Archive for January 1, 2013

Artist of the moment…Phoebe Beasley….

Phoebe Beasley is known for her collage portraits mainly of people of color. She uses items such as actual fabrics from clothes that people wore for some commissions. Phoebe Beasley was born in 1943 in Cleveland, Ohio. Beasley works in many mediums including oils, gouache, and watercolors. Other additions to collages include tissue papers and sequins.

Her style reminds me of  Romare Bearden. Bearden was a leader in the Harlem Renaissance. Bearden was known his colorful images of African American families at home. Below is a serigraph print by Romare Bearden.  Though a print you can see Bearden’s outstanding and bold use of color. The picture is filled with flat abstract shapes and patterns similar to Beasley.


A link to the artist’s own personal website:

Beasley has produced two prints celebrating two different presidential inaugurations. One was for President George Bush the first back in 1989. She also made a similar print for the inauguration of President Bill Clinton in 1993. So the artist has worked with three totally different administrations that enjoyed her artwork! The last president to associate himself with Beasley was President Obama. She along with 43 other well known and highly collected artists were given blank busts of the President and told to do their thing. Below is phograph of Beasley’s finished work.


In this clip here the curator of the show titled VISIONS OF OUR PRESIDENT.

Was a participant in the United States Art in Embassies program. This gave exposure to many artists and introduced the artists to the upper middle and upper class elite who encourage the arts in foreign countries.

She is part of many elite collections and musuems. Two traveling exhibitions you may see the artist are with the Grant Hill Collection of Art and the Kinsey Collection of Art.

Grant Hill is a well known professional basketball player who is now the second oldest player in the league by one day! He plays for the Los Angeles Clippers and has a great collection of art that features many prominent African American artists such as Elizabeth Catlett, Romare Bearden, and Phoebe Beasley.

The Kinsey’s couple have been married for more than forty years and have been promoting African American artists for nearly just as long. The couple wrote a book titled the KINSEY COLLECTION COFFEE TABLE BOOK, which has been adopted by the K through 12 grade education system in Florida to teach young children about African American contributions to the arts.

A link to the Grant Hill Collection titled Something All Our Own. Many masters such as Catlett and Bearden are included :

A link to the Kinsey Collection of Art:

Below see a brief message from Shirley Kinsey talking about a portrait commission that was done by Phoebe Beasley.

For her collegiate studies Beasley attended Ohio University earning a bachelors degree. For her graduate studies the artist attended Kent State University.

Currently the artist makes a studio in Woodland Hills, California.

Beasley did a wonderful collaboration with Maya Angelou and Langston Hughes. Angelou chose which poems of Hughes to use and then Beasley designed silkscreens for the books. A very limited edition of 3oo were made.  You can view a picture of the book in the gallery.