Bobby Martin, Jr.
2003 Grant Recipient
Martin used graphic design as an agent of change for the Abyssinian Church in Harlem, for which he received a $32,000 grant from Ideas that Matter in 2003.
Bobby’s $32,000 Ideas that Matter grant funded a billboard campaign—a campaign of positive imagery and expression that expresses the power of design and is based on first-hand experience with the project and the client.
“I chose to live in Harlem when I moved to New York City from the south because I’d read so much about this neighborhood growing up. I joined the Abyssinian Church for some of the same reasons — its 200-year history as an agent for change in this historic neighborhood. I stayed because I liked and believed in the teachings of the church. However, my experience at church certainly wasn’t reflected in its materials. So, for my Masters Thesis at SVA I redesigned their image to reflect the history and accomplishments of this 200-year old institution. I based the mark on an ancient Ethiopian Coptic cross. And used the history of race in America — its propaganda and communication style — to help people in Harlem notice and recognize the work the Church performed in the community.”