Basheer Alim is an artist and founder of Alim Arts with over 35 years in the fine arts field. He was born in South Carolina and grew up in Syracuse, N.Y., where he attended Central Technical High School, majoring in chemistry and fine arts. Basheer earned a BFA with honors from Syracuse University's School of Art and Design in 1974 with a major in Ceramic and a minor in Sculpture. In 2003, he completed an MBA in Global Management through the University of Phoenix with a 4.0 GPA.
Basheer has exhibited in numerous shows and galleries across the US. In 2005, he participated in shows at the Syracuse University Community Folk Art Center and Authors and Artists events in Chicago and Detroit. He also traveled to Ghana, West Africa in 2005 as part of an extension course through the Travel Abroad Office at NC State University in conjunction with the IBM Diversity Network. The group visited various craft villages and made contact with many West African artisans.
Some current projects are to expand Alim Arts into digital photography and wide format printing, and to develop a project to catalog the works of some of the little known African-American master painters in the Southeast Michigan area. Several of whom have agreements with Alim Arts to digitize their work and to provide low cost digital prints on demand.
Artist Statement: My goal is to connect with and distribute fine arts and handicrafts of artisans from various parts of the US and from African countries. The digitizing and cataloging of art from various parts of the African Diaspora is very important because it demonstrates that continuity in the visual arts still exists, despite the physical separation of people of color.
Leroy Campbell has pursued his artistic vision for 20 years, seriously dedicating himself to creating art since 1984. He has an artistic style that is easily recognized due to the way he depicts the human form. A self-taught artist, he is influenced by his birthplace, Monk's Corner, South Carolina. Campbell revisits the rural South in his "Neckbone" series, inhabited by Joe-Neck bone, Joe Neck bone, Jr., and Grandma Corrie. His subjects, proud, God-fearing, and self-reliant, are the backbone of the African-American community.
Many originals are created in a collage mixed medium of charcoal, pastels, acrylics, fabric and ink on arches cover acid free rag paper. His art work is identified by silhouetted, elongated figures with long necks. Campbell says his works are respectively named after food, because he considers his works to be food for the soul, for himself and for collectors.
Leroy Campbell is a quintessential renaissance artist. His passion for life is captured in the insightful and intuitive portrayal of his subjects. The trademark of torn edges gives viewers a sense of nostalgia. His gifted use of color both excites and mesmerizes his collectors.
Campbell's artwork is sold to contemporary galleries and collectors internationally. His work is displayed in corporations, universities and private collections. Campbell's distinctive art has been seen on hit television shows "Martin", "Fresh Prince of Bel Air", "Living Single", "The Jamie Foxx Show", "The Cosby Show", "In the Heat of the Night", and in feature productions like "The First Wives Club" and others.
Kevin Cole, works in a range of mediums, uses repetitive forms and color to create three dimensional structures that invite those who experience his work to reflect upon abstracted references to a necktie used for status, beauty, fashion and the destruction of human life. She further states that "Cole's work celebrates history, survival, and a personal memory of a time and place."
David C. Driskell, Distinguished University Professor of Art, University of Maryland observed, "I walked into Kevin's studio with large northern windows and was immediately surrounded by a series of powerful wallworks that creatively bestride both paintings and sculpture done in an unusually accomplished manner."
Artist, Art Educator Kevin Cole, born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, has resided in Atlanta, GA. since 1985 where he as received numerous awards both as an artist and arts educator. Receiving his formal education [ B.S. Art Education (1982), University of Arkansas, Pine Bluff, AR; M.A. Art Education / Painting (1983), University of Illinois, Champaign, IL; and M.F.A Drawing(1985), Northern Illinois University, Dekalb, IL] in fine arts and art education then moved to Atlanta.
One of the most controversial African American artists today, Renee Cox has used her own body, both nude and clothed, to celebrate black womanhood and criticize a society she often views as racist and sexist.
She was bosrn on October 16 1960, in Colgate, Jamaica, into an upper middle-class family, who later settled in Scarsdale, New York. Cox's first ambition was to become a filmmaker. "I was always interested in the visual" she said in one interview. "But I had a baby boomer reaction and was into the immediate gratification of photography as opposed to film, which is a more laborious project.
In her first one-woman show at a New York Gallery in 1998. Cox made herself the center of attention. Dressed in the colorful garb of a black superhero named Raje, Cox appeared in a series of large, color photographs. In one picture, she towered over a crab in Times Square. In another, she broke steel chains before an errupting volcano. In the most pointed picture, entitled The Liberation of UB and Lady J, Cox's Raje rescued the black stereotyped advertising figures of Uncle Ben and Aunt Jemima from their products, labels. The photograph was featured on the cover of the French newspaper, Le Monde.
Renee Cox continues to push the envelope in her work, questioning society and the roles it gives to blacks and women with her elaborate scenarios and imaginative visuals that offend some and exhilarate others.
In the business of illustration, design and creative development, Shane W. Evans is a multi-talented artist and visionary who combines his world travels with his art to influence creative expression in others. Evans studied at Syracuse University School of Visual and Performing Arts and graduated in 1993 and began traveling the world. In addition to contract work in illustration, graphic design and web design for major companies, Evans has conceptualized and illustrated numerous children's books. Many of the books have been featured in the media such as The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Today Show, NBA Inside Stuff, Reading Rainbow and Late Night with David Letterman. Shane has received much acclaim within the children's literary field for his work on children's books such as "Osceola," "The Way The Door Closes," "Shaq and the Beanstalk" and "Take It To The Hoop Magic Johnson." His accolades range from being honored by First Lady Laura Bush at the 2002 National Book Festival, The Boston Globe-Horn Book Award and The Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Non-Fiction for Children.
Shane Evans's talent does not stop at illustration and children's books. His design work includes unique, one-of-a-kind hand crafted furniture pieces, clothing, CD cover art, photography and a number of other custom made items.
Evans's work is influenced by his travels to Africa, South America, Asia, Europe, the Caribbean and throughout the United States. Firmly believing in education and creative development for all people, Evans has produced a unique presentation designed to share his gift with all ages, cultures, ethnic groups and backgrounds. His presentations and workshops are specifically tailored to each audience and combine storytelling, art projects and slide presentations from his own work and world travel.
Shane W. Evans is capable of delivering finished illustration, web design, graphic design and a full range of customized design services to fit the needs of his clients.
LaToya Ruby Frazier born in Pittsburgh PA in 1982 received her BFA in Photography and Graphic Design in 2004 at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. She received her MFA in Art Photography from the School of Visual Performing Arts in 2007 at Syracuse University. She has been an artist in resident at Art Omi in 2009, Center for Photography at Woodstock in 2008 and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2007.
With influences of documentary style photography and direct cinema Frazier utilizes photography and video to produce sociopolitical work within the emotional realm of family experience blurring the lines between private and public space, reality, memory and human complexity.
Frazier's body of work entitled The Notion of Family: Family Work 2002-2009 is a collaborative development between her grandmother, mother and herself. Through black and white photographs and an experimental documentary video series entitled, A Mother to Hold, Frazier's honest and relentless approach intensely explores their psychological intergenerational lineage through the 1920s, 1950s and 1980s.
A Mother to Hold has been screened at the Black Maria Film Festival in Jersey City, NJ, San Diego Women's Film Festival, Aurora Picture Show in Houston Texas, Brooklyn Underground Film Festival, the Black International Film Festival and the Women of Color Film Festival in New York City where she received the Producers Choice Award.
Frazier received the 2007 Geraldine Dodge Fellowship Award as the 2006 College Art Association Professional development recipient. She is a member of En Foco and Society for Photographic Education. Her works have been exhibited in The New Museum, Bronx Museum, National Academy Museum, Rush Arts Gallery, Schroeder Romero Gallery in New York City and internationally in Copenhagen Denmark.
Frazier has worked as a photo editor for Newsweek and is currently the Associate Curator for the Mason Gross Galleries in the Department of Visual Arts where she also teaches Digital photography in the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, New Brunswick NJ.
I'm Lisa Jong-Soon Goodlin, and I'm a website designer/developer, an artist, and an editor. My base is in Syracuse, New York, where the winters are tough, and the women are even tougher.
My experiences as a photographer and an editor help me refine skills that are important in web design. Photography led me to further develop a natural sense of balance and composition in design, and editing taught me how to make written communication clearer and stronger.
I've been a photographer since I was a little girl, capturing my German Shepherd, King, on Polaroid film (soon to be a thing of the past). As a grown-up photographer I've exhibited my work both nationally and internationally and have images in the collections of the Korean Cultural Center, En Foco, the Korean American Museum, and others.
I trained as an editor at the Southern Illinois University Press in Carbondale, and I worked as an editor at Outside magazine and at Light Work.
My first website was a barely functional, nowhere near valid, tables-based site for my photography. I tell myself almost every day that I'm going to redesign it. Soon.
I live in Syracuse with my philosopher spouse, Mario Saenz; our formerly homeschooled, heavy-metal-guitar-playing teenager; a Wheaten Terrier named after the photographer Alfred Stieglitz; and a cat named Crush.
A little background on me. My father is black, I've never met him, he's not even on my birth certificate. My mother is white and growing up I understood I was different and kids being cruel always seems to point out that I was to dark to be white and to light to be black. It was painful because I felt I had no identity especially in books and movies because it was so taboo. This was in the late seventies and early eighties. As I grew up I found more people like me and I also surrounded myself with different races of people (Asian, African American, Caucasian, Latino, Arabic, etc) to understand people more, not only our differences but also how similar we are.
As I got older and understood myself and my unique background I loved it because it allowed me to take pride in so many ways, learning all my different backgrounds whether Irish, Italian, Dutch and Native American and loving each one, not just black or white and to be a complete person. I don't call myself biracial or mulatto but multiracial because I'm not just black and white but much more. I've seen some books address the interracial subject but there needs to be more and hopefully I can have opportunities to illustrate books dealing with being multiracial in this world.
In a period when "recent " painting appears decorative and surface posturing, an artist such as James Little, one with a passion for materials, interest in handling and surface, his art would appear rather formal and traditional, however his paintings are profound possibilities for non-objective and hard edge paintings that have been described as part of a new context of the social and spiritual dynamics of American art.
Given the notion that all painting is to some degree referential, it would be mistake to offer his work as pure autonomous plastic explorations. Little's painting can be located between old formalism tradition of late Modernism, and the quest for the "new" in recent painting. His is an art that is constantly engaging the dialectic of the philosophical and the social. However unlike many of his contemporaries he doesn't propose to transform society through his art, nor critique its values.
Little is rather continuously looking for new representations that can inspire discourses. He has always aimed to engage the viewer in his work; thus he has created a pictorial language that is simultaneously about process and meaning. His chief concern remains how does the contemporary painter connect the parameters of abstract painting with its history. Despite his arguments to the contrary is the binary aspects of tradition versus the new, the very essence of a type of artistic schizophrenia that can at times describe his work that-very opposition of terms in recent art-that makes his work very postmodernist.
David R. MacDonald was born in 1945 in Hackensack, NJ, the third oldest of nine children. He graduated from Hackensack High School in 1963 and was awarded an athletic scholarship to Hampton Univeristy (Hampton, VA) where he majored in art education. While there he was greatly inspired by noted African American ceramic artist Joseph W. Gilliard.
During his studies at Hampton his work became influenced by the political and social issues of the time (the Civil Rights Movement). After graduating, he was awarded a graduate fellowship at the University of Michigan where he studied with John Stephenson and noted African American ceramist Robert Stull. During this time, his work continued to focus on social/political commentary and expand technically.
After receiving his Master of Fine Arts degree he joined the faculty of the School of Art and Design at Syracuse University. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, MacDonald's work received most of its creative inspiration from his investigation of his African heritage. Looking at a variety of design sources in the vast creative tradition of the African continent, MacDonald draws much of his inspiration from the myriad examples of surface decoration that manifests itself in the many ethnic groups of sub-Saharan Africa (such as pottery decoration, textiles, body decoration, and architectural decoration). MacDonald's work spans the complete spectrum of ceramic forms of a utilitarian nature.
Cyrus Mejia contemporary artist, is co-founder of Best Friends Animal Society. Mejia believes art is activism, grabbing attention and shining light into darkness! His art reflects the ideals of kindness and compassion while shining a light on speciesism, ignorance and cruelty.
When asked how he hoped his art would be remembered, one of the famous abstract expressionist painters said: "I hope my art will have as much impact on society as that of an old shoe" Cyrus Mejia does not follow this philosophy! He believes art does have an important role to play in our world, that: "Art can focus the attention and direct the emotions in ways no other medium can achieve". This idea is as old as human history. Art is sometimes the only thing left from pre-historic societies. The cave paintings, the carvings and pottery, tell us all we know about what went on thousands of years ago. And the artist/shaman was an important figure in ancient society. He/she told the story, created the myth, described the unknown, and pointed the way! This was not "art for art's sake" but art for life's sake! This is the art that Cyrus Mejia strives to create.
Hye Yeon Nam is a digital media artist working in kinetic sculpture, audio and video in Atlanta and NYC. She is a Ph.D. candidate at Georgia Institute of Technology and holds a M.F.A. in digital media from Rhode Island School of Design. Her artwork reflects on human (e)motion, identity, and social issue. Hye Yeon's art has been showcased by The Tank NYC, eyebeam in New York, SIGGRAPH 2008, Gana Art Center in Korea, and Cafa Art Museum in China. Her work has also been broadcasted on Discovery channel Canada, and published in wired, and Makezine among other publications.
Guillermo Lorente Préz was born in Cuba in 1963. Between 1975 and 1979 Lorente attended Elementary School of Plastic Arts. He continued his studies at The National School of Plastic Arts and graduated 1982. His last studies were att The Higher Institute of Art I.S.A. from 1982 up to 1987. He spent 12 years of his life studying art. Between 1990 and 1993 he taught Art at the University of Cuba.
From 1994 to 1997 he worked in his own Gallery in Sweden (LORENTE'S ATELJÉ). From 1998 he startet to teach painting at The School of Art of Upplands Väsby, and at The Prisma Art School in Sollentuna, a town near Stockholm, and also as a professional artist with his own personal style.
In the middle of 2003 he moved to United Stats of America and he is living and working in New York City.
Faith Ringgold, began her artistic career more than 35 years ago as a painter. Today, she is best known for her painted story quilts -- art that combines painting, quilted fabric and storytelling. She has exhibited in major museums in the USA, Europe, South America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. She is in the permanent collection of many museums including the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and The Museum of Modern Art. Her first book, Tar Beach was a Caldecott Honor Book and winner of the Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration, among numerous other honors. She has written and illustrated eleven children's books. She has received more than 75 awards, fellowships, citations and honors, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Fellowship for painting, two National Endowment for the Arts Awards and seventeen honorary doctorates, one of which is from her alma mater The City College of New York.
Faith Ringgold is married to Burdette Ringgold and has two daughters, Michele and Barbara Wallace; and three granddaughters, Faith, Theodora and Martha. She is a professor of art at the University of California in San Diego, California.
I had a nomadic childhood: Memphis, Irvine, Seattle, Atlanta, and enough times to New York City to make it feel like home too. No matter where I lived, my continuous thread was drawing. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t carry a sketchbook. My work evolved from sketching comics to figure drawing. My education developed from adult drawing classes as a child to a BFA as a painting major at Syracuse University in 2004. During my time at Syracuse, I worked first as a gallery attendant and later as a curatorial assistant at the Community Folk Art Center. I had the privilege to work with one of my early mentors and influences, Dr. Kheli Whilletts, the Executive Director of CFAC. I continued my studies at the Maryland Institute, College of Art (MICA) for a post-baccalaureate year and went on to earn an MA in Community Arts in 2007. I am proud to return to CFAC for my first showing, as the return is both looking back and moving forward, continuing the fabric of my story as an artist.
Born 1981 in Pittsburgh PA, Chris Savido has drawn, painted and created since before he can remember. Growing up, Chris was always drawing from life and imagination, both in and out of school. Chris was early admission to Syracuse University where he majored in Illustration and studied other creative disciplines.After graduating in May of 2003, Chris moved to New York where he started freelancing and working in a custom jewelry studio in the East Village. The end of 2004 brought Chris global media attention over his "controversial" Bush Monkeys painting and the circumstances surrounding it. Today, Chris resides in Flatbush Brooklyn, where he continues to work and live.
Having lived in two foreign countries my perception of myself, and the world has really changed. Round shaped face, small dark brown eyes, tan colored skin, and long straight black hair is my appearance as was everyone's in the world I came from. I did not think about how differently people look or how differently they think before I came to North America. Because of my sense of cultural isolation, I started to wonder how would I be able to develop a meaningful and reliable relationship with someone? How would I be able to talk honestly with them with the communication barrier? I found myself confused about relationships with people. I started to think about who can be relied on and to whom I can talk to honestly about myself. This does not mean I didn't trust people around me, I just didn't know how to read them and worried that they did not know how to read me. I withdrew into my work and it became more focused on portraying these feelings of isolation. My early figures were covered with arabesque patterns, which are symbolic of progression and growth in the Korean culture. During that time, I was in a dream like state, and my work all related to my future goals and aspirations. I carved these patterns with a hope for my future and prayed through them almost like an ancient person might have at an altar.
My recent figures are clowns from my imagination. These clowns mean for me that they have to hide their true selves and make fun for people during their show. A heart form with figures about myself became a symbol of my confusion and the pain of being hurt when trust is betrayed. I start to think, how much of myself should I give? What should I expect in return? Also, what is the real me in this relationship? How do I keep my identity and still share it with someone?
I have learned in my life that we live together on this small planet and every relationship or communication always has in it the chance for happiness and for pain. We always have to give and take depending on each of our conditional needs.
Frank Smith was attracted to paint texture and pattern as a young artist, seeking out a broad spectrum of European influences such as Van Gogh, Picasso, and Seurat. Raised in a family of musicians, Smith was especially attracted to Kandinsky's association of art and music through abstraction. By working on several pieces simultaneously, Smith combines disjointed rhythms and syncopated patterns of paint and mixed media by sewing the canvas together, using a sewing machine-though he does not deny the process's or end product's resemblance to quilt-making. Smith insists that the process comes out of necessity to sturdily adhere fabric together. Improvisation from a Patch Quilt is a colorful example of his assemblages. Bright zigzag stitching joins colorful patches of painted patterns and found objects. Smith's work simultaneously pays homage to his African heritage and African art education while serving as a vehicle for his own challenges as a contemporary abstract artist.
Nelson Steven's art is a reflection of elements both physical and spiritual which have their grounding in the African-American experience. His rhythmical, multi-layered reassemble of form and color can be likened to the quality of syncretism inherent is most aspects of our African-American culture. When we were brought over here, we were forced to give up our African culture and adopt a wholly different system of philosophy. But our captors were not entirely successful in destroying all that was African and much of what today is considered "American" is really African-American--religion, language, dance and music--a blend-of two opposing systems into one.
Jack White Exhibiting Artist, Panelist African American artists have long been recognized for their contributions to mainstream art forms such as music, dance, and theater. Abstract impressionist Jack White has pushed African American painting into as many mainstream venues as any contemporary artist and has raised awareness of black painter! in the larger arts community. The significance of White's work is confirmed by its inclusion in the collection of discriminating and well-known art collector and jazz great Donald Byrd, whose holdings constitute a veritable who's who of African American art.
White's influence is as geographically diffuse as it is widely acclaimed. He has served up at least 36 solo exhibitions in places as widely separated as New York, New York and Pine Bluff, Arkansas. His sway is felt especially on college campuses in the Eastern United States, where he has shown in the galleries of such schools as Ohio State, Syracuse, and North Carolina. Numerous museums and other organizations include White's works in their permanent collections. Among them are the Schomberg Cultural Center, the Tampa Museum of Art, and the Arkansas Arts Center.
White began his more than forty-year career in art as an art and education major at Morgan State University in Baltimore and with graduate studies a Syracuse University. Today, he describes his current exhibit, Beyond and Behind the Mask, as inspired by the art and artifacts of the Kingdom of Benin, - formerly known as West Africa's "Slave Coast." He says of the exhibit, "I believe it to be my most meaningful and significant work so far. Like most human beings I am curious about my ancestors; as a black American, I can know only that they came from Africa." Art gives him the power to explore the lives of those ancestors and expose audiences, minority and mainstream, to his discoveries.