Meet Our Artists of Color

Bryant Small

Bryant Small is an Award-Winning Alcohol Ink painter who lives in Jersey City, NJ and balances a social marketing and media career in New York City. Bryant has a love of culture, color and all things sparkling. In his art, he loves to tow the line of free abstraction with vibrant color blending and pushing beyond pretty. His Alcohol Ink pieces are free flowing, unpredictable and levitate from the page. Bryant is constantly creating and being inspired and sharing his work daily on Instagram.

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Emmanuel Ignatius

Emmanuel Ignatus is a digital artist based in Nairobi Kenya. His main goal since starting his art journey has always been to capture the small details of the day to day life experiences of the melaninated community. He feels that there's a part of our history that is missing and has taken on that responsibility as an artist to make sure that does not continue to happen.

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Ija Charles

Ija Charles is a self-taught painter/entrepreneur from Columbia, South Carolina. Her series range from portraits of ordinary people to a diverse sampling of symbols from our day to day culture. These images are then re-imagined and reconstructed in her own unique way. Ija plants an idea for each new work then harvests its positive vibes. Once sealed with her signature, each piece is adorned with good energy.

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Kaitlin Edwards

Kaitlin June is a full time freelance illustrator and tattoo artist who I graduated from the Art Academy of Cincinnati with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Illustration in 2013. With limited digital art programs at my college, she taught herself how to work within digital painting programs. Kailtin likes to use healing and strong color palettes to communicate her emotions to the viewer. She finds inspiration in nature, color and light.

She says ”I started drawing at an early age and was fueled to draw more with a Sailor Moon obsession. From there, my interests in color, healing, and art with magical girl themes seemed to grow. I love creating works centered around curly, coily, kinky hair with a focus on color therapy and healing imagery."

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Kwanzaa Edwards

A San Antonio based painter and illustrator, Kwanzaa Edwards has been honing her skills in figurative painting since 2014. Originally an abstract painter, Kwanzaa blended her abstract style with her experience in figurative illustration bringing about a unique marriage of her skills.

Since earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Painting from Lamar University in 2014, the meaning behind Kwanzaa’s work evolved as she entered the real working world. Mental health, self acceptance and black female empowerment have been consistent topics in her work. Her characters often present an unapologetic existence in their respective universes. Fantasy plays a key role as her figures often display features that aren’t natural in this world such as colorful galaxy afros, unnatural eye colors and many other characteristics. The fantasy aspects of her work draw in the viewer letting them see not what they are outside but what magical and powerful being resides within.

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Melrick Steele

Chicago artist Melrick Steele is known for his vibrant, colorful abstract pieces. He is a self taught artist that started drawing at the age of 4. His paintings are inspired by various cultures and everyday life to produce some of the most vivid images of his style. Melrick creates a visual of work that is somewhat an urban abstract style.

In addition to painting, Melrick is a talented tattoo artist whose work has been featured in Urban Ink Magazine and in various blogs.

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Noland Anderson

Based in Florida, Noland is an uncompromising, contemporary American artist. His work is a celebration of people of color, their style, their grace and strength that has been forged through turbulent times, an ongoing legacy that still shapes American History.  

When asked about his art, Noland said: “[...]Fragments of the past find their way into the present in large scale paintings. Reliving my childhood moments of awe that seemed to stop time inspired by the living legacies of my grandfather’s generation. Capturing the dignity of my culture in the way they dressed, the way they moved; [and] the way they carried themselves with such pride and grace. Older gentlemen sporting fedora hats playing chess; Women wearing fine dresses with lace parasols out walking; those [are the] simple pleasures of everyday urban life.

I strive to search out and capture contemporary moments that are still found; which, paradoxically, [are] what our world and our media have [either] forgotten or ignored; cultural pride.

[...]The effect is to make us question not only the cultural representations of black people, but also our assumptions about how skin color defines anyone's physical characteristics and behavior.”

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Solonge & Aquabah

ASA Books is the manifestation of two women’s alignment.  

Solonge Robinson and Aquabah Gonney-Buckner are cousins by blood, but sisters in spirit, who were raised in Brooklyn, NY. They joined forces to create children's books that entertain through engaging artwork while teaching meaningful content.

Solonge’s lifelong love of writing evolved after the birth of her 2 children where she discovered reading bedtime stories each night was a magical adventure, one that would inspire her to author children's books. After a tragic fire destroyed all of her family's possessions, she committed to rebuilding their collection.

Aquabah Gonney-Buckner uses art as a vehicle for self-expression. As a Principal in Chicago, IL, Aquabah champions art as an integral part of her curriculum of change; teaching the importance of art integration into public schools.

Together, their goal is to create something beautiful in the world for children…. and ASA means beautiful.

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Stephanie Littlebird Fogel

Steph Littlebird is an artist, writer, curator and registered member of Oregon’s Grand Ronde Confederated Tribes. Steph earned her B.F.A. in Painting and Printmaking from the Pacific Northwest College in Portland, Oregon, she currently lives and works in Las Vegas. Littlebird is known for her vibrant imagery that combines the traditional totem styles of her Indigenous ancestors with contemporary illustration aesthetics.

Her work frequently touches upon issues of contemporary tribal identity, cultural survivance, and responsible land stewardship. Aside from her work as a visual artist, Steph is a full time professional tech writer and freelance arts columnist for Oregon Arts Watch magazine.

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Tabitha Whitley

Tabitha Whitley is a Brooklyn based artist with a focus in oil painting and relief printmaking. Tabitha received her BFA in Painting from the Fashion Institute of Technology in 2009, then went on to receive MFA in Painting from the New York Academy of Art in 2011. She is the current President of the Alumni Association of the New York Academy of Art and a serving member of the Board of Trustees. Tabitha has had her work shown in galleries throughout the United States, and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal.

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Craig Carter

Craig Carter / Craig C. The Artist was born in Houston, Texas in 1981. His works of art vary by using various mediums but predominantly in acrylics and inks. He uses bold line work and vibrant colors to show different emotions and expressions. His work has been shown nationally and internationally including HMAAC , and various galleries.

His work has been featured in the Bury Free Press (Bury St Edmunds, UK) ,Instagram and various publications such as Taji Magazine, Urban Tymes Intl , Kapabokone Magazine ,NWI Times and Voyage Houston.He has been on Houston's Ch.11, Fox 26 and CW 39. He co -curated the Ti-Rock Moore’s 2018 Exhibition “A Burning House” at HMAAC. He has won international art awards including the Outstanding Artist Award in Segnalati, Rome.

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Lauren Younge

Lauren Younge is a St. Louis based artist who creates colorful abstracts with the intent of brightening people’s lives. In 2016 she received her Bachelor's degree in Art Education from Southeast Missouri State University. She taught students of all ages for four years in the St. Louis area. Lauren enjoys sharing her passion for art with young people. In 2021 Lauren received her Master’s degree from Webster University in Arts Management and Leadership.

She is drawn to abstract art because it allows her to express herself more freely. Art is her main outlet for relieving stress and exploring thoughts and emotions. She doesn't plan much of anything before starting a painting, definitely creating in the moment. Her acquired sense of style incorporates bold colors, texture, and movement. The result is an unintentional body of work, created almost by accident. Because her intentions are never set in stone, people’s perception of her work is not either.

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Nick Davis

With the evolution of technology and the rise of self-sufficient creators, Nick Davis is taking the world of digital art by storm. 

In 2019, Davis took on digital artistry after epilepsy left him unable to work. Using an iPad gifted to him by his wife, he began to experiment with computer generated artwork. Inspired by the greats such as Brooklyn graffiti pioneer Jean-Michel Basquiat, the St. Petersburg, FL native began sketching and perfecting his craft. He would soon realize that he was not only determined to master his technique, but that he wanted to use the art form to depict the raw emotions of Blacks in their day to day joy and struggles. Before long, Davis constructed an entire collection of digital art that portrayed his love for his culture, appropriately titled, “Black Is Beautiful.” Davis and his “Black Is Beautiful” masterpieces soon attracted national and international recognition. Ultimately Davis wants to let his community know that despite the current state of the world,  your black remains immeasurably beautiful.

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Hanifa Abdul Hameed

Hanifa is an Indian American from New Jersey. She was a world traveler in the first few years of her life – from Saudi Arabia, to India, to Canada and finally to New Jersey when she was 10. Currently she's a UI UX designer by day and an illustrator by night. She's inspired by her love for fashion, color, culture, and strong women.

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