Adenaike is a watercolorist of Yoruba heritage and has a passion for Igbo symbols and culture. He received a BA in Fine Art from the University of Nigeria, Adenaike in 1979, and a MFA in Painting in 1982. After graduating, he has worked in advertising and graphic design.
Adenaike is considered by art historians and critics as a third generation artist of the Nsukka School, pioneered by Uche Okeke, Chike Aniakor and Obiora Udechukwu. The School is closely associated with Igbo traditional art and wall paintings known as uli, which formed the foundation of the School’s creative experimentation.
Baker has a background in studio art and graphic design, and graduated from Marygrove College of Detroit (1986) with a B.A in Fine Art. She was introduced to collage 1981 while a student at University of Detroit-Mercy. Romare Bearden laid a foundation for storytelling through use of collage and is an inspiration for Baker who uses narrative storytelling to give a voice to some of those silent faces found in the early 20th century photographs she collects and incorporates into her work. Baker’s work can be found in many private collections across the country.
Carreno’s paintings provide a fresh perspective with spontaneous, organic abstractions emphasizing large, bold sweeping strokes. By experimenting with various tools, he has discovered a way to push the thick pigment across the canvas quickly in a controlled yet organic flow. He draws inspiration from landscapes and nature while experimenting with light and color. Carreno is a native of the Dominican Republic and has works in several public collections including the Latin American Museum of Modern Art in Washington, D.C., the Dominican American Institute of Culture and The Reserved Bank of the Dominican Republic, Dillard University, New Orleans, LA, as well as many private collections.
Flowers is among a group of African American artists that have used their visual art platform to call for social change; however, he categorizes his art as a “love movement:” Having spent the last twenty-two years incarcerated after being wrongly imprisoned as a youth, he used his time reading voraciously and found himself intrigued by scientific theories of time. Flowers felt a particular kinship with Stephen Hawkins whose bodily imprisonment and limitations of movement seemed to reflect his own incarceration. His recent exhibition represented an homage to Stephen Hawkin and his book, A Brief History of Time. Flowers earned credit as a student and became inspired to write and self-publish eleven books while in prison. Since being released, he has worked with Kim Kardashian for her documentary, The Justice Project and collaborated with Kanye West in a spoken word performance. He has received the Halcyon Arts Lab and Echoing Green fellowships and has been featured in exhibitions at MoMA PS1 (Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration) and as a panelist at conferences on the campuses of many universities around the country.
Born in New Orleans, Henry has been a major force in the Baton Rouge art scene for over 30 years as an artist, teacher and mentor. He has an undergraduate degree from Southern University where he now teaches and a master’s from LSU. Henry was singled out by New York Times art critic Roberta Smith for his work “Rhythm Nation (Homage to Willem de Kooning)” in the exhibition 60 Americans in 2015. His process when creating is improvisational using bold colors, textures and shapes influenced by ones found in traditional African art. He has exhibited his work in across the country and abroad and has been placed in private and public collections.
Julien is a photographer and mixed media artist who has found success as an assemblage artist. His work has been exhibited in the New Orleans Museum of Art; the Louisiana State Museum, Houston’s Diverse Works; the Darkroom (New Orleans); Arps Gallery (Amsterdam) and De Galerie Den Haag (the Hague) and MIA Milan Image Art Fair (Milan, Italy). His Katrina series has been catalogued in the New Orleans Museum of Art’s Katrina Exposed (2006). In 2010, he was featured in Before During After: Louisiana Photographers’ Visual Reactions to Hurricane Katrina, a companion to the international traveling exhibition
Kinnord grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. She completed her BFA at Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, and received her MFA from Ohio State University in Columbus. In 1995 she moved to New Orleans, LA where she met one of her mentors, John T. Scott and became Associated Professor of Art at Xavier University of Louisiana. Using ceramic sculptural forms resembling mud huts of Ghana, Kinnord’s work is about ancestral memory. She has found inspiration in architecture; exploring exteriors and interiors through clay and surface treatment. Her work has been exhibited internationally.
Lister was born in Shreveport, LA, attended Morgan State and earned a BFA in Fine Art from Bowie State University. His work is influenced by cubism, abstract expressionism and neo expressionism and due to certain similarities, closely identifies with Jean-Michel Basquiat as a person and as an artist. While his process appears to be totally organic, he preplans his paintings while allowing for elements of spontaneity. His brush strokes often mimic the jazz music he plays while working. Lister’s work provides social commentary on the struggles and lifestyles of Black Americans while utilizing the visual language of stylized figures, icons, text, symbols and bold colors, along with imagery from popular culture.
1923 - 2018
Lofton brings an intercultural identity to his paintings. The artist moved to Mexico in the 1990s and became a part of a small community of artists that included Elizabeth Catlett and Francisco Mora. His work provides a commentary rooted in the black experience while finding a spiritual bond between African and Mexican designs.
Lofton honed his craft from 1948-1954 at the Art Students League and from 1971-72 at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. During that time he became a prolific artist, creating his works in a loft in lower Manhattan. His work has been exhibited extensively in New York City, Florida and Mexico.
Lynn is a painter and one half of the Lynn brothers, who received early success collaborating under the name “Twin.” Their work can be found in many celebrity collections including Kanye West; Black Enterprise founder Earl Graves; Ralph White of Earth Wind and Fire; Singer/song writer Kem; Alonzo and Tracey Mourning; BET Founder Bob Johnson and former NBA player Ulysses ‘Junior’ Bridgeman. The “Twin” duo have been featured in multiple magazines and publications and were the official artists of the Essence Music Awards; The Tom Joyner Foundation Cruise; The Kentucky Derby Grand Gala; Black Enterprise Golf and Tennis Challenge and many more. Now working solo, Lynn often merges historical and current events in his paintings.
Maiden’s paintings offer a bit of whimsy that is anchored in the culture of living in the rural South. His figures are placed in an environment in which he is familiar; the artist grew up in the small city of Greenville, MS. Maiden paints what he knows, growing cotton and watermelon on the family farm. After graduating high school, Leonard joined the Marine Corps and was honorably discharged in 1995. Upon his return, he did odd jobs before spending a semester abroad in Paris, France and then graduating with a B.F.A. in studio art in 2005 from Louisiana Tech University School of Art, with a concentration in oil painting. His work can be found in many private collections across the country.
Master printmaker, Martin explores how women of color have traditionally been defined using a variety of mediums, including various printmaking techniques, painting, drawing, collage and hand-stitching, and even repurposing vintage jewelry into her layering process. She also uses signs, symbols, and language to tell her stories. Martin is a full-time artist with a studio in Huffman, Texas. She received a BFA in drawing from Texas Southern University and an MFA in printmaking from Perdue University. Formerly a member of the Fine Arts faculty at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Martin’s work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally. She was also included in the International Review of African American Art as one of sixteen African American artists to watch who were gaining national and international attention in 2015. Her work can be found in many private, corporate, and permanent museum collections.
CHARLY PALMER has exhibited at STELLA JONES GALLERY for over fifteen years and has illustrated nearly a dozen children’s books. Palmer’s career has skyrocketed in the last five years after creating the album cover for John Legend’s most recent album and gracing the cover of Time Magazine’s “America Must Change” issue on race, amidst the uprising after the death of George Floyd. The artist was recently chosen to design the cover of NBA 2K22, the forthcoming 75th anniversary edition of the popular NBA 2K videogame series, designed two Olympic posters and painted portraits for the Green Bay Packers football stadium.
Palmer’s work can be found in private and public collections, including Atlanta Life Insurance, McDonald’s Corporation, Miller Brewing Company, Coca Cola Company and Vanderbilt University. One of Palmers paintings was auctioned in 2015 as part of “THE ART COLLECTION OF MAYA ANGELOU” by Swann Auction Galleries.
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Payton is a veteran steel sculptor, and a New Orleans native who is notably influenced by jazz history, a recurring theme in his work.
He has been widely exhibited and was featured in a retrospective at the Amistad Research Center. Payton has received commissions throughout the country and his work is included in the permanent collections of institutions such as the New Orleans Museum of Art and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. He recently retired from teaching art at Southern University in Baton Rouge.
Prince is a Printmaker who received his BFA from Xavier University, New Orleans and his MFA in Printmaking and Sculpture from Michigan State University. He is Director of Engagement and Distinguished Artist in Residence, Mucarelle Museum of Art, William and Mary College, Williamsburg, Virginia. Prince has shown his work internationally in solo, group, and juried exhibitions including the Ohr’-Okeefe Museum, Biloxi, Mississippi; the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, Laurel, Mississippi; the Contemporary Art Center of Virginia; the National Gallery of the Bahamas; the Museum of Cultural Arts Center, Santa Catarina, Brazil; the Grand Rapids Museum of Art; the Portsmouth Courthouse Museum; the Louisiana Art and Science Museum; the Museum of African American Culture, New Orleans and the Peninsula Fine Arts Center.
WALDEMAR, a graduate of the American Academy of Art in Chicago is one of the Caribbean’s leading watercolorists. He now divides his time between New Orleans and Kingston, Jamaica. He has recently begun exploring the complexity of race in America – specifically the South, highlighting many Southern traditions as well as the pain that often hides beneath the elegance and beautiful facades. His work has been exhibited throughout Jamaica and the United States.
He has been published in the American Artist Magazine and International Artist Magazine. His work is in private collections in the U.S.A., United Kingdom, Canada and Jamaica.
CEY ADAMS, a New York native, emerged from the downtown graffiti movement to exhibit alongside fellow artists Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring. He appeared in the historic 1982 PBS documentary Style Wars, which tracks subway graffiti in New York. Adams served as Creative Director for Hip-Hop mogul Russell Simmons’ Def Jam Recordings, where he co-founded the Drawing Board, the label’s in-house visual design firm, creating visual identities, album covers, logos, and advertising campaigns for Run DMC, Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, Public Enemy, Notorious B.I.G., Maroon 5, and Jay-Z. He exhibits, lectures and teaches art workshops at institutions including: The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, where his Black Flag mural greets visitors.
Adams work can also be found in the collections of MoMA, Brooklyn Museum, Museum of the City of New York, New York University, Temple University, Walker Art Center, MoCA Los Angeles, Pratt Institute, Stanford University, Howard University, Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, High Museum, Brooklyn Academy of Music, among others. He co-authored “DEFinition: The Art and Design of Hip-Hop,” published by Harper-Collins; and designed “Def Jam Recordings: The First 25 Years of the Last Great Record Label,” published by Rizzoli. He recently collaborated with IDEO, Apple, Levi’s, Foot Locker, Converse, Pabst Blue Ribbon, YouTube and Google.
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1901 - 1989
Barthé received numerous awards for his sculpture, including the Rosenwald Fellowship and the Guggenheim Fellowship. Considered by critics to be one of the leading “moderns” of his time, Barthé’s sculpture bridges the gap between realism and abstraction. His figures fit within the Realist tradition, but their elongated and sometimes distorted forms lend an Expressionist quality. He was the one of first sculptors to feature blacks as one of the main subjects. In 1929, Barthé relocated to New York, where he established a studio in Harlem. Immersing himself in the cultural renaissance flourishing there, Barthé developed a reputation among scholars of the New Negro Movement, including Alain Locke, who became a passionate collector and promoter of his work, as well as Langston Hughes.
RON BECHET is a native of New Orleans who studied art at the University of New Orleans and went on to earn a graduate degree from Yale University. He returned to New Orleans in 1982 and began a career teaching art, first at Delgado Community College, then at Southern University at New Orleans and, since 1998, at Xavier University. He is one of 51 artists from the United States, the Caribbean, Africa, and Europe who exhibited around the city of New Orleans as part of Prospect 5 triennial.
1924 - 2001
In 1941, while attending Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia, Biggers met artist-educator Viktor Lowenfeld who became his mentor and encouraged him to explore themes of racism, as did fellow teachers Elizabeth Catlett and Charles White. Following two years of service in the United States Navy during World War II, Biggers went on to pursue both a master’s (1948) and doctoral (1954) degree at Pennsylvania State University, where Lowenfeld was then teaching. During this period, he refined his artistic mission and style. Biggers was a technically gifted draughtsman and skilled lithographer, who worked primarily in conté crayon and oil paints to create images of unidealized figures coping with poverty and despair. In 1949, he moved to Houston, Texas, where he served as founder and chairman of Texas State (now Texas Southern) University’s art department, a post he held until 1983.
1917 - 2010
Dr. Burroughs accomplishments are many, both as a visual artist and the founder of arts organizations, including the first national organization for black artists in 1959 and the Du Sable Museum of African American History in Chicago, Illinois in 1961. he Du Sable is the first museum of its kind that grew out of the indigenous black community and which gained International acclaim as a resource for African American art. It remains an important institution today in the study and conservation of African American history, culture, and art that houses artworks, artifacts and documents. Burroughs is among the outstanding institution builders of her generation. Dr. Burroughs has exhibited in the United States, Mexico, Poland, China and Russia and received six honorary degrees and over sixty honors and awards. Burroughs learned the technique of linoleum-block printing at the Taller de Grafica in Mexico from 1952 – 1953. Burroughs produced prints of images evocative of African American culture that she could make available “…to ordinary people at a very nominal cost…” which could be “… used in some way to contribute to the liberation of our people.”
1915 - 2012
Catlett started the Fine Art Department at Dillard University in the 1940’s, a time when New Orleans was very much a segregated city as well as a cultural melting pot with many ethnic “identities” represented. Her decision to come to New Orleans was not a capricious one. Although she was only 25 years old when she arrived, she had already begun to establish a definite political and artistic identity. Her commitment to black feminism and social consciousness never wavered; it was the underpinnings that governed all of her work. Catlett went on to become an accomplished artist with numerous distinguished awards whose work is placed in many prominent public, private and museum collections. Her art has always questioned the status quo, addressing, “the blatant injustice of racism, sexism and classism worldwide and especially on the home front. Her sculptures, prints and drawings are considered to be among those artists on the forefront of the contemporary art scene.
1944 - 2020
Delsarte was featured in the February, 2019 Time Magazine The Art of Optimism issue guest-edited by Ava DuVernay, which focused on leaders and artists of color who are shaping the field. According to Delsarte “Growing up in Brooklyn in the ’50s, I drew constantly. Everywhere I went, I had a sketchbook with me, sketching people on buses, trains, subways.” Louis Delsarte is a painter known for his large-scale works and murals celebrating black history and culture in America. Delsarte cites Harlem Renaissance figures like Duke Ellington and Langston Hughes as significant influences on his work. “I try to work toward peace, to say that art is the meaning of love, that living on earth is a spiritual quest,” he says. “I try to elevate the spirit of man and the spirit of humanity.”
1910 - 2007
Crite was most known for his narrative paintings of social life in his neighborhood as well as depictions of Christian themes. He was very prolific and produced an enormous body of work that will sustain his legacy as a painter of the American scene. Over the eight decades of his career, he inspired generations of younger artists who bestowed on him the honorary title of the Dean of African American artists in New England. He learned his craft through the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and in 1940 obtained a draughtsman position at the Boston Naval Yard where he remained until his retirement in 1974. His work can be found in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists, Smithsonian Institution, Museum of African American History, Boston Athenaeum, Phillips Collection, Corcoran Gallery of American Art, Boston Public Library, Newark Museum and others.
1909 - 1987
RICHARD DEMPSEY (1909 – 1987) is WPA trained, attended the California School of Arts & Crafts in the 1930s and created experimental figurative works in the 1950s; colorful, playful works inspired by many trips to the Caribbean; and utilitarian, abstract motifs in his later works. In 1941 he became the first African American to hold the draftsman position at the Federal Power Commission in Washington D.C.-
Denmark attended Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) in Tallahassee, Florida on a sports scholarship. While pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Art degree, Denmark came under the tutelage of Dr. Samella Lewis, who exposed him to the great traditions and accomplishments of the African-American art movement. After graduating, Denmark moved to Brooklyn, New York, and began a career as an art teacher in the public school system. He later earned his MFA at Pratt Institute of Fine Art, New York. During this time he was exposed to abstract expressionists including Norman Lewis. Romare Bearden, Jacob Lawrence and Ernest Crichlow were also influences who instilled an appreciation for his African heritage. He began experimenting with collage, watercolor and charcoal but found he was drawn to the improvisational aspects of collage. His work has been exhibited internationally and can be found in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, among others.
1921 - 2005
Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Gammon was a teacher, painter and printmaker. Although he occasionally painted still life’s and landscapes, the human figure was his essential means of expression. Born during the Depression, he would use the figure to express his intense interest in the human condition. Gammon studied art at the Philadelphia Museum College of Art on a scholarship in 1941 and after moving to New York City in 1948 began experimenting with cubism, something that found its way into his work occasionally over the next 50 years. Years later he joined Spiral; a group of African American artists created to stimulate an exchange of evolving ideas and included several significant African American artists. He was also a member of the Black Emergency Cultural Coalition, which he formed in 1969 with Benny Andrews. After retirement, Gammon became a founding member of New Grounds Print Workshop & Gallery in 1996. It was there that he renewed his love for printmaking and developed his last body of work, a collection of over 100 prints of historically important jazz musicians and gospel singers.
1925 - 2019
McNair was a photographer for 50 years and was one of just a few black photographers in the ‘60s and 70s. He captured moments in history and prominent people such as Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr. He was also the father of one of the four girls lost in the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing in 1963. Upon arriving at what was let of the church that day, he took just one photograph. Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin stated that “Mr McNair and his family are forever tied to our country’s civil-rights legacy.” He was also the first African American member of the Alabama Legislature since Reconstruction.
1919 - 2003
Gentry was an Expressionist painter who lived and worked in Paris,
France, Copenhagen, Denmark, in the Swedish cities of Gothenburg, Stockholm, and Malmö, and in New York City as a permanent resident of the Hotel Chelsea.
During the Harlem Renaissance his mother was an actress and dancer with friends who included Langston Hughes, Paul Robeson and Duke Ellington. Gentry learned his craft by taking art classes at the Harlem YMCA and he went on to study art under the FAP (Federal Art Project) of the WPA (Works Progress Administration.)
1918 - 2013
Grigsby was a celebrated artist, writer and educator who obtained a B.A. degree from Morehouse College, a M.A. in art from Ohio State University and a Ph.D. from New York University. He met his long time mentor, Hale Woodruff at Morehouse. He was a Professor Emeritus of Art and recognized internationally as an artistic voice for African Americans. He received countless awards and distinctions and has exhibited extensively throughout the United States in solo and group exhibitions. His paintings and sketches have been noted for their energy and spirituality.
Hunts career spans six decades and he has redefined the role of public sculpture in the late 20th and early 21st century. Hunt has created more public works than any other artist in America, in more than twenty-four states. Over the course of his career, he has experimented with various media including welded and cast sculpture dating from the 1950s to the present. His works on paper illustrate his fascination with linear forms which provide the basis for his three-dimensional work. Hunt studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the early 1950s. His first major retrospective was at the Museum of Modern Art in 1971 when he was 35 years old and has been exhibited eleven more times since. His retrospective was only the third solo exhibition for a black artist in the history of MoMA.
Wosene Worke Kosrof
I create a visible, interactive surface – like visual icons that are accessible to everyone. My paintings invite viewers to dialogue with them, to take them into their memory.
WOSENE WORKE KOSROF has created an internationally recognized artistic signature in his work by being the first contemporary Ethiopian-born artist to use the script forms – fiedel – of his native Amharic as a core element in his paintings. He paints from a place between accident and intention, curiosity and discovery, mastery and uncertainty – and so the viewer too can approach his work to discover meanings that emerge through their interaction.
While attending Howard University, he was surprised that his art history professor was lecturing about his paintings as examples of the new contemporary art coming out of Africa. As a student in 1972 at the School of Fine Arts, Addis Ababa, he had begun showing his paintings in Ethiopia, as well as in the USA, and was pleased that he was already becoming recognized as an artist so early on in his career.
His work can be found in museum collections, including the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington, DC; National Museum of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa; The Newark Museum, Newark, NJ; Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, NY; Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, IN; Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, AL; Fowler Museum at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA; Fleming Museum, Burlington, VT and many more. His work can also be found in many international private collections. His work has been reviewed by The New York Times, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Winston-Salem Journal and the Philadelphia Tribune.
Mayhew was a founding member of Spiral, a collective of African-American artists that exhibited together one time only, in 1965 and was started to fight racial inequality through art. His style was greatly influenced during the 1950s explosion of Abstract Expressionist art and he enjoyed early success with a solo exhibition in a New York gallery in 1957. “An artist really develops not just from a class situation but from an association of artists around you,” Mayhew has said. “What I got from Abstract Expressionism is that it’s really improvisation. It has to do with that spontaneous moment.” Mayhew has been labeled an American Impressionist, a neo-Barbizon, a romantic Realist and a painter of Expressionistic landscapes but he rejects being put in any category. MoAD curator, Bridget Cooks, calls Mayhew “one of America’s most important abstract landscape artists of the 20th century. He masterfully follows and breaks the rules of color theory to engage and manipulate viewers’ encounters with his fantasy environments.”
According to art historian Floyd Coleman, Montgomery “is an important figure in American art. She has a long career of participating and assuming leadership in progressive causes that promoted the arts and the development of community.” He describes her as a politically active artist, arts administrator and activist. Although most know for her metal and fiber work, she is also a printmaker, museum worker, curator, arts administrator and mentor. Since 1967 she has curated over 200 exhibitions in museums, university galleries, and art centers. Though her position as a program development officer for the Arts America Program at the USIA, she was responsible for placing works by black artists in American exhibition touring abroad and in 2005 established the Evangeline J. Montgomery Scholarship Program for artists who are interested in working with the government to promote the arts. She is a passionate collector and documentarian who has brought attention and acclaim to many artists.