About: Anthony “AnttonioDesigns” Smalls aka TheCounselorandCreator, outside the art world I’ve enjoyed working as a counselor for adolescents and adults. Helping others is something I have always been passionate about. With art being my passion outside of work it may be hard sometimes to find a day to paint when you’re working a 9-5. Being able to use art as my outlet helps me with my everyday life because I can just be in my own thoughts and create something unique.
AnttonioDesigns (The Counselor and Creator) started in 2017 while I was off work with torn Achilles tendon for 3 months. Not falling into a mental trap and figuring out how I would spend my next three months I decided I would get back into one of my favorite pastime as a kid which was creating art designs and inspirational quotes. I had to be productive and use my time creatively so that the 90 days I had at home was utilized and beneficial for me. During that time, I was also able to finish up my last few months of school earning my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology where I would start working back in Contra Costa County. AnttonioDesigns the counselor and creator was born out of the love of helping others become a better version of themselves through using art expressively and to help zen your mind from those other things in life that may distract you.
I chose my art piece “New Millennium Controversy” to be displayed at Art of the African Diaspora because this creation was a part of my COVID creations. This art piece also shines lite on the controversies that are taking place such as COVID-19, police brutality, racism, human and sex trafficking to date. Prince album was released in the 80’s but as we see in 2021 things haven’t changed much. I want to celebrate PEACE, LOVE & UNITY.
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About: “Digital Soul Artist Maalak (Melvin Atkins)” … was born 5th of 7 children in rural Louisiana where art covered the landscape! Plowed fields-Gardens-Animals-Cotton -Changing Seasons & Wild Flowers- Birds-Brightly Colored Trees & Mammas Flower Yard-Ladies Quilting. Paper was scarce so we drew in the sand. My art inspiration came at seeing a young woman striding slow motion, as if on air down the avenues in Oakland California! She was “The Gift!” Home I Drew What Looked Like Kindergarten Scratch… But IT Was My Birth As An Artist (1985). Hope U Like… My works have shown at Marin County Civic Center – WestAmerica Bank – Be Still – MC Art Gallery – Churches, Homes And Countless T-shirts!
More info: High Quality Prints 12 x 18 – on glossy card stock paper – Guaranteed against fading (5+years)! Larger prints can be ordered! Cost: $45 (includes shipping inside U.S.)………….. To purchase Contact:: DIGITAL SOUL ARTIST – 965 Drake Ave – Marin City-Sausalito, Ca 94965 -Melatks@nullAol.Com —- CASH APP: $Maalak Atkins or Paypal.Me/Maalak Atks
About: Rodney Bell currently resides in Oakland. He was raised in St. Louis, MO. Drawing became his first love. His mother fondly remembers one of his drawings at age 3, an abstract on a man’s white leather jacket. Rodney remembers as a child having “happy hands” when holding two or three crayons in each one. His mother’s lessons during his young age informed him to color on paper, instead of on jackets when compelled to express what he saw.
He knew he has a mission to draw as a way of life. His parents, especially his mother, continued to encourage and support his artistic endeavors. He made art to express his inner self and interest in spirituality and African American studies.
Marilyn Bradley, his art instructor at Webster Groves Senior High, encouraged him to develop and define his art skills and to enter art exhibits and contests. Rodney entered art in the National Scholastic Art Magazine and received two blue ribbons in1974 and a gold key in 1975. As he continued to develop his skills of drawing, portraits became his passionate focus. In 1996 he had an affirming experience of presenting his sketch of President Clinton and First Lady Hilary Clinton to the President.
Rodney enjoys creating art for healing and uplifting people. He skillfully applies a variety of mediums and techniques in his art making. Rodney’s art is currently exhibited at St. Mary’s Center, Oakland and is often featured in Street Spirit, an independent newspaper available in the East Bay.
More info: Rodney welcomes requests for art commissions of portraits, city scapes and animals: 615-810-2272.
More info: ART IS A BUSINESS – I am classified under the heading “urban indigenous artist” – as a business I am registered as “Claude Clark Photography” – Because everything I sell on the street is converted to a digital photograph before I send it to a printer or print it myself. I am in the process of developing moving from a niche products to Brand products – “Claude Clark Heritage Wear” I apply my original works of art, graphics and sculptures to clothing. At present I am carving walking sticks.
“African Diasporic Art and Healing Workshop” by Idris Hassan Saturday, April 3, 2021 – 11:30 am – 1:00 pm
This workshop introduces audience members to the importance of artistic expression as a healing tool in the African Diaspora. It includes a brief survey about the history of African-American and African Diasporic Art, as well as a dialogue touching on the healing aspects of artistic enrichment in cultural communities. The workshop will also explore the subject of using art as a tool for social transformation and includes an art activity. (Materials will needed will be shared prior to the workshop)
Instructor: Idris Hassan, MA – Liberal Arts, Visual Artist, Media Creator, Cultural Documentarian, and Educator
About: Idris Hassan is a photographer and cultural documentarian working in Oakland, CA and throughout the Bay Area. She is a graduate of Cal State East Bay and Naropa University with a Masters in Liberal Arts. Hassan’s work explores the deep context between the subjects and their environment, incorporating the themes of healing, belonging, and an exploration of the Diaspora. With an archive of twenty plus years of work, Hassan has traveled abroad capturing the visual essence of various communities. While transitioning from 35mm photography to digital, Idris began to incorporate collage mixed media works into her portfolio.
Before working in visual media, Idris held a career as an entertainment journalist, contributing to various national publications such as VIBE and Rap Sheet. During a recent residency with Green Olive Arts in Morocco, Africa, she produced a mixed media series entitled “From Kemet to Cotton: Sankofa”, which explores the connection between the ancient African civilization of Kemet and the enslaved African’s history with the currency known as cotton.
Chocolate Beats Media (CBM) was founded by Idris Hassan in 2009 to provide down to earth radio programming, innovative cultural event documentation, and a holistic digital media experience. Ms. Hassan seeks to humanize the experiences of Bay Area residents during the COVID – 19 pandemic through this collaborative project.
“Masks Sold Here” is a digital collage exploring the intersection of a piece of historic Oakland facing a global pandemic and uprisings against racists oppression, as the Citizens uplift healing energy in the midst of a deeply transformational time on this planet.
About: My bliss is to use my creativity to make art I feel best express my idea of life. Art that challenges and satisfy a profound place in thee spirit (the process of making). Color, shape, texture, and balance, working together are the most inspiring elements of creating. Developing a technique of application has always been a critical aspect of my process. Application is the method of making marks, an exploration into how color and texture work to evoke responses in the viewer. I have been exploring this relationship between color and space to create emotional, provocative, and technically alluring expressive works. To ensure that each viewer has his/her own experience with the work. Using my foundation in basic drawing and composition, this knowledge releases me to create with a freedom that is energizing.
The act of painting is spiritual in many respects. If you are really faithful to your search, and it is a search, you become like a monk. You emerge yourself in the tools used to gain a better understanding of what painting is. Brushes, oil paint, watercolors, acrylics, inks, varnishes, knives, solvents, waxes, dry pigments, canvases and panels are just some of the tools. I am in awe of how paint can be combined, shaped, colored and made into images never seen before, and still offer beautiful songs, poems, and revelations.
About: I am a 1st generation California Black Creole. My parents and grandparents were some of the many African Americans who migrated to the West Coast during the great migration in the 1950s and 60s from Louisiana. Catholicism was a big part of my upbringing and I can remember seeing nothing but black representations of Christ around our home growing up. The piece that I’ve entered is my representation of Christ as a black man with a modern representation.
More info: Donna Gatson is primarily a self taught emerging artist. Born and raised on the Monterey Peninsula w/ deep ties to the South and Southwest. Driven by an uncontrollable urge to create art using the mediums of water color, gouache, graphite pencil, metal and assemblage, her work ranges from Black country folk art to a style she refers to as “Afro/Deco Cubism”.
She is also one of the few African American silversmiths in the country. Donna was mentored by renowned silversmith Gerald Lomaventema in traditional Native American silversmithing on the Hopi reservation. She took the techniques and used them to create her own Afro, Asian, Anasazi influenced designs in silver and copper jewelry.
She feels very fortunate to have been able to take advantage of the wonderful metal arts classes at Mission (2011, 2012, 2016) and Evergreen Colleges (2008).
Donna can be reached at 408-489-0309
Title: Marvin Medium: Graphite pencil on unfinished violin Size: 18×14
About: These days when I stop before a mirror, it’s not to assess the length or increasing number of grey follicles of my “COVID” hair, but it is to consider whether or not it is the right time to sit down and draw a selfie, or self-portrait.
I have been drawing selfies since June 2019, inspired by the intriguing drawings I saw of an online art group. Each week members of this group post drawings of themselves by following two basic rules — each drawing has to be from a reflective image like a mirror — no drawing from photos are allowed — and the images have to be posted on a Sunday.
I have enjoyed these weekly drawing sessions with myself. It has brought a focus to my life when at times I have been distracted and rudderless. Despite the endless battles with my inner critic I tell myself that what matters is that I show up in front of this mirror.
Some weeks showing up at the mirror was hard, like the week I was laid off from my job. I was so disheartened that I did not feel like drawing. But when I picked up a handheld mirror and pencil, I drew the sadness that I saw on my face. Months later I found relief in that same face that I drew after picking up some freelance work.
Thanks to these regular sessions with my reliable model, I have noticed a big improvement in my drawing skills. Now I use an assortment of art tools, from graphite pencils to watercolors to an iPad to capture the light, curves and emotions that I see reflected in my face. Still, I have so much more to learn, which I plan to address one selfie at a time.
Artist bio: In addition to her ongoing series of self-portraits, Carrie McClish, a freelance writer, has illustrated a book of poetry, drawn newspaper illustrations, participated in group exhibitions with local urban sketchers and has created chalk art on the streets of Oakland and San Francisco to draw awareness to endangered bird species in the Bay Area.