About: Anna grew up in New York City, and lived on Sugar Hill. The Sugar Hill Neighborhood is a small enclave, north of Harlem.
Sugar Hill in the 1950s and 1960s was an exciting place to grow up. Anna heard stories of all of the famous African American artists and Musicans and others who had lived in the neighborhood during the glamour of the Harlem Renaissance. That pride was pervasive.
Edwards says “These later works are from a series I continue to revisit, “The Light Bearers”, deliverers of Light and purveyors of inspiration, & wisdom, these gatherers of Light have planted seeds helping us tap into our true source of inspiration. Our enlightenment and illumination is from within. The Light from within speaks to us individually yet; there are those special souls around us, The Light Bearers, who inspire us through their writings, art, music, poetry, living, teaching and inventions. The paintings in this series are exploring the spiritual landscape of the individual. While many are my particular and personal stories, they are also universal. My intent is to pay homage to a few of those extraordinary individuals, public and private who have led the way for my spiritual and artistic growth and have been an inspiration to many. As an artist my work has been influenced by travel. Exploring the Urban Landscape through travel, walking city streets, visiting museums and local eateries connected me with the locals and as I began to see the landscape of cities and people, I felt that these manifestations reflected the consciousness of the communities.
As I spent time exploring and watching my own experiences unfold, I began to see how there was a direct correlation between what happened in the outer and my inner thought patterns. As this exploration continues, my artwork is focusing more on the Spiritual landscape of the individual. My aim is to produce paintings that are soothing and comforting to see and enjoy. In my Spiritual quest I have begun to see each person and event as a link in the chain for my continued growth.
Exploring the universal Spiritual Landscape and my own journey of Spiritual growth. I share this work, inviting you to look beyond the formal qualities of the work, and enjoy the surface, textures and the intricate subtleties up close to view and see what I appreciate as I am creating the works, the details one cannot realize from afar.
About: Paula Vaughan was born and raised in Chicago, then decided to build my life in California where I found my dreams as a firefighter and photography as my passion.Shooting is a big part of my life, capturing a moment that I can share, and express through pictures on how I see the world. making a moment last a lifetime.Thanks for your support in seeing the world through my eyes.
About: I am an Oakland artist who believes that art exists to bring forth one’s internal beliefs and concepts. Finding ways to interpret one’s beliefs, concepts and ideas should never be limited to one medium. Each art piece creates an extension of love, fearlessness and a little trepidation. Trepidation that one’s concept might not be actualized in the complete form from the artiste’s mind’s eye. When a viewer stops to reflects on the images created it is important that they see a window that is open and inviting. The desire is that the viewer looks inside and walks away with a sense of the emotions that brought forth the creation.
Leon Kennedy is a distinguished self-taught artist. A native of Houston, Texas, Kennedy has lived and worked in Oakland, California for over 25 years. He captures and paints the people and scenes of Bay Area life. Kennedy paints on “everything” including bedsheets, wood, tables, chairs, glass, and metal. He creates his artworks with markers, paints, crayons, beads, glitter, cotton, yarn, and rope.
Leon Kennedy is inspired by the Spirit. His trademark is the hand. “Hands symbolize my personal testimony. Hands stand for the power of the imagination and for divine testimony. God is the door . . . Prayer is the key. God sees my heart. He has the master plan; I am his obedient servant. Faith leads. I follow Him.”
Kennedy’s art has been exhibited at the Smithsonian Institute, the Collection de l’Art Brut, Lowell Revolving Museum, American Visionary Art Museum, African American Museum in Dallas, Redux Gallery, Asian Cultural Center, King’s Gallery of the San Francisco Unitarian Universalist Church, and the National Museum of American Art through the Rosenak Collection. Kennedy’s art is featured in the book Contemporary American Folk Art by Jan and Chuck Rosenak.
Kennedy has created art for 50 years to show hope, love and blessings in our lives. He believes that with God, all things are possible.
Street Spirit article about Leon’s life April 2014 edition: http://www.thestreetspirit.org/the-visionary-folk-art-of-leon-kennedy
“As a child, I knew that art was my vocation. My artwork is an affirmation of faith, love, and charity in my life. These virtues are what we need most in our community. I
My paintings are visions that are God-given. When I draw faces I emphasize the eyes. Through the eyes, you see and feel something—glimpse the soul.
I pray that people feel the spirit when viewing my art and connect to their hearts. Love is most important in life and the message I show is that God is Love.” – Leon Kennedy
Image 1: Joy and Love, 2021, Acrylic, marker, cotton, glue on canvas, 16″ x 20″ Image 2: Dreams, 2021, Acrylic, marker, cotton Q-tips, glue on canvas, 16″ x 20″ Image 3: Circle of Faith, 2021, Acrylic, marker, cotton, stones, glue on canvas, 46″ x 43″
About: My artwork resonates a process of gathering, reflecting, composing, juxtaposing and reassemble. My color palette comes from mélange of re-claimed organic items, things others have thrown away: metal scraps, industrial leavings, abandoned commonplace objects, castoff baubles, junked trinkets, and other discarded odds and ends. My new discovery medium is acrylic pour over found objects.
– Atiba Sylvia Thomas, Assemblage Artist and Teaching Artist
About: In Alabama, as a young child, I observed my mother making quilts for our beds on a quilting frame made with two-by- fours. I watched her stretch the balls of cotton that we grew on the farm into a batting layer, and wash and soften flour sacks for backing fabric. The pieced top of the quilt was recycled from clothes we had outgrown.
Some years ago my daughter took me to a series of classes at the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco (MOAD), which was taught by master quilter, Marion Coleman. This allowed me to continue the quilting tradition. Since those first quilts, I have done dozens of quilting projects. My quilts have been exhibited over two dozen times, with one being featured in the New York Times Art Section along with other quilts from the African American Quilting Guild of Oakland (AAQGO).
I am reminded of the utility of quilts when I think of my mother. But quilts are also beautiful art, and a great vehicles for storytelling. I enjoy the process of quilt making. We have moved from coverings for beds to public and private art depicting who we are.
Quilting not only allows me to create beautiful art, working with different colors and textures, but also to use the beauty of the quilting medium to draw the viewer into thinking about serious issues facing our world.
VALERIE BROWN-TROUTT Something wonderful happened to me during the summer of 1999. I claimed and discovered my artist: Me! I went to several second hand shops and bought old canvas and found thrown away framed pictures and took them apart, covered them with gesso and started a studio on my patio. I got lost for hours in the dialogue of mixing color, creation, making meaning through images and mediation. Turning old ugly things into something new is so much fun and inexpensive. Messing up, changing my mind and starting all over again satisfied by creative energy Art in a variety of forms has always been my passion. I love paintings, poems, theater, jazz, singers, poetry, actors and actresses, photography, great movie pictures, sculpture, rhetoric, comedy, nature, etc. My art, often whimsically, intentionally creates what I have missed in my art loving experience, me! For example, I was born into a world that never showed me a lovely black, fat angel, so I painted me some. I am nurtured by and long to see things that look like me, especially my people (whom I love) and my ancestors. This is where it started.
I continue today to address the absence of images that I think are important to the stories of my life and culture. I create to preserve and share with others especially my grandchildren what life is for me presently and while growing up in the 50’s and 60’s. Many of these images celebrate the core values of my spirituality and codes of the communities of my origins which makes life meaningful for me.
About: Painting has always held a special place in my heart. Art reflects, radiates and reveals God’s omnipresence here on earth. It can stimulate the wonderment of ones mind to not only see its visual beauty, but to feel the essence of the wind. I live to paint another day!
About: From early childhood until now Bill A. Dallas has been connected with music and painting – especially the beauty of jazz, and how it reflects his style of painting, which he calls artmatism.
The significance of all music plays an important part in his art world, which goes far beyond just images and colors. He finds that music has a crucial role in how he approaches artmatism painting.
He’s created a unique harmony of rhythm that is entirely original, rhythmic, and with a full orchestration of movement and color. Painting is truly one of the perfect instruments to illustrate the real depth and complexities of the central absorbing moments of life’s mystery. The term “artmatism” can imply a metaphor for music, particularly jazz music – being fascinated by painting’s emotional power, each painting expresses itself through color, shape and space. It allows the viewer to engage with a freedom of imagination, interpretations and emotional responses.
His strokes come from a vivid and complex world of emotions and memories from his past. Dallas brings to life in his art the true colors, sounds and beauty of the music in his unheard of, but seen in his paintings. He’s making a physical and powerful connection between color and sound. If one can open that delicate mind we all procreate at times, one can feel the resemblance transported on canvas, the multiple colors of exhilarating sounds of great music!
As a young ambitious artist and very curious about learning he decided to pursue an art degree from the University of California, Berkeley, in the department of Art Practice.
It was a privilege to be embraced by such great art professors as Loran, Hartmann, Voulkos, Melchert, Bischoff, Kasten and Robert Hudson.
About: Latisha Baker Artworks is a handmade creative art business based in Oakland, CA. Latisha is self-taught and started as a hobbyist over 25 years ago making jewelry and home accessories with found materials consisting of a variety of wood and natural materials. She continues to develop art practice as a wearable art jewelry designer and visual artist.
The primary medium is a primitive technique called pyrography (firewriting), also known as, wood burning or pyroetching. She uses a variety of recycled and purchased wood, including birch, cherry and walnut to create her artwork.
She is inspired by people’s stories, movement and human anatomy. She juxtaposes the human form with life events and experiences. The complexity of her work can vary, but there is a common theme of reconciliation through recovery, healing and transformation.