A Strong Spirit w/ artist Leroy Campbell

It’s always an honor to bring on one of the greats in Black art. We got Leroy Campbell joining the Studio Noize fam! Leroy has been an artist for 31 years, and his signature neck bone paintings can be seen worldwide. We talk about Leroy’s path to becoming an artist, from how he created his signature neck bone work to how he honors his culture and embraces his Gullah heritage. We talk about a couple of upcoming books he’s been working on, new experiments in painting, and a look back at the Black galleries, collectors, and artists that defined his career. This is a great episode to get you inspired. Listen, subscribe, and share!

Episode 174 topics include:

Getting started in Art

the Black Art Renaissance

producing work for the community

being self-taught

being inspired by Romare Bearden and Jacob Lawrence

embracing his Southern Gullah heritage

honoring the Black galleries and collectors

creating a children’s book

writing a memoir

created new experimental work

Charleston, South Carolina native, Leroy Campbell’s art speaks of the contributions to humanity through the African American perspective. More than just art, each piece serves as Campbell’s tithe, as he uses his gifts and talents to teach others about the richness of the Gullah/ Geechee heritage and the beauty of his people.

Leroy Campbell describes humanity like a garden. In the 1300s Native Americans invented a system of gardening called “Three Sisters,” which involved strategically planting corn, beans, and squash together. The corn provides support and structure for the beans to grow. While the beans pull nitrogen from the air, returning it to the soil and enriching all the plants. The squash, planted at the base, spreads its large leaves, which offer shade and protection, keeping the soil moist and cool. When each of the plants is whole and thriving and healthy, it is able to reach its full potential and contribute to the garden. If one of the plants becomes sick, it affects the balance of the garden.

Master gardener, painter, storyteller, and lover of souls, Leroy Campbell paints a beautiful hope for humanity through his art and through his words. In telling the stories he knows best, he is offering the wisdom and lessons of the elders as a gift to us all. As part of the human experience, we are all searching for our place in the garden, our purpose, our connection, our significance in this world. Those stories are the most powerful gifts in the universe as they provide a sense of self and a foundation of wisdom based on patience, love, and discernment. Campbell’s vision is of a healthy garden, where each is whole, liberated and validated, where people are free to love who they are and in turn nurture others around them.

Leroy Campbell’s paintings, infused with history, tie the past to the present in the practice of sankofa, the understanding that you can’t move forward until you receive the lessons of the past. The vulnerability of his art, his soul, his ability to tell a story through the use of acrylic, paper, tapestries, and organic materials, creates an opportunity for conversation, for something real, for the human connection that we are all desperately seeking.

See more: Leroy Campbell website + Leroy Campbell IG @leroycampbellart

Presented by: Black Art In America

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