BIOGRAPHY: Mike Alewitz

Mike Alewitz was a student activist at Kent State University and an eyewitness to the murders of four students and wounding of nine others on May 4, 1970.  He was a leader of the national student strike that followed.  He has remained a lifelong anti-war and social justice advocate.

Alewitz has traveled throughout the world creating public art on themes of peace and solidarity.  He has painted in South-Central LA, New York, Baghdad, Chernobyl, Mexico, Nicaragua, Northern Ireland, Israel, the Occupied Territories and numerous other locations.

In 1999, Alewitz was named a Millennium Artist by the White House Millennium Council, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation.  In that capacity he executed a highly publicized series of murals painted in Maryland about Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad.

Alewitz has organized cultural initiatives for numerous unions and progressive organizations including the United Mine Workers, Jobs with Justice, Teamsters, Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers Union, United Farm Workers and many others.  He has used his artwork in support of numerous NY unions, including the Eastern Airlines and NY Daily News strikers, for the CWA, UNITE, HERE, Transport Workers and the NY Central Labor Council.

He has spoken and written extensively on political and cultural topics and is the co-author, with Paul Buhle, of Insurgent Images: The Agitprop Murals of Mike Alewitz.  His art has been the subject of several documentary films.  He taught labor history at Rutgers University, where he was Artist-in-Residence for the NJ Industrial Union Council.

Currently, Alewitz is Associate Professor of Art at Central Connecticut State University, where he directs the unique community-based Mural Painting and Street Art program. He is the organizer of the annual New Britain International Mural Slam and responsible for the creation of the largest collection of murals at any university in the world.

Mike Alewitz is a member of United Scenic Artists, IATSE Local 829 and the CCSU chapter of American Association of University Professors.

Because his art has given expression to working class aspirations, Alewitz’s work has frequently been the target of censorship.  He may hold the dubious distinction of being the most censored artist in the world.