surprise.

“His show is unique. It’s not something that comes to Northern very often,” she said. “That’s what we loved so much about him, he’s easy to work with and as Northern Arts and Entertainment. We really try to have a large variety of things to bring to campus.”

Leissring, a senior sports science major, is the last remaining member of the Northern A&E crew that brought Garibaldi two years ago.

And since his last visit in April of 2010, Garibaldi’s art – and goals – have changed greatly.

“At this point in my career, I’ve been fortunate to do a lot with the basics of my art form,” he said. “I’m now inspired to take what I do to the next level. I’m still inspired by music, pop culture and movement, but it’s applying those to more ways to entertain the audience.

“As we reach more people I hope to continue to change up my show, and create entertaining experiences people will remember for the rest of their life. It’s a tall order but I’m up for the challenge.”

Another challenge of Garibaldi’s performance-based art is fundraising, to which he was excited to report a recent milestone.

“First thing on my to do list is to reach my $1 million charity goal by age 30,” the 29 year-old said. “So far, we’ve helped raise $900,000 for charities through my art. I’m so excited to reach that goal this year.”

Garibaldi, who usually leaves one of his four paintings for the sponsoring university or venue, will also raffle one off to a student.

After his last visit to NMU, Garibaldi left an MLK portrait, which can now be seen in the Hedgcock building.

Garibaldi began his career as a teenage graffiti artist in southern California before discovering that his art could be used as an inspiration to more than just himself.

That’s when he began performing “music-driven art,” which has become a composite of his passions and purpose.
“One of the most influential parts of graffiti that has inspired my current work is really creating bold and in your face imagery,” he said. “When you see a ‘graff’ name on a train or a wall and you are in your car, you only get a second to see it.

“So, the art needs to capture someone whether they have time to stand around, or just passing by. Graffiti has inspired the big, bold and bright side of my art.”

Garibaldi will be performing at 8 p.m. in Vandament Arena on Thursday, March 29.

The cost is free for NMU students with their student ID, and $5 for the general public.

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