(PRWEB) February 25, 2004
Gwinnett has been blessed with numerous African-American artists who are having an impact right here in our own communities. Calvin Frazier is one such artist. I met Frazier over a year ago when I interviewed him for Art Beat. He was a “new” artist then, just beginning to discover his talent and develop a vision. What a difference a year has made!
Frazier is originally from New York City. He, his wife Andrea and three children live in Snellville and own a studio there which features Frazier’s work and the art of other black artists across the country. CADIA Urban Art Gallery is a welcome addition to the Gwinnett/Northeast Atlanta art scene.
Although jazz portraits and athletic subjects were his favorites before, and still are to an extent, Frazier has branched out to include still-lifes, landscapes and African subjects. His fluid graphics and beautiful sense of color are viewer friendly and warm.
He has gotten recognition this past year, too. Frazier’s work was displayed at Emory University’s School of Law in February 2003. He was selected as a part of the Hudgens Center’s Member’s Juried Show last summer, and recently he had a piece accepted into Art Station’s Member’s Juried Show. “I am on an ‘underground circuit’ of artists looking for venues,” he says.
Beyond the process of painting and exhibiting, Frazier is committed to the community, especially young people.
“I was recently invited to speak to children at Bryant Elementary School,” he states. “The program is called ‘Men of Bryant,’ and it invites men to talk with the children as positive role models, exposing them to different occupations. I talked about being an artist, giving them positive inspiration to get into the arts.” Frazier is very enthusiastic about his interaction with others. He is also active in his church, New Covenant Christian Church in Lithonia, where he works with children and Sunday school.
Beyond visual art for its own sake, Frazier recognizes the significance of history. “Art has always been a part of history,” he says. “The influence of African visuals and themes, and African-Americans, has had an effect on all of us. I love to tell people how earlier modern artists such as Picasso and Matisse were inspired by African sculpture. Another one of my favorite stories is about the dime. This coin has an image of Roosevelt on it. Did you know that the image is taken from a sculpture of Roosevelt created by a black sculptor? Most people are just not aware of these things.”
CADIA, according to Frazier, is becoming a true community center, with people visiting to see his and others’ art work. “I’ve grown a lot in the past year,” he says, “but it’s not just with my art. I’ve met a lot of great people, too. Along with the art, there’s history. I’m creating, educating, learning.”
Holley Calmes is the marketing director for the Gwinnett Council for the Arts. E-mail Calmes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
EDITOR’S NOTE — In honor of Black History Month, this is the first in a series celebrating some of our neighbors who are making their own history in the world of art.