What is gratitude? The definition of gratitude is to be thankful or appreciative. I am grateful to communicate my memories through my artwork. It was a hard process, but I had to be honest with myself and my audience. As a result, I created a body of work showing gratitude towards my memories. I learned to be grateful for the unique memories of my life; as a result, these experiences shaped my success. I slowed downed and reflected on my life; hence, I revisited my childhood memories and adult memories to develop subject for my collage.
I unboxed my memories and addressed certain sensitive issues in life. In the past, I did not want to address the memories; because I was ashamed to tell people my stories. I thought people did not want to hear stories about a kid living in housing projects in Philadelphia. I shared my wild stories with my close friends and family; as a result, they encourage me to share my stories with the world. They felt the stories were funny, unique and relatable and made the artwork stronger.
As an experiment, I used social media to test my new platform. I tested my new artwork and written narrative. I posted new images and added stories to the descriptions. I received many positive comments from friends, family and strangers on social media. People were engaged with the images and descriptions. I feared people would look at me differently, but they felt nostalgia about their past. The social media test helped me realized we all have unique stories to tell and we should not be afraid to share our memories. We need to embrace our stories and share them with world despite our insecurities.
Artist's reproductions are available in 8 x 10 matted prints for the $45.00. If you are interested in purchasing prints, please contact the artist at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Payment plans are available for the originals work.
Fire Plug Blues, 2021 Mixed Medium 18 x24 $1000.00
"Water Plug Blues" is based upon my childhood experiences living in The Bartram Village Housing Projects in Philadelphia, PA. I played in fire hydrant during the hot summer months. It was so heated and humid, you could fry an egg on the sidewalk. We didn't have access to local swimming pools; as a result, we turn on the fire hydrants to cool down. I remembered taking off my shoes and playing in the water. Playing in the fire hydrant help me to escape my reality for a short time. Everyone came out their apartments and played in streets including the adults. These were good times, and I cherished the memories.
Gratitude, 2020 Mix Medium 11 x14 $600.00
I created “Gratitude” to thank God for protecting and motivating me throughout the years. I tell people my stories and they’re amazed to hear about outcomes; hence, I thank God every day. I was surround violence, drugs and gangs; but somehow I overcame my obstacles. The story behind this Gratitude stems from a personal assault I encountered on 58th and Baltimore. I attended a summer enrichment course at Turner Middle School in Southwest, Philadelphia during my middle school years. I waited at the bus stop for a bus and a person assaulted me. He punched me in my face for no apparent reason. I couldn’t understand why someone would randomly assault another human being. I remember my mother pulling me from the enrichment program because of my safety; as a result, I was traumatizing by the incident. I avoided returning to the bus stop due to fear. I learned to trust in God; as a result, I had to address my fear. Eventually, I returned to the bus stop and conquered my fear. I learned how to deal with adversity and not to become a victim.
Finding My Life, 2020 Mix Medium 12 x 15 $600.00
I created this piece several months ago using fresh materials. I wanted to capture my story growing up in Philadelphia. It hard to believe that a nerdy kid from the housing projects could grow up to become an artist. As a child, my imagination was my outlet to escape my current reality. I didn't realize that my childhood experiences would affect my artwork several years later. I have visions of eating tasty cakes, playing in the fire hydrant during the summer, and running to the ice cream truck. This makes rich subject for my collages and paintings.
Prayer Warrior, 2021 Mix Medium 14 x8 $700.00
I created Prayer Warrior based upon my spirituality. I was watching boxing footage of different fighters ranging from Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Mike Tyson and others. I realized that each boxer struggled with their own person demons. They were not perfect and had numerous flaws. I admire them; because they got back up after they fell down in a ring or in their personal lives. It made me realize that I am not perfect and I have my shortcomings. I learned to get back up when I fall and keep moving. God has guided me through the rough patches of my life and I am grateful. My experiences are the fuel behind my work.
Product of Bartram Village Housing Project, 2020 Mix Medium 11x14 $500.00
I create The Product of Bartram Village, Housing Project based upon my experiences living in the projects. I had limited opportunity because of my environment. I worked on this collage for several months and its story about my past. I learning that beauty is in the eye of beholder. Also, I am learning to find the beauty in my past. My life started out in The Bartram Village Housing Project in Southwest Philadelphia. I lived in a two-bedroom apartment for the nine years. My family was on public assistance, and we survived. My experiences taught me resilience and hard work can make you successful. I am blessed to have a family, good friends and a successful career as an artist and art teacher.
Praying for Autumn, 2019 Mixed Medium 18 x24 $600.00
I created this artwork, praying for Autumn, based upon my daughter’s accident. She suffered a headinjury, at a hotel banquet hall, in Fairfax, Virginia. Autumn was attending a family reunion with my Mother-and-law during Labor Day weekend. My wife and I stayed home during Labor Day weekend. I received the phone call about the incident and I felt helpless. The doctors stated my daughter fracture her skull and needed emergency surgery. The doctors needed verbal parental permission to start the surgery. The information devastated and upset my wife. We loaded the car and drove six hours to get to the hospital. While driving to Virginia, my emotions and spirituality were running wild. I worried about the long-term effects of her injury. I had visions of uncertainty surrounding my daughter’s health. I fear that the injury would cause long term affects such as motor functions, social development, and cognitive skills. Would my daughter lead a normal life with the injury? I reached out to God for guidance. I prayed and asked God to heal my daughter. Fast forward several years later, my daughter is doing excellent. She healed from the injury and has a healthy life. I thank God every day for the miracle.
A Piece of Mind, 2021 Mixed Medium, 11x14, $600.00
A Peace of Mind is based upon conversations with my mother. I attended Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Philadelphia with mother on Sundays when I was adolescent. My mother was a religious woman, and she believed that prayer could solve life’s problems. She prayed through the good and bad times in life despite the circumstances. My mother believed God controlled the outcome of everyone’s destiny. Prayer was your primary connection to God. She encouraged me to pray through good and bad times. Tomorrow is not promise and that I we need a relationship with God. Life is not perfect. When I leave my house, I pray for my family and friends, and co-worker because the world is an inhospitable place. I cope with changes through prayer and meditation. ort.
Protecting Me From Harm, 2019 Mixed Medium, 10x8 $600.00
I created Protecting Me From Harm to symbolize how faith can strengthen and protect you from life's trials and tribulations. I entered many art competitions and receive rejection letters. The rejections letters were toxic toward my mindset. They drained my energy and creative drive. I doubted my artistic abilities for several years and wonder whether to give up being an artist. I invested so much time and energy into perfecting my art, and I felt upset that I was not receiving recognition from the art community. I spoke with friends and family about rejections letters and they told me to trust in God. I learn not to let art competitions control my mindset. I trusted in God. As a result, art opportunities opened up. I won 2nd place in an art exhibition and won a cash prize. Also, I participated in a national exhibition at Delaware Contemporary Center in Wilmington, Delaware. People started purchasing prints and original works. I learned God had a plan for my art and I had to be patience.
Accidents of Faith Mix Medium 11x14 $400.00
I call this piece Accidents of Faith. I created Accidents of Faith based upon my experiences in the world. Have you ever been in a car accident? I have been in three major car accidents in my lifetime. I was rear-ended in every accident, and I totaled two of my vehicles. My family was involved with one of the accidents; but they were not harmed during the crash. I wanted to document the experiences; because I walked away from the accidents with no injuries. If you can walk away from a car accident with no injuries, then you must be blessed. God protected me and my family from serious harm, and I am grateful.
Where are the Hummingbirds?, 2020 Mixed Medium 11 x14 $600.00
I created this collage several months ago. I never exhibited the work. This is called, "Where are the hummingbirds?" I saw two hummingbirds in my lifetime. I encountered my first hummingbird in my mother's backyard in Philadelphia. I encountered my second hummingbird in my backyard during the past Spring. Watching a hummingbird is very relaxing. You watch in awe as the hummingbird hovers from flower to flower. Sometimes, I feel like the hummingbird. The hummingbird symbolizes adversity in my world. It can fly forward, backwards and upside according to the situation. I learned how to maneuver my way through life and survived.
Where is the instructional Manual for raising Autumn?, 2021 Mix medium 11 x14 $600.00
I created, "Where is the instructional manual for raising Autumn?". The birth of my daughter was inspiration for the collage. She was born on November 13, 2012, and my life changed. I remember rushing my wife to Christiana Hospital for the delivery at 4am in the morning. My wife was in labor for seven hours. When my daughter arrived in the world, she cried for twenty minutes. I held her for the first time and she subtle down. When I held my daughter, I wondered how I could be a good father. I started thinking about the future. Where would she live? What schools would she attend? What college would she attend? Who would be her friends? Who would she marry? I had so many thoughts running through my mind. Then, I realized to trust in God and stop worrying about the future.
The Ice Cream Man, 2021 Mix Medium, 20x30, $1000.00
I created "The Ice Cream Man" based on my childhood experiences living in Philadelphia. I lived in the Housing Projects and we had access to a metal playground set. We had broken swing sets; but we were happy. I remembered the hot summer months playing on metal slides at the playground. The sun made the metal slides hot and stingy. I burnt myself several times sliding down slides. The highlight of the day was the ice cream man. I heard the music from truck several blocks away. Then, I ran and asked my mother for ice cream money. You had to be quick; because the ice cream truck waited for no one. I ordered my vanilla ice cream/cone with rainbow sprinkles. I sat on the front steps of my apartment building and enjoy my treat. I am blessed and grateful to have experience these moments in my life.
The Urban Cocoon, 2020 Mix Medium, 11 x 14, 2021, $600.00
I created Urban Cocoon based upon my childhood memories growing up in Philadelphia. When I was young, I played in an abandoned, overgrown building lot. I remember seeing piles of old tires, old mattresses, and loose trash bags. The residents used the old lots as dumping grounds for unwanted trash such as old tires, stained mattresses, and boxes. The old lots had large insects and overgrown weeds despite the piles of smelly trash. I watched caterpillars transform into the matriarch butterflies. They create cocoons and emerged as beautiful butterflies despite the environment. I admired the beautiful colors illuminating from wings of the butterflies. The matriarch butterfly reminded me of myself. I came from a rough environment such as a cocoon. I built my success through hard work and believing in God. I learned to embrace adversity and flex my butterfly wings.
The Guardian 1, 2021 Mixed Medium 10 x 20 SOLD
The Guardian 1 was created pay homage to individual who guided me along my journey and success. God send people to you at certain times to help you get pass certain obstacles in life I remember attending Temple University, Tyler School of Art and Architecture and I was blessed with so many good friends and professors. They motivated and inspired me to become a successful artist. I remembered my professors, John Dowell and Richard Cramer, encouraging me to keep my move forward and not let nothing stand in your way. Also, I remember attending graduate school at the Maryland Institute, College of Art. I went for the interview for The Hoffberger School of painting and spoke with Grace Hartigan, the graduate director. I had an excellent interview with Grace Hartiagan and she invited me to attended the program. I knew God intervene; because, I felt a warm sensation after the interview. I did not receive a phone for call two weeks. They gave me The Morris- Phillips scholarship to attended their graduate program. I was very excited for receiving the scholarship
Big Wheel Dreams, 2021 Mixed Medium 18x24 $1000.00
As I work on this collage, I felt the story coming together. I remember riding my big wheel in Bartram Village Housing Project. I rode my big wheel on my local terrace for many hours, weaving in and out of cracks in the cement. I pretended to be a superhero saving the housing projects from the villains. I fought imagery monsters, saved damsels in distress and tried to pop a wheelie on my Big wheel. My imagination was my getaway from the reality of living in a concrete jungle of The Projects. The game ended when the night/street lights came on the Terrace. I remember my mother yelling my name to come home for dinner. I grateful for these moments; because they shaped my mindset
The Money Trap, 2019 Mix Medium 11x19 $700.00
I created the Money Trap based upon my experience with student loan debts. I was the first in my family to attend college, and I was grateful for the experience. I was inspired by the sitcom, “A Different World”. I watched as Africans-Americans attended a historically black college and tackle everyday campus life. It motivated me to pursue a college degree; because it symbolized success. I graduated from Temple University, Tyler School of Art and Architecture and Maryland Art Institute, College of Art, with a large student debt. I was scared; because I had no way to repay the debt. I was the first generation in my family to attend college; thus I paid for college using student loans. I had no true plan on how to repay the loans. I trust in God and overcame my student debt. God helped me to find a job and payoff all my students debts.
Huxtablity 1, 2019 Mixed Medium, 11x 14, $500.00
I created Huxtability 2 based upon my experiences with watching the Cosby Show. I watched the Cosby Show and Different World. I admired how African-Americans were portrayed as educated and wealthy people. They inspire me to follow my dreams and become success and I wanted to live the lifestyle. My dreams became reality after attending Temple University, Tyler's School of Art and Architecture and Maryland Art Institute, College of Art. I taught middle school art for twenty years and I achieved my dreams. I have a family, excellent friends and a good job.
Huxability 2, 2021 Mix Medium 8 x 13, $500.00
I call this piece "Huxtability 1". I was inspired by The Cosby Show in the 80s. On Thursday nights, I watched the Cosby Show in my pajama. I had to go directly to bed after watching the Cosby Show. I dreamed of being successful living in a big house and having wealth like the Huxtables. The Cosby Show created the blueprint for my success and it motivated me. I admired the show; because I never seen African-American portrayed in a positive light on television. Cliff and Clair Huxtable were strong, educated and had influence within their community. I wanted to live that dream. I worked hard and achieved my dreams despite my circumstances. I am grateful for Cosby's Show.
God has my back, 2020 Mix Medium, 11 x14, $500.00
God has my back was inspired by my first college semester at Temple University, Tyler's School of Architecture and Art. I graduated from Overbrook High School, and Temple University accepted me into Tyler under certain academic conditions. I did not pass the entry exams for reading and math; as a result, I attended a summer courses. I wondered if I made the right decision about attending college. I was afraid and confused about college life; because I had a lot of pressure. First, I was the first in my family to attend college. Also, I use student loans to pay for college My biggest fear was dropping out of college and figuring out how to repay the academic loans. I attended summer courses at the Act 101 program. The Act 101 program, a twelve week intensive course, prepared me to retake the entry exams. Also, the program helped me to navigate the social scene on campus. I met one of my best friends Peter Fitzpatrick at the Act 101 program and we have been friends for over thirty years. I thank God for the opportunity to attend the Act 101 Program. In my first semester, I made the Dean’s List and received an academic award despite my appendicitis and death of my ex-girlfriend. God played a major role in my success at Temple University and beyond.