Mister Rogers: Just The Way You Are

With the new movie A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, in theaters now.  A timely story of kindness triumphing over cynicism, based on the true story of a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod. After a jaded magazine writer (Emmy winner Matthew Rhys) is assigned a profile of Fred Rogers, he overcomes his skepticism, learning about kindness, love and forgiveness from America’s most beloved neighbor.

Artist WAYNE BREZINKA has created a portrait experience of Mister Rogers. 

Each of the fragments in Wayne's work is a representation of what has built us, what sustains us, and what will shape us as we walk into tomorrow. They make us who we are. Wayne share, "We are many things: well-made, cumbersome, awkward, elegant. We are complicated. We are human."

His multi-dimensional portraits make explicit reference to their subjects through the use of cut-and-pasted printed paper and repurposed materials arranged together into a vivid likeness of the subject. The aim of expression is always the same: to eloquently encapsulate the life of my subject through a multitude of textures and colors, crafting and revealing extraordinary storylines.

A unique and interactive mixed media portrait experience of Mister Rogers incorporating both two and three-dimensional elements. Through the use of objects, artifacts and memorabilia assembled together, these items craft extraordinary story lines within this artistic profile of America’s most beloved neighbor, Mister Rogers.

The interactive component to the work (the mirror specifically) was intended to stir each individual who might encounter the Mister Rogers portrait to think about how we see one another and how we are seen by others - with no malice or fear. Wayne said, "My hope is that the reflection will evoke and encourage an acceptance of ourselves and others just the way we are. I feel connected to Fred, his heart and his vision and I believe as humans we all want the same thing – and that is to be seen, to be heard and to be loved just as we are." 

Special thanks to David Newell, Amy Hollingsworth, Tim Madigan and Kathy and Beth Usher for contributing their personal photos, artifacts and memorabilia for use within the portrait.

With sincere gratitude and heartfelt thanks to Joanne Rogers, The Fred Rogers Company and The Fred Rogers Archives for this amazing opportunity.

Among the many items used to construct this work INCLUDE:

A handwritten note dated 1994 from Fred to longtime friend, Amy Hollingsworth

An original pair of glasses worn by Fred Rogers symbolizing how he saw others and a willingness to see in the vulnerable and full sense the world around him. 

Two bow ties from Fred’s collection gifted from Joanne Rogers

Several childhood photos of Fred as a young boy

Vintage Mister Roger’s Neighborhood LP’s and audio cassettes

A T.T.T. Tame Tiger Torganization membership pin dating back to the mid-1950s.
Although it is not completely confirmed, it is believed that this pin was sent to children in the mid-1950s who inquired about the T.T.T. during the run of the Children's Corner, (From WQED -- First in community television) making them official members of the Torganization.

DID YOU KNOW: Fred Rogers originally created the puppet characters of Daniel Striped Tiger, King Friday XIII, X the Owl, Lady Elaine Fairchilde, and Henrietta Pussycat for Children’s Corner and would later reuse them on "MisterRogers' Neighborhood" (1967)

SEE IT ON TOUR - 2019 – 2020
FREE and Open to the Public

WQED PBS Affiliate / Pittsburgh, PA
WQED Multimedia 4802 5th Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213 

Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Pittsburgh, PA
616 N Highland Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15206

Crayola Experience, Easton, PA
30 Centre Square, Easton, PA 18042

Wayne BREZINKA is an award-winning artist and illustrator hailing from Nashville, Tennessee. He works with paper, paint, found and repurposed items, telling stories through image with strong and intelligent conceptual solutions. As a contributing artist to publications including The Washington Post, The New York Times, POLITICO Europe, Deloitte University Press and The Tampa Bay Times, his work has been recognized by the Society of Illustrators, Communications Arts, Print Magazine and 3x3. For more insight on Wayne and his work, or to commission or discuss a project in detail, please do so at http://www.waynebrezinka.com.


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