All American, 2012 by Larry Cook
All American, 2012 by Larry Cook

The Image of the Black: Reimagined & Redefined
September 13 – December 15, 2015

 
about the exhibition | press
 

Artists Bios

S. Ross Browne | Nina Buxenbaum | Larry Judah Cook | Ronald Jackson | T. Elliott Mansa | Delita Martin | Arvie Smith
 

S. Ross Browne
S. Ross Browne

S. Ross Browne

studied Communication Art and Design at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia and Photography at The Corcoran School of the Arts in Washington, DC. He is also an alumnus of The Miller School of Albemarle in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Browne is a professional studio artist with over 23 years of experience. With an emphasis on painting, he has exhibited domestically and internationally in over 70 gallery and museum exhibitions and is in multifarious private and public collections including the permanent collection of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. He has been the subject of print and video media, including MSNBC, The Huffington Post, The Washingtonian, Ebony, Richmond Times Dispatch, Richmond Free Press, The Washington Post, The International Review of African American Art, Grid Magazine, WTVR/CBS, Harlem Interviews, Urban Views Magazine and the Tom Joyner Foundation.

As an educator, Ross was the Art Specialist for the VCU Health System where he practiced Art Therapy and taught art to his patients, with an emphasis on pediatric hematology and oncology, infectious disease, brain injury and elder care. He was also an art educator for various support groups, including Living Well for pediatric cancer support and the Richmond Brain Tumor Support Group.

Browne was an instructor for the Resident Associate Program at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC. and has taught art and design for inner city and at risk youth for the Fresh Air Fund of New York City, Weed and Seed, Project Ready and Art 180 of Richmond, Virginia.

His most recent adjudication was for the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers: Scholastic Art Awards. As an illustrator, his work has graced book covers from St. Martin’s Press and Enfiniti Publishing and he has been a featured artist on the Directory of Illustration website and publication.

Ross continues to paint and write out of his studio in Richmond, Virginia. In a review of the exhibition Art Fusion in the Richmond Times Dispatch, Special Correspondent CeCe Bullard wrote, “Browne, always intense and direct, explores the many faces of the American experience in a variety of media, each of which he uses effectively.”

S. Ross Browne is the recipient numerous awards and honors from the Richmond Free Press, Sigma Rho Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, Happily Natural Day, National Arts Program, Partners in the Arts and was the Regional Winner of the 2011 Rush Philanthropic/Bombay Sapphire Fine Art Competition.


Nina Buxenbaum
Nina Buxenbaum

Nina Buxenbaum

was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York to a politically active, multi-racial household. She received her MFA degree in painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland and her BFA in drawing and painting from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

Ms. Buxenbaum has participated in residencies at the Cité Interational des Artes in Paris, France; the Skowhegan School of Painting, Skowhegan, Minnesota; The Artists Alliance, New York, New York; and The Byrdcliff Artist in Residence, Woodstock, New York. Her work has been included in several exhibitions including: the Studio Museum of Harlem, New York, New York; Kentler International Drawing Space, Brooklyn, New York; Ingalls Gallery, Miami, Florida; Rush Arts, New York, New York; and The Sampson Projects, Boston, Massachusetts. A solo exhibition of Nina’ work was held at Stella Jones Gallery, New Orleans, Louisiana and her work was reviewed in the International Review of African American Art, Volume 22, No. 3.

Nina is currently an Associate Professor at York College, CUNY, in Jamaica, New York and Coordinator of the Fine Arts Discipline in the Department of Performing and Fine Arts. She maintains and active studio practice in Brooklyn, New York and Bethel, Connecticut.


Larry Cook
Larry Judah Cook

Larry Cook

received his MFA from George Washington University in 2013. A 2013 Sondheim finalist and Hamiltonian Fellow, he has been included in various group shows including Ceci n’est pas une T.V. at the Fine Art Gallery of George Mason University (2015), the Trawick Prize Finalist Exhibition at Gallery B (2014), Academy 2013 at CONNERSMITH and Artist Citizen at Hemphill Fine Art (2012). Cook has also had solo presentations at Hamiltonian Gallery (2015), (e)merge art fair (2014), Stamp Gallery (2014) and Pleasant Plains Workshop (2013). A native of Landover, Maryland, Larry has taught Photography at George Washington University, American University and is currently an visual art teacher at Northwestern High School in Hyattsville, Maryland.




Ronald Jackson
Ronald Jackson

Ronald Jackson

grew up in a farming family in the rural Arkansas Delta and was the youngest of eleven siblings. From an early age, his preoccupation for being creative was apparent to all that knew him.

In 1988, Jackson moved to California immediately after high school, and started an Architectural Design program at Mission Viejo College. It was there that he took his one and only art class, which introduced him to oil painting. He became intrigued by the local Laguna Beach art scene. He eventually withdrew from the Architectural program, got married and joined the U.S. Army in 1992. In joining the Army, life took a turn for a new set of experiences and a series of challenging adventures. He maintained an interest in art, but mostly by observing the artwork of others.

In 2001, halfway through his military career, Jackson had an epiphany that inspired him to consider a post-military career as an artist and painter. However, he realized that he needed much development, and that there was little to no opportunity to attend art school while serving abroad. He therefore read, researched and studied all he could in order to experience significant growth as he worked towards improving his skill; while at the same time, managing multiple military deployments and frequent training exercises.

In 2010, he entered his first exhibition in a regional show, juried by Jennifer Glave Kocen of Glave Kocen Gallery and received the Best of Show award, marking the beginning of the public recognition of his work. In 2011, Jackson had his first solo exhibition at the Libertytown Arts Workshop, in which he displayed a series of works that included over forty paintings. In 2013, he returned to Libertytown for a second show which included nearly fifty new works. During time spent abroad, Jackson received an invitation to participate in a group exhibition titled “The Nude Collection” at Gallery Golmok in Seoul Korea. In February 2014, he gave his third solo exhibition at the Elegba Folklore Society in Richmond, VA, as part of collaboration with the Virginia Museum of

Fine Arts (VMFA). The exhibition addressed the themes of race, place, and identity through the arts. In 2014, Jackson was one of sixty artists to exhibit their work in Emergence 2014: International Artists to Watch at Galerie Myrtis in Baltimore, MD.

Jackson makes a point to present people of color in his work. Having a broad interest in various styles of art, his work sometimes blurs between fine art and illustration. He is inspired and influenced by contemporary artist such as Lucian Freud, Kent Williams, and Kerry James Marshall.

In May 2014, Jackson retired from the Army after 21 years of service.


T. Elliot Mansa
T. Elliot Mansa

T. Elliot Mansa

was born in Miami, Florida and is an alumnus of the New World School of the Arts High School. He received a Thalheimer Scholarship to attend the Maryland Institute College of Art but ultimately received his BFA from the University of Florida in 2000. He has also pursued is graduate education at the Yale School of Art.

His work, exploring familial and socio-political themes through the lens of West African myth and lore, has been exhibited at the ArtAfrica Fair and Prizm Art Fair during Art Basel, the David Castillo Gallery and the Miami International Airport, all in Miami, and the African American Museum of the Arts in Deland, Florida.




Delita Martin
Delita Martin

Delita Martin

is an artist currently based in Huffman, Texas. She received a BFA in drawing from Texas Southern University and an MFA in printmaking from Perdue University. Formerly a member of the Fine Arts faculty at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Martin currently works as a full-time artist in her studio, Black Box Press.

Working from oral traditions, vintage and family photographs as a source of inspiration, Martin’s work explores the power of the narrative impulse. Her process of layering various printmaking, drawing, sewing collaging and painting techniques allow her to create portrait that fuse the real and the fantastic. In her work, she combines signs and symbols to create visual language. By fusing this visual language with oral storytelling, she offers other identities and other narratives for women of color.

Martin’s work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally. Most recently, Martin’s work was included in State of the Arts: Discovering American Art Now, an exhibition that included 101 artists from around the United States. She was also included in the International Review of African American Art as one of 16 African American artists to watch, as they are gaining national and international attention in 2015.


Arvie Smith
Arvie Smith

Arvie Smith

is a provocative and masterful painter and storyteller. His long career in painting, teaching and advocacy is rooted in his African American heritage and life experience. He has used his considerable skills to pierce the armor of race which continues to both define and divide us both nationally and internationally. His flamboyantly colorful, dramatic, figurative paintings are simultaneously gorgeous and troubling, muscular and delicate, funny and sadly poignant and somehow familiar yet shockingly new. His works are not so much an answer to the question of “how are we doing with the ‘race thing’ generations after the Civil War and the ‘end’ of slavery?” but are snapshots of our past and present struggle to ‘just get along’ and celebrate one another for what make us individuals. This is a tall order for a painter and Smith has responded with wit, intelligence, humor, passion and an amazing skill set as a visual artist.

Though based in Portland, Oregon, Smith has traveled Africa and elsewhere on multiple occasions, which is part of what gives his work a rich, universal appeal. He was born in 1938 in Houston, Texas and spent the first 13 years of his life in the small town of Jasper, Texas. Jasper has experienced a number of race-based incidents, including the 1998 dragging of James Byrd by a chain behind a pick-up truck and Alfred Wright’s disappearance and suspicious drug overdose in 2013, in which police action is suspected by the public. Both men were black and both were killed in these incidents. Of his early life, family heritage, and influences on his art, Smith has written:

My work since President Obama’s election captures the celebration, the amazement, the hope, although blacks are still seen as inferior. Obama’s election invites African Americans to say: ‘I can be President. I see and feel the audacity of hope; the encouragement that yes, I am in no way inferior nor am I a second-class citizen. I am somebody.’ Blacks depend on the dominant culture for recognition. In life, we filter everything. Before we speak we must consider the consequences of our words. No black person feels secure in their position. Through art, there is freedom. I expose the slights, discrimination, condescension. I speak unfettered of my perceptions of the black experience.

In 1984, Smith received his BFA from the Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) in Portland. His studies included time at Il Bisonte in Florence, Italy in 1983. In 1992 he received his MFA from the Hoffberger School of Painting at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, where he was Teaching Assistant to Abstract Impressionist painter, Grace Hartigan. It was on the East Coast that Smith’s genealogical roots met visits to The Schoenberg Library of Harlem, the Library of Congress, Howard University and the Maryland Historical Society to inform his painting and drawing. On one occasion, he visited an old plantation, sat on the steps of the slave quarters and he says, “felt the spirits move around me.” Smith is Professor Emeritus of Painting at PNCA, where he taught from the mid 1980s until 2014. Prior to this, he taught at the MICA and was a visiting professor at the University of Oregon and Oregon College of Art and Crafts.










The Image of the Black – Biographies of Artists