One of the reasons I created Cultured Mosaic is to give black artists of every discipline a space where they are celebrated. From illustrators to graphic designers to textile designers to ballet dancers to music engineers to set designers and everybody in between, I want this to be the home for all things black visual and performing arts. With that, I am happy to share this exhibition with you.
Flo Awolaja is an artist of Nigerian descent who specializes in printmaking and textile design, among many other things. After receiving a tweet, I asked her to e-mail me so I could feature her work on the blog. Her newest exhibition, Authenticity: Homage to Peju features fabrics from Ghana and Nigeria, creating “abstract compositions harking back to West African traditions of using textiles as a means of commemoration and communication.”
If you live in London, go not now but RIGHT NOW to check out Flo’s exhibit at Boulangerie Bon Matin, (Patisserie) [178 Tollington Park Road, Finsbury Park, London N4 3AJ]!
One of my favorite causes to raise awareness about is autism and this month is Autism Awareness Month. I happen to be a sibling of a person who has autism and I try my best to share how people can help support families who live with the disability. You’ll be surprised how far empathy and acceptance will go.
In honor of Autism Awareness Month, I’m featuring an incredible artist who has autism. Born in London, Stephen Wiltshire is an architectural artist that is able to draw major city skylines from memory after taking a helicopter ride of the city. Amazing right?! Stephen was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3 and went to London’s Queensmill School, where he expressed interest in drawing.
Photo Courtesy: Stephen WIltshire
His early drawings reflected his interests in animals and cars, to this day he is a collector of American cars. He became fascinated with London landmark and by the time he turned 8, he received his first commission to create a drawing of Salisbury Cathedral from the British Prime Minister.
Photo Courtesy: Stephen Wiltshire
Since then, he has drawn skylines of London, Rome, Hong Kong, Frankfurt, Madrid, Dubai and Jerusalem to name a few! In 2005, he created his largest panorama drawing of his career by drawing the Tokyo skyline on canvas. Citing New York City as his spiritual home, he has drawn it twice, once in 2009 and then in 2011 for UBS’ global advertising campaign.
Stephen and his work have been the subject of many documentaries and has published 4 books. In 2006, Queen Elizabeth II named Stephen a Member of the Order of the British Empire for his contributions to art. Later that year, he opened a permanent gallery in the Royal Opera Arcade. If you live in Houston, Stephen will be in your city later this month for Elevate Houston to draw the Bayou City live. Remember that support I mentioned earlier, this would be a great opportunity.
It’s no doubt that Stephen’s artistry is one of a kind and I’m glad to share his #blackmanbrilliance with you. To see more of his artwork, visit his website.