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Jerry C. Waters

an interdisciplinary artist and musician, was born Terry Roger Adkins in Washington, D.C., the eldest of five children of Robert Hamilton Adkins, a teacher and a musician, and Doris Jackson Adkins, a homemaker and musician. Adkins was raised in Alexandria, Virginia.

The artistic and musical achievements of Terry Adkins are linked to his formative years. Born in the racially segregated South, he attended a predominantly black primary school in Alexandria, Virginia, and graduated in 1971 from Ascension Academy a mostly white Catholic high school Adkins s parents encouraged his artistic talents and academic pursuits because education was valued within the extended Adkins family His father Robert Hamilton Adkins was a chemistry and science teacher at Parker Gray High School a predominantly black school in Alexandria and performed within the community as an organist and vocalist Adkins s grandfather the Reverend Andrew Warren Adkins pastored Alfred Street Baptist ...

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Pauline de Souza

was born in Trinidad, Cuba, in 1970. In 1994 he graduated from the Superior Institute of Art in Havana. In 1992, while still studying, he joined Los Carpinteros (The Carpenters), a Havana art collective. In 1994 the group decided that they would only sign their work as a collective. For them, art, whether physical or conceptual, was about collaboration. They intended to challenge cultural assumptions about cityscapes and public spaces by creating architecture that would get people to really look at their surroundings and the buildings.

Arrechea’s career as an artist took off when he received a grant from the Spanish Ministry of Culture, allowing him to spend five months in Spain. International recognition of Los Carpinteros occurred in 1998, when they showed at the International Contemporary Art Fair (ARCO), held in Madrid, Spain. They gained further recognition with their installation Transportable City (Ciudad transportable ...

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Flora González

María Campos-Pons's multipanel photographs, installations, and performances often portray a mythic or ironic view of the self-portrait. She often uses her own body as a canvas onto which she inscribes symbolic messages that define her individual self in terms of domestic rituals and her national identity in relation to mythic origins.

Born in Matanzas, Cuba, to parents who labored in and about the sugar industry, Campos-Pons enjoyed the benefits of a universally free education instituted in Cuba after the 1959 revolution headed by Fidel Castro. She received her artistic training at the National School of Art (1980) and the Higher Institute of Art (1985), both in Havana. In 1988 she attended the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston. Subsequently, she married Neil Leonard an American and established residency in the United States Her works have been exhibited throughout Europe and the Americas since ...

Article

Fredo Rivera

known for his provocative performance- and installation-based artworks, was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in 1965. He moved to the United States with his family as a child. Désert attended Cooper Union and Columbia University in New York City, studying architecture. His works often broach themes of identity and provide a conceptual critique of social and cultural practices. After his education in the United States, Désert relocated to Europe by the 1980s, where he participated in several artist residencies and exhibitions.

Désert received acclaim for two large works broaching identity and global politics at the turn of the twenty-first century. In The Burqa Project: On the Borders of My Dreams I Encountered My Double’s Ghost the artist constructed burqas out of the flags of France Britain the United States and Germany and draped them over mannequins Contributing to debates regarding the role of burqas in Islamic societies and conceptions ...

Article

Born in Houston, Texas, Melvin Edwards studied painting at the University of Southern California (USC), and began sculpting in 1960. Five years later he received his B.F.A. degree from USC. Edwards first gained critical attention with a series of sculptures entitled Lynch Fragments, which he had begun in 1963. By 1997 the series included more than 150 individual works made from both forged and welded parts of knife sheaths, automotive gears, chains, ball bearings, horseshoes, and other metal. The works, each of which is about the size of a human head and hangs on a wall, explore themes of violence and incorporate both American and African symbolism.

In 1967 Edwards moved from California to New Jersey, and his work began to shift away from the manipulated, unpainted metal. A solo exhibition at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1968 included geometric shapes painted ...

Article

Aaron Myers

David Hammons was born in Springfield, Illinois. After growing up in the Midwest, he moved to Los Angeles in 1964 to study art. In the 1960s, the progress of the Civil Rights Movement and the inception of the Black Power Movement encouraged artists of African descent to both produce a more racially conscious art and challenge stereotypes of African Americans. After completing his studies in 1972, Hammons began to create prints of his body using margarine or grease. In 1975 he made Harlem his home and started forging sculptures from materials he collected on the street. He executed these assemblages in public spaces using such found objects as spades, chains, bottle caps, deflated inner tubes, barbecue bones, and African American hair in an effort to explore African American identity.

The spade is a reoccurring motif in Hammons s body prints and sculptures He said I remember being called ...

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Morgan Falconer

American installation artist, performance artist and sculptor. He studied in Los Angeles at the Chouinard Art Institute and the Otis Art Institute before settling in New York in 1974. He first gained a reputation for his series of Body Prints in the early 1970s. Often resembling X-rays in their detail and translucency, they are direct imprints of the body made on paper with grease. Injustice Case (1973; Los Angeles, CA, Mus. Contemp. A.) is typical in dealing with a contemporary racial issue, with the American flag framing the image presented in opposition to cultural and racial stereotypes; see also African–American Flag, 1990. Contemporaneous with these were the Spade series which featured garden spades as defiant metaphors for his race appropriating a derogatory term used by prejudiced whites These served as a prelude to the found object sculptures he began to make in the ...

Article

Jerry C. Waters

artist and musician, was born Lonnie Bradley Holley in Birmingham, Alabama, and was, according to Holley in a personal interview, the seventh child of twenty-seven children born to his mother, Dorothy May Holley Crawford, and to his father, Arthur James Bradley.

Holley s childhood and adolescence were extremely difficult in that he experienced intense poverty physical abuse and homelessness Following his birth Holley s mother placed him with a woman who moved to Ohio Four years later she returned to Birmingham and gave him to another woman known as Big Mama and her husband Big Daddy in exchange for a bottle of bootleg whiskey Holley ran away from them because of continual corporeal punishment he received from Big Daddy As a result of this decision Holley lived with several foster families was incarcerated in the Alabama Industrial School for Boys and Girls in Mount Meigs and spent time ...

Article

Zoya Kocur

was born Benjamín Osorio Encarnación on 10 June 1955 in Santurce, Puerto Rico, the son of Benjamín Osorio Rivera, a World War II veteran and a clerk at a Gulf oil refinery, and María Luisa Encarnación de Osorio, a registered nurse. Osorio’s paternal grandfather was a socialist and mayor of Carolina, and his mother’s father was a landowner in Barraza, Carolina.

As a visual and performance artist, Osorio is known for large-scale installations that merge conceptual art and collaborative artistic processes. Osorio defines his art as “social architecture,” engaging audiences and participants in building new relationships based on the exploration of social phenomena and community dynamics. Osorio’s projects generate dialogue by bringing real-world social environments (courtrooms, living rooms, jails) into galleries and museums, and by introducing art into unexpected exhibition environments (such as local businesses and private homes).

From childhood Osorio was attracted to the aesthetics of everyday life from ...

Article

Charmagne Andrews

visual artist, was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. He had four siblings and was the only boy of four children born to his parents, Frances Walker Payton, a seamstress, and Walter Payton, a postal worker and truck driver. His father had also served in World War II in Italy and North Africa. Martin Payton's half-brother, Walter Payton Jr, was a famous musician in the city and the father of renowned New Orleans trumpeter Nicholas Payton.

His formal education as a visual artist began at Xavier University of Louisiana where he met role model mentor and lifelong friend John T Scott visual artist and MacArthur Genius Grant Fellow His experience at Xavier represented the first time that Payton understood that art could be a career He has noted that he knew he would always make art but he had always thought that it would be an avocation ...

Article

Maja Horn

was born in 1961 in Barahona, in the southern part of the Dominican Republic. Pineda studied architecture at the Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo from 1978 to 1981, and lithography at the Bordas Studio in Paris in 1989. He was part of a new generation of Dominican visual artists and participated in the Colectivo Generación 80, which was formed in 1980 by young artists to contest their exclusion from exhibition spaces claimed by an older generation of established artists. The collective’s work was shown in various group exhibits in the early 1980s, and several members would become some of the most successful and respected artists in the country, Jorge Pineda prominently among them. In his early career, Pineda was recognized for his work in print and drawing, and he exhibited internationally in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Ecuador, Peru, Argentina, France, Spain, Italy, Norway, the United States, and Canada.

A ...

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María Elba Torres

was born in Barrio Playa, in the municipality of Ponce, on 26 January 1956. He received an M.F.A. from the University of Wisconsin in Madison in 1986 and a B.F.A. from the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico in 1978. He studied at the Miguel Pou School of Visual Arts and the Museum of Art in Ponce, Puerto Rico, from 1970 to 1974. He has exhibited his work throughout Asia, Europe, the Caribbean, Latin America, and the United States.

Rodríguez Ballester s art focuses on representations and visual explorations related to oral histories memory mythology ritual and cultural Afrodescendant identity all along a transnational spectrum In recent exhibitions he has appropriated cultural objects and historical artifacts in installations that integrate assemblage books paintings drawings engravings Internet materials and new media electronic devices as a way to access the past and reinterpret the present in a trans Caribbean ...

Article

Jean M. Borgatti

artist. Alison Saar works in diverse media, but she is best known for her sculpture and installations developed through assemblage, using recycled materials. She is one of a generation of artists who were able to take advantage of changing theoretical frameworks in the 1980s, notably multiculturalism and postmodernism, to explore the personal and group experience that, for Saar, necessarily concerned gender and racial stereotypes as well as social identity. Her deceptively simple forms mask a multireferential and sophisticated grasp of art and history.

Alison Saar was born in Los Angeles, a child of the artists Betye and Richard Saar. Her sister Tracye writes that they went to museums and openings the way most children go to baseball games or the zoo; they had open access to an “art table” in their mother's studio, and they spent their holidays making things together. Alison received her bachelor's degree in 1978 ...

Article

Earnestine Jenkins

The critical role of the artist in society as a visionary, issues of gender, the psychology of racism, and the inherent complexities of American history, geography, and identity all matter in the contemporary work of artist Alison Saar.

Alison Saar was born in Los Angeles, California. She enjoys the singular distinction of being a member of a family in which each individual is involved in the visual arts. Her mother, Betye Saar, is best known as a creator of assemblage pieces characterized by their intricate design and the use of found objects. Her father, Richard Saar is a painter and art conservationist Both parents encouraged their children to study and become involved in the processes of creative visual work by exposing them to different art techniques and materials They were urged to investigate seriously a wide range of visual traditions from around the world by reading books ...

Article

Paula Allen

to Mary Mable (Holmes), a homemaker, and Thomas Scott, a cook and chauffeur. His parents taught him rudimentary craft skills—basic carpentry and embroidery. Scott graduated from Booker T. Washington High School in 1958 and in 1962 from Xavier University of Louisiana, a predominantly black Catholic institution, where he began his formal art training. In 1965 he earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from Michigan State University in Lansing. Within a year of his graduation, he married Ana Rita Smith and launched his professional career as an artist and teacher at their alma mater—Xavier University.

Scott’s Christian upbringing and formative classical training are extant in the pervasive figurative elements and spiritual imagery that are consummately infused in his work. During the 1960s and 1970s his work was punctuated by religious images such as Lazarus (1967 However his contemporaneous riposte to issues that were at the forefront of black ...

Article

Marion Arnold

South African sculptor and installation and video artist, was born in Cape Town, South Africa, to Bernard and Grace Searle. Of mixed race, with ancestors from Mauritius, Saudi Arabia, England, and Germany, Searle was classified as Coloured under apartheid legislation. She studied at the Peninsula Technikon for a year, then at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town, gaining her bachelor’s degree in 1987 and her higher diploma in education in 1988. She taught for two years before taking a postgraduate advanced diploma in fine art in 1991. In 1995 she graduated with a master’s degree in fine art (University of Cape Town) for a body of work titled Illusions of Identity—Notions of Nationhood. Searle lectured in sculpture at the University of Stellenbosch, Western Cape (1996–1999), resigning to work as a full-time artist. She lives in Cape Town but travels widely to work.

In ...

Article

Kim Miller

South African artist, writer, and human rights activist, was born in Lichfield, England, in 1941. Williamson’s family emigrated to South Africa in 1948, just months before the Nationalist Party came into power. Raised in what was then the Western Transvaal, Williamson studied journalism at the University of Natal (Durban). In 1969 she achieved a fine arts degree at the Art Students League of New York. Williamson returned to South Africa in 1969 and received an advanced diploma in fine arts from the Michaelis School of Fine Art in Cape Town in 1984. She became a South African citizen in 1990, once it was clear that apartheid was coming to an end.

As artist Sue Williamson is highly respected for her involvement in human rights organizations associated with the antiapartheid movement and for her efforts to make visible the experiences of people and communities who were marginalized ...

Article

Born in New York City to parents of mixed descent, Fred Wilson received a bachelor of fine arts degree from the State University of New York at Purchase in 1976. He then worked as an administrator in various New York City museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Natural History. Between 1978 and 1980 he worked as an artist in East Harlem, New York and was funded by the Comprehensive Employment Training Act (CETA).

Wilson began an association with the Just Above MidTown Gallery in 1981, a space known for its congeniality to African American artists. In 1987 Wilson was the director of the Longwood Art Gallery of the Bronx Council of the Arts, where he curated the show Rooms with a View: The Struggle Between Culture and Content and the Context of Art The show employed three spaces in the gallery One ...