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Originally from New Jersey, Charles moved to New Orleans in order to bring peace to the streets of the city. From 2007 to 2011, he organized hundreds of marches, vigils, meetings, art shows and classes; all to stop the violence, mostly in the areas of the city that were historically the most violent. After a request to do a portrait from a mother who lost her son to violence, Charles pursued drawing portraits of victims of violence for each one of their mothers. Over the past five years, he has expanded that mission and began to draw people who were involved in the New Orleans peace movement. He uses his art to show the positive people in New Orleans; those who have been working hard to change the lives of our young people.


Charles' career as a community organizer strongly influences his perspective on art including his belief in the dignity of human life and the significance of light. Charles' artistic influence can also be seen from artists Willie Birch's bold use of black and white, Caravaggio's ideas on the moral aspects of light and darkness, and Raphael's technique of softness and grace applied to portraiture. 


Charles’ art career is short but many see much promise in his talent and mission. In 2015, five years after Charles began drawing, he won top prize at ArtFields, the Southeast's largest art competition (pictured to the left).  Both the judges and the general public agreed that, out of all the 400 plus works on display,"Central City" was the piece that evoked the strongest sentiment  for the troubles of our times. Chris Rose, the New Orleans award-winning writer, wrote, “At 26, Anderson is yet another gifted, determined, wide-eyed idealist from the Northeast who has harnessed the limitless possibilities of the New Orleans landscape to transform himself and, if possible, the world around him.” His art has been covered by ABC News with a Twist, Fox 8 News, Times-Picayune, The Trumpet, and BreakThru Magazine. He is currently showing at the Frenchmen Art Market on Frenchmen Street and working on a 2021 solo show of large-scale portraits with abstract backgrounds. 


Charles O Anderson

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