Artist: Kwanza Humphrey

Kwanza headshot.jpg

Like many, I began drawing at a very early age. Drawing was a medium I could get lost in, with my imagination and thoughts. Painting for me is a natural extension of that process. While it is a completely different medium, the emotion I bring to it is the same. As with any medium, it is a form of expression.

I have been painting for over 20 years with this latest series started in the past year. I grew up here in Kansas City, graduating high school from Lincoln Academy. It was there I was en- couraged to pursue art as a profession from Ms Claire Martin-West. I attended Missouri West- ern State University where I took several painting classes from Jack Hughes. His approach was very hands off unless you were really needing help. I appreciated his approach as it al- lowed me to develop my own voice. I graduated from there in ‘98 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Commercial Art with an emphasis in painting and illustration. My first exhibition was at the Albrecht Kemper membership show in ’96 where I won best of show for my paint- ing “Blue Funk.” My painting “Ms Flora” won an award in the 35th Annual River market Re- gional Exhibition, curated by Mr Curlee Ravon Holton, Executive Director, David C. Driskell Center.

The human form and face is the subject that I gravitate to paint. I enjoy people and scratch- ing below the surface to show the essence of humanity. We all present a mask to the world to protect ourselves from the unknown. I’m looking to get past that façade and show the human connection we all share. I try not to explain everything visually. I try to paint so that you look at something and see the emotion in it. I think we all bring something personal to the table. Your experience will allow you to see something no one else does, or you may have a similar connection with your fellow viewers. My goal is for my work to resonate with you in some way. I hope on some level it does.

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