Night after night in New Orleans, I saw our youths give their blood to the streets. How could I sit silently on the sidelines in my studio as the foundations of life were shattered by gun shots? I was faced with a choice: in my art, will I contribute to a Culture of Life, or will I allow the Culture of Death to prevail?
In my work as a community organizer, I used my platform to engage murder victims’ families, investigate the victim's stories, and write positive portrayals of the fallen youth. As an artist, I picked up the pencil to prove that the lives of our most vulnerable and ignored citizens have dignity, value, and significance. My interest is always realism, specifically the reality of the streets. Unlike other realists, however, I do not merely copy what I see. I am responsible for creating the scene in reality. I am not an apathetic bystander dispassionately reporting what happened. I am a change agent forming what is being done.
My drawings are real-life happenings in and around the city, where peace is built, where love takes root, and where unity defeats chaos. The inspiration for these pictures do not solely come from my imagination, a model, an art book, or pop culture. They play out in the Culture of Life that surrounds me daily in New Orleans. The drawings are derived from photos taken by wholly participating in a life with the people that are the subjects of the art. I fully integrate myself into their inner-city programs by serving the youth, fundraising for projects, planning events, and constantly snapping photos. I select pictures that speak to the highest ideals of man: truth, love, and freedom, the attributes of the soul. These drawings and the people pictured are life’s greatest counter to death and violence. They are proof of the sacred value of life. They are icons for a new nonviolent lifestyle.
My black and white drawings ask one question of my viewer: will you spread indifference, irreverence, and contempt in relation to life, or will you participate and create as part of a Culture of Life? It is an either/or question. It is black or white.
St. John’s College (Annapolis, MD)
Bachelors of Arts, May 2004
Majors: Philosophy and History of Mathematics and Science
Minors: Classics and Comparative Literature
Top prize, Art Fields, (2015)
Winner, New Orleans Art Council, 'Percent for Art Purchase Program, (2015)
Special recognition, 15th Annual Faces Juried Online International Art Exhibition, (2013)
Artist Choice Award, First Prize for Art Under Glass, and, Best Portrait, St. Bernard Art Guild Open Art Contest, (2013)
Winner, New Orleans Art Council’s ‘NOLA for Life’ Art Contest, (2013)
Winner, Living Life Fearless Art Contest, (2013)
Finalist, New Orleans Art Council’s ‘Percent for Art’ Program, (2013)
Joan Mitchell Center Business Program Group Art Show, Joan Mitchell Center, New Orleans, LA, (2013)
Love Your Enemies: The National Conference of Artist art Exhibit celebration Martin Luther King Jr., Ashe Culture Center, New Orleans, LA, (2013)
15th Annual Faces Juried Online International Art Exhibition, Online, (2013)
Christian Community Development Conference Art Exhibition, Hyatt, New Orleans, LA (2013)
BreakThru Magazine, March/April 2012
The Trumpet, October, November, 2012, September 2013