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Pamela Lee Gray

wood carver, sculptor, and folk artist, was born Jesse James Aaron in Lake City, Florida, to descendants of slaves and Seminole Indians. Aaron attended school for less than one year before he was sent to work as a contract laborer for local farms. Trained as a baker when he was twenty-one years old, he found he enjoyed the creativity it required. He opened several bakeries, worked as a cook at Gainesville's Hotel Thomas from 1933 to 1937, and then cooked for a variety of fraternities and hospitals in Florida. Aaron also worked as a cook aboard the Seaboard Air Line Railroad during this time.

Aaron married Leeanna Jenkins, and when the family settled in northwest Gainesville in the 1930s they opened a nursery. From this point until 1968 when Aaron became a folk artist at the age of eighty one it is difficult to determine what is ...

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Marion Arnold

South African sculptor and multimedia artist, was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. Her father’s family emigrated from Germany (her paternal grandfather was Jewish). She studied at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, graduating with a bachelor of fine arts degree and the Martienssen Student Prize in 1982 and completing her masters degree in 1988. She taught English and art at schools in Namibia and Cape Town before joining the Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town, as a part-time lecturer in 1996. She holds a professorship in sculpture and is resident in Cape Town. An intensely private person, Alexander rarely gives interviews or explains her work verbally.

In 1986 Alexander gained attention with a solo exhibition in Johannesburg. It included Butcher Boys (1985–1986 a disquieting depiction of three white life size naturalistic figures seated on a bench These self absorbed beings possessing animal and ...

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Nicholas J. Bridger

Yoruba wood sculptor, was born in 1910 in Osi-Ilorin, now in Kwara State, Nigeria. He was the son of Areogun of Osi-Ilorin (c. 1880–1954), a significant master woodcarver of the premodern tradition of the northeast area of Yorubaland. He acquired the name George when baptized Catholic as a child, although his father remained a practitioner of the local Yoruba religion. His name is referred to in recent sources as George Bamidele Arowoogun, the patronymic added as a surname. His close collaborator and patron for four decades, Father Kevin Carroll (1920–1993), always referred to him simply as “Bandele.”

Growing up in a successful carver s household Bandele became apprenticed in his teens to one of his father s former assistants Oshamuko also from Osi Ilorin one of a group of villages called collectively Opin which was within the Ekiti region Both his familial ancestry and his artistic lineage ...

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Ghirmai Negash

avant-garde Eritrean novelist, playwright, and painter-cum-sculptor, was educated in Eritrea, Ethiopia, and at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, from which he graduated in 1963 with a degree in public administration and political science. Beyene Haile lived in Addis Ababa until Eritrean independence. In 1992, he moved to Asmara, where he worked as a management consultant and trainer while still pursuing his artistic career.

Beyene Haile is the author of three Tigrinya-language novels and a play. His 1965 debut novel, Abiduʾdo Teblewo? Madness differs from conventional Tigrinya writing in at least three fundamental ways First it takes an intellectual and artist as its main character and tells his story with compelling force and narrative skill Wounded by life the central character of the novel a bohemian artist called Mezgebe uses his art to heal his wounds and those of others in a manner that borders on insanity Another ...

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Rebecca Martin Nagy

artist and educator, was born in Addis Ababa to an Ethiopian mother and an Armenian father who was a colonel in the Imperial Body Guard of Haile Selassie. Boghossian received early art training at Tafari Makonnen Secondary School and in private lessons with Stanislas Chojnacki, a historian of Ethiopian art and water-colorist, then librarian at the University College of Addis Ababa (later Haile Selassie I University and now Addis Ababa University), and with Jacques Godbout, a Canadian writer, filmmaker, and painter who taught French at the University College.

In 1955 Boghossian won second prize at an art exhibition held as part of Haile Selassie s Jubilee Anniversary Celebration and was awarded an imperial scholarship to study in London After attending classes at St Martin s School the Central School and the Slade School of Fine Art in London the young artist decided to transfer his studies to Paris where ...

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Born in rural Jamaica, Everald Brown moved to West Kingston in 1947 and became deeply interested in the religion of the Rastafarians. Having established a small unofficial church in 1960, he began making artworks for use in church ritual. These works are noted for their intuitive style and use of imagery from Rastafarian, Ethiopian Orthodox, Judaic, and Christian revivalist religious traditions. Brown claims that these images come to him through dreams and visions. Among his most acclaimed paintings is Ethiopian Apple (1970), which is in the collection of the National Gallery of Jamaica.

An accomplished sculptor as well as an intuitive painter, Brown has also gained fame for his carved musical instruments. From the early 1970s he lived in rural Jamaica, where he devoted himself to art that promoted spiritual and environmental concerns.

See also Art in Latin America and the Caribbean.

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Joyce Youmans

a Nigerian sculptor, was born in Buguma, Nigeria, the principal settlement of the Kalabari people in the eastern Niger Delta region. She moved to England as a teenager, where she was raised by her brother-in-law, the anthropologist Robin Horton. From 1979 to 1980 she attended the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland. She then returned to England and enrolled at the Central School of Art and Design in London where she earned a bachelor’s degree (with honors) in 1983. While an undergraduate, she received the Amy Sadur Friedlander Prize (1981) and the Saatchi & Saatchi Award (1982). In 1983 Camp was awarded the Princess of Wales Memorial Scholarship and the coveted Henry Moore Bursary at the Royal College of Art in London. She graduated from the Royal College in 1986 with a master’s degree in sculpture.

Camp received additional education in Nigeria where ...

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J. Deborah Johnson Sterrett

painter and sculptor, was born on a small farm just outside Kansas City, Kansas, the second of five children of Ed Dwight Sr., a professional baseball player with the Negro League's Kansas City Monarchs, and Georgia Baker, a devout Catholic, who took on the primary care of the children. The family moved into Kansas City when Dwight was ten years old and his mother opened a restaurant. The children worked alongside her. Dwight was a precocious child who displayed his artistic talent from age two, drawing cartoon characters and painting throughout his childhood. He began making signs for his mother's restaurant. When he was fourteen years old, he opened his first lucrative business, a sign shop that served retail establishments and area churches.

Dwight attended Catholic schools and graduated from Bishop Ward High School in 1951, and he joined the air force in 1953. In 1955 ...

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Monifa Love Asante

visual artist and educator, was born Melvin Eugene Edwards Jr., in Houston, Texas, the eldest of four children of Thelmarie Felton Edwards and Melvin Eugene Edwards Sr. His father was a brilliant and gifted man who worked as a waiter, laborer in the oil industry, photographer, and a professional scout for the Boy Scouts of America. His mother, a seamstress, from whom Edwards learned to sew, was also athletically and artistically talented. His grandmother was a quilter, whose patternmaking and use of color influenced Edwards. Woodcarving was passed down on his father's side, and one of his maternal ancestors was a blacksmith brought to America from West Africa. Both his father and George Gilbert, a family friend that Edwards considered an uncle, were interested in art and they nurtured Edwards. His father built his first easel. Edwards Sr. also passed on a love of music especially ...

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Jennifer Anne Hart

Ghanaian painter and sculptor, was born in Anyako in the Volta region of what was then the Gold Coast and is now Ghana. He was the son of a weaver, and is a member of the Ewe ethnic group.

Anatsui began professional art training at the University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana (1965–1969). During this four-year training period, which emphasized Western art techniques, Anatsui specialized in sculpture with particular focus on life and figure studies. During the early years of his career and training, however, Anatsui was influenced by the work of Oku Ampofo, Vincent Akwete Kofi, and Kofi Antubam, who began to reject the foreign influences in their artistic training and pay increasing attention to indigenous art forms. This artistic movement was encapsulated in the Ghanaian concept of sankofa. Responding to colonial efforts to denigrate African culture, sankofa encouraged the careful selection and inclusion of ...

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Nigerian artist and sculptor, was born a twin on 14 July 1921 in Onitsha, Anambra State, Nigeria. He was born into the noble family of Umueze-Aroli in Onitsha, to Omenka Odigwe Emeka Enwonu, a technician and a sculptor who worked for the Royal Nigeria Company. His mother was Ilom, a successful cloth trader.

Enwonwu was educated at primary schools in Onitsha, Umuahia, and Port-Harcourt from 1926 to 1931, and received a secondary education at St. Patrick’s School, Ibusa, and Government College Ibadan. At Ibadan in 1934, he met Kenneth Murray, the education officer responsible for art education in the colonial civil service. He then left with Murray for Government College, Umuahia, where he studied for five years. Enwonwu’s work was introduced to the international art world in 1937 when Murray exhibited the work of his students at the Zwemmer Gallery in London As a result of that ...

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Nicholas J. Bridger

Yoruba wood sculptor, was born in 1924 in Ila-Orangun, now in Osun State, Nigeria. He was the fifth-generation son of a noted traditional wood carver, Akobi Ogun Fakeye. The elder Fakeye had also worked as a babalawo, a traditional Ifa diviner-priest. He acquired the name Lamidi, an abbreviated form of Abdul Hameed, when he converted to Islam as a teenager. Tellingly, his given name, Olonade, translates as “the carver has arrived.” His specific birth year is given by Father Kevin Carroll as “about 1925,” although his immediate family preferred the year 1924.

By 1945 both his parents had died leaving him without direct parental support although they had secured his early education in the local colonial schools he later completed high school on his own Not having had a carving apprenticeship as a youth Lamidi was later forced to teach himself the rudiments of wood sculpture ...

Article

Christopher Tiné

Tapfuma Gutsa was born in Salisbury, Rhodesia (now Harare, Zimbabwe). He is one of the best known members of a “second generation” of Zimbabwean stone sculptors. Like members of the “first generation”—sculptors who got their start at the Rhodes National Gallery in the 1960s—Gutsa often draws on themes from Shona culture. Formally, his pieces reflect his Western art training and the influences of Picasso, Brancusi, and Matisse.

The son of a construction company owner, Gutsa grew up in the capital of colonial Rhodesia (present-day Zimbabwe). He attended the Driefonten Mission School in order to study with a noted sculptor there, Cornelius Manguma. After completing school, Gutsa received the British Council’s first grant to Zimbabwe. He used the funds to study at the London School of Art (1982–1985 where he received his diploma in sculpture In Europe Gutsa s exposure to Western art traditions pushed him to search ...

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Cheryl A. Alston

artist and activist, was born in Detroit, Michigan, the third of ten children of Betty Solomon Guyton and George Guyton, a construction worker. His mother reared the children on her own after George Guyton left the-family, when Tyree Guyton was nine years old. Guyton grew up on the east side of Detroit in an area called “Black Bottom,” one of the oldest African American communities in the city. He attended Northern High School, but he did not graduate and earned his GED at a later date.

Guyton began painting at the age of eight when his grandfather, Sam Mackey a housepainter at the time who later became a painter of fine art gave him the tool to create a paintbrush Because of his family s poverty Guyton felt all he had was his art He felt like he had no freedom and he realized early on that ...

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Joseph C. E. Adande

Beninese artist, was born in the Republic of Benin, formerly Dahomey. Hazoumé was the name of his great-grandfather. As of 2011, Romuald Hazoumé lived in Cotonou but also had a workshop in Porto Novo. In the early twenty-first century he stands as one of the key figures of contemporary art in West Africa, not to mention in Africa as a whole. He has exhibited on all of the continents, and his work is included in the Pigozzi Collection of Contemporary African Art in Geneva, Switzerland. His La Bouche du Roi, in which he gives a contemporary interpretation of a 1789 image of a slave ship, has been purchased by the British Museum. Hazoumé has been awarded two important distinctions: the George Maciunas Prize, in Wiesbaden, Germany, in 1996, and the Arnold Bode Prize in 2007 by the 12th Documenta in Kassel Germany He is a multi ...

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Monifa Love Asante

sculptor and printmaker, was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Victoria Inez, a librarian and beauty shop owner and Cleo Howard Hunt, a barber. Hunt's father was born in rural Georgia, his mother in Tennessee. His parents were part of the Great Migration, the early twentieth century exodus of over one million African Americans out of the violent and limiting South to locations where greater economic opportunity and social equality were more likely. His parents met in Chicago, where their families had relocated, and married in 1934. The family lived mostly on the south side of Chicago. Between the ages of nine and eleven, Hunt and the family lived in the small town of Galesburg, Illinois. Hunt's mother sang both professionally and in church. Her idol was Marian Anderson and she named Hunt s younger sister after the noted gospel singer She encouraged her son s ...

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Kane Kwei was born in Teshi, a town in southeastern Ghana, and worked much of his career there. Teshi, which is located about ten kilometers (6 miles) east of the capital Accra, lies in a coastal trading region of Ga-speaking peoples, who have ties to the Dangme, Akan, and Asante There are different versions of the origin of the coffin art tradition but one relates that Kwei s mentor Ata Owoo created the first fantasy coffin in the early 1950s when a cocoa pod shaped palanquin created for a local tribal chief was used as his coffin Encouraged to pursue the new art form by Owoo Kwei began sculpting wooden burial vessels that reflected the occupation of the deceased an eagle coffin for a chief a boat coffin for a fisher a cocoa pod or onion shaped coffin for a farmer or a hen ...

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Throughout his career, Wilfredo Lam was active in major art movements, including surrealism and modernism, and was associated with many of the best-known figures in the art world of his day, including Pablo Picasso and André Breton. Lam's surrealist compositions make use of his Afro-Chinese and Cuban ancestry, and his most famous paintings, including The Eternal Presence (1945) and The Jungle (1943), present his mythic, erotic, and syncretic inheritances in a supernatural and symbolic way. Lam's style is easily recognizable for its mysterious, spiritual dimension, which proceeds from his debt to African religious traditions in the Caribbean, as exemplified by Altar for Eleggua (1944 His style is also known for the abstract eroticized and fetishistic representations of body parts and African masks that melt into and surge out of jungle like landscapes of camouflage in the tropics He was a distinguished talent of ...

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Edmonia Lewis often drew upon her dual ancestry for inspiration. Her best-known work, Forever Free (1867, Howard University Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.), was inspired by the Emancipation Proclamation and the Thirteenth Amendment, the document issued by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863 calling for the freeing of slaves in the United States. Created in marble, Forever Free depicts a man and a woman who have learned of their freedom. In an expression of gratitude, the woman kneels with her hands clasped; the man rests his foot on the ball that held them in bondage, raising his arm to display the broken shackle and chain on his wrist.

Little is known about Lewis's early life. Sources give differing birth dates (1843, 1844, and 1845 and birthplaces Ohio New York and New Jersey Her father was an African American and her mother was a member ...

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Antônio Francisco Lisboa, better known by his nickname “Aleijadinho” (the Little Cripple), was born in Villa Rica do Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais, Brazil, where he later distinguished himself as an artist during the baroque and rococo artistic periods. The Minas Gerais variant of the baroque and rococo styles is distinct; unlike the coastal states of Rio de Janeiro and Bahia, whose frequent contact with Portugal kept the art and architecture of those provinces in tune with European artistic developments, Minas Gerias's location in the interior largely insulated it from European influences. Minas Gerais was also a more recently settled province, and it had few convents or monasteries of the regular orders, which would have otherwise encouraged the duplication of European architectural designs.

During the colonial era in Latin America the church was the center of social life and the principal patron of the arts Virtually all of Aleijadinho ...