The Seattle Black Lives Matter Mural at Capitol Hill’s Occupied Protest, crafted by 16 artists with Vivid Matter Collective who united, June 2020. Showcasing artists Moses Sun alongside Barry Johnson, Perry Porter, Aramis O. Hamer, Ari G, and Takiyah Ward who are all showcased artists on the blog, in addition to Afrospk, onesevennine, Kimisha Turner, Perri Rhoden, Artbreakerbt, Sneke one, Future Crystals, Cody Kalani and Kevin Drake, Joey Nix, Japhy Whitte.

Welcome to Urban Artworks’ celebration of Black History Month! Throughout the month, we asked our community to shine a spotlight on the rich stories of brilliant Black Artists. In this blog we are honoring and celebrating the incredible talent of Black artists, both locally and globally that were sent to us from our community. From emerging creatives to established icons, these artists inspire us! Let’s come together to amplify their voices and illuminate their artwork.

Rodney King

Nominator: “I was initially drawn to Rodney’s depictions of people in his community. His choice of bold, bright color palettes evoke emotions that left a lasting impression on me. His focus on achieving a flow state while painting with music aligns with my own creative process. This shared approach makes his work relatable and enjoyable for me, as it reflects a similar mindset and methodology.

Rodney recently had a show “Black Like Me” at Base Camp, which opened 2/3/2024

Barry Johnson

Nominator: This artist has cultivated his own unique style and is constantly retelling the story of the historical Central District. He deserves to be recognized.

Perry Porter, Ari Glass, and Nahom G

Nominator: These are Black artists that not only happen to be Black but are also painting representations of Black people in an honest and beautiful way

Perry Porter

Perry has been a Teaching Artist for several programs, including this past summer’s Rainier View MAP! Hailing from Tacoma, WA, Perry is a talented painter and a gifted songwriter. He specializes in watercolor portraiture, with a unique focus on women of color immersed in surreal and manga-style settings. His vibrant colors and free-flowing style reflect not only a sense of playfulness but also an extraordinary level of discipline and control.

Ari Glass

Ari Glass is a painter and designer born and raised in Seattle. His paintings reveal personal narratives inspired by historical and fictional concepts of kings, queens and kingdoms, and deal with concepts such as sovereignty and independence. His intention is to showcase the deep, personal and positive effect that art and art history had on him while growing up in the Rainier Valley district of Seattle.

Nahom G

Nahom G’s work delves into the intricate realms of identity and emotional
landscapes, spanning across various mediums. With an acute fascination for the subtleties of human expression, Nahom G explores the profound ways in which our innermost feelings are conveyed through the language of facial expressions and body gestures. Drawing inspiration from narratives, dreams, and anxieties of those around them. Rooted in the conviction that art possesses an unparalleled ability to transcend cultural and societal boundaries, Nahom G believes that art has the power to connect people across cultures and backgrounds and his work conveys empathy and understanding between individuals to create a space for meaningful dialogue.

Erika Bell (eBellz)

Nominator: She’s dope and a great artist who deserves all of her flowers! She does it all and does it with style.

Noah Davis

Noah Davis (1983-2015) was born in Seattle but also spent some time in Chicago, where I encountered his work in a posthumous show at the Stoney Island Arts Bank. In his too-short life, he created paintings with rich textures and compositions that highlighted the Black experience with depth and nuance. He also co-founded the Underground Museum in the Los Angeles Arlington Heights neighborhood with his wife and fellow artist, Karon Davis.

Takiyah Ward

Nominator: Represents Seattle well! Has her own sneaker upcycle company and has done monumental work in the city.

Jessie Lipscomb

Nominator: Not only does Jessie’s art elevate Black Pride but her art elevates awareness of families with neuro-divergent children and everything that goes along with supporting them and their extended families. It’s been a joy to see Jessie’s journey since she and her family relocated to Washington and I’m looking forward to seeing where the journey takes her and her art next.

John H. White

Nominator: Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist John H. White is well-known for his photographs of life in the city of Chicago, IL, particularly African American life, during the early 1970s. His was the first Pulitzer ever awarded for a collection of photographs. Despite winning a Pulitzer, The Chicago Sun-Times fired its entire photo staff including John White in 2013. John teaches photojournalism at Columbia College Chicago where I was a student of his. His work and his perspective have remained with me and he continues to be one of my favorite photographers.

Trenise ‘Tree’ Williams

Nominator A Teaching Artist at Urban ArtWorks, Tree guides youth through the Mural Apprentice Program. We spotlight Tree’s impactful work, and words on Black culture, justice, and processing trauma through art in a recent blog post by Urban ArtWorks.

Moses Sun

Nominator: Moses Sun fuses hip-hop, jazz, afro-futurism, and the black southern diaspora of his childhood into a mix of visuals that blurs the lines between digital and analog art. His interdisciplinary practice comes from the hip-hop ethos of grinding in the studio, creating multiple tracks (series of works) that he remixes into afro-abstractions expressed on various surfaces, screens, assemblage, prints, plywood, and large scale murals.

Valencia Carroll

Nominator: Valencia is a classically trained fine artist and dedicated teaching artist at Urban ArtWorks, where she brings her expertise in oil, graphite, and charcoal to the urban art scene. Her work reflects a delicate balance between painterly expression and meticulous attention to drawing and value structure, resulting in pieces that exude life and vitality. As the artist spotlight next month, Valencia’s upcoming feature will share her artistic process and inspirations, offering a glimpse into her mastery of her craft. Be sure to check back soon to celebrate Valencia Carroll’s exceptional talent and contribution to Urban ArtWorks.

Aramis O. Hamer

Nominator: One of the first public artists I was drawn to when I first moved to Seattle was Aramis O. Hamer @aohamer ! I love her vibrant colors, portrayal of the power of women, and her artistic journey!

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