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.
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.
We’re excited that February brings to Richmond Art Center the launch of Art of the African Diaspora. Now in its 25th year, but presented as an online exhibition for the first time, Art of the African Diaspora will present artwork by over 130 Black artists from the Bay Area.
Art of the African Diaspora begins during Black History Month, a time for the education and celebration of Black culture in America. But Art of the African Diaspora extends well beyond February with exhibitions and artist events scheduled throughout March, April and May 2021. While the covid pandemic limits our opportunities to physically come together, Art of the African Diaspora offers numerous artist-curated happenings that everyone is invited to join. We encourage you to meet artists, learn about and from their work, and celebrate this rich creative community.
In February at Richmond Art Center we are also taking Black History Month as a prompt to reflect on what Black history reveals, and how racial inequality has shaped our community and in our organization. As part of our racial equity journey we are taking time this month for self-examination, and to identify tangible steps towards improving diversity, equity and inclusion at Richmond Art Center. Our goal is to be an organization that is inclusive year-round. We will share an update on our work at the end of this month.