Early Works From The Studio Museum in Harlem
Scholarship Student / Print Shop w Valerie J. Maynard
In 1971 I met my most important mentors, Mr Leroy Clarke ( now Chief Ifa Oje Won Yomi Abiodun ) was the Studio Director at the Museum and one of 7 Artists in Residence. I had a full access studio at the time at the Whitney Museum's Art Resources Center on the lower East Side in Manhattan. It was a loft building with ample Space, but it had kind of a dreary atmosphere. After Mr. Clarke visited me, he saw my need for guidance and told me that I needed to come up to Harlem...
So I did. It was a great move, it was brighter, tour visits from Art Lovers from the US and abroad and full supplies and access to print presses. Ms.Maynard helped me refine my Hand Printing methods, Introduced me to Sculpture and Casting. Her Ceramic Tile work can be see throughout the 125th St. and Lexington Ave Subway complex. I was at the studio every day as a scholarship student morning till evening. I love to present and talk Art, so I became the unofficial Tour guide for visitors since I arrived there as early as 7:00 A.M. working on paintings. A young Sculptor Justine Jorges was the youngest Artist in Residence at 15 years old. I was 19. Justine was bread winner for his family of 8 brothers who all carved, taught by Mr. Jorges. I worked on a series of 12" X 24" Linoleum Block Prints and also experimented with Wood Block, Paper Studio Lithograph and Mono Print.
Top - "Hunger" Wood Block Print 1971
Carved and printed at the Studio Museum in Harlem Print Shop
Bottom - Aparteid South Africa / Modern Slavery
Pen and Ink / Color Marker 1971
Valerie J. Maynard was the onsite Director of the Print workshop. We had many long conversations about her experiences teaching, and serving as Artist in Residence in a Pioneer National Program at the Skowhegan School of Painting in Maine. That experience produced an number of prominent Artists from around the country and Harlem, NYC. Ms. Maynard observed a sculptural sensibility in my work and she predicted that I would enter the field of Sculpture. In 1985 I recieved a Fellowship for Sculpture from the N.Y.S. Council on The Arts. I produced a series of works that eventually led to carving and making Traditional African Drums. I moved out to Rural Renssalaer County where i cut and dried Red Oak, Cherry, Iron, Maple, Poplar and Pine wood. I brought Raw hides from a slaughter House in Catskill, NY. I my own Gasoline cured Cow and Goat hides. Some as large as 10' X 12' for cow hide.
I developed Original CLANDOU Rhythm Drums of Distinction and marketed my Drums and Classes in the Down Town News Magazine Metroland, online and locally at my Studio Ako Dun Academy at the Hilton Center for The Performing Arts on Russel Road, Colonie, NY. My distinction was that I had 100 Drums onsite and offered tiered programs - beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. My drums were carved by Chainsaw for speed and my style of stringing was unique in that it was developed for the North American climate which is more humid. As a Small National Dealer, I was the only drum maker who used Paracord for all of my drums
. My stringing and hand made hoop work was also a distinction. I developed a whole practice.
Early Wood Block Print 1971
Mother and Child / Linoleum Block Print 1971
New Generation at the Scene of the Crime / Lino Cut Print 1971
"FREEDOM" / Lino Cut Print 1071
From my Multi Genre Senior Collection / Syracuse University 2005 - 2007
Part of A Grade Series / Printmaking Survey / Comart Facility, Syracuse University 2006 / 07
...it pays to have Pre College Study. In most cases you will recieve minimal instruction at the College level. In College you get assignments in a series. Long term and short term projects. Class Work is where you get "Critique"...not instructon. I studied Printmaking with Valerie J. Maynard who is a reknown Printmaker, Sculptor and Muralist. While at the Flag Ship Studio Museum
in 1971, I produced work in Wood Block, Linoleum Block, Mono Print and Paper Lithograph. While there,
I recieved a second scholarship to reknown Printmaker Bob Blackburn's Studio on 23rd Street
in Manhattan. Many prominent Printmakers produced work there.
I witnessed from start to finish, the first Intaglio plate that Harlem Artist Kay Brown made which took weeks. It was featured in many books on Black Artists and Female Artists. She used a variety of textures to get her image.