Art has always been my passion. I remember a certain excitement and sense of fulfillment during a pilot art program for talented first graders. High school brought drafting to light; and college an opportunity to explore architecture. While pursuing a Masters in Fine Art (MFA) in Painting at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Savannah, GA, I freely explored the use of color, mixed media and found objects, and honed my assemblage skills. I also had the wonderful opportunity to study art in Italy and France. These early influences and experiences are evident in my works.
Early in my career, I focused on color and form to produce a collection of works on performance art, street scenes, social commentary, found objects, and architectural abstracts. My current works are an exploration of the interconnection between humans and the environment and between man-made structures and nature. I use circles, straight lines and my unique curvilinear mark-makings as symbols of this interconnection and to unify different media and elements in the same space. Color, texture, the richness of architecture, spatial relationships, and the marriage of precise perspective with the mystery of abstract all add layers of complexity that mirror our own complicated relationship with our physical surroundings. My photography is also central to these newer works: whether it is capturing the beautiful architecture of downtown Montreal or New Orleans, or the gritty crumbling buildings and bridges of industrial cities like Birmingham, or the amazing topography thousands of miles above Barbados, the juxtaposition of art in nature remains a captivating attraction. I want my art to evoke emotion. To create a forum for dialogue that can only come when people openly share their own experiences and are willing to understand different perspectives and ideas.
I’ve participated in numerous group exhibitions and had solo exhibitions at the Kessler Lofts, First Presbyterian Church and the Birmingham and Hoover Public Libraries in Birmingham AL; the Johnson Center in Troy AL; The Legacy Museum in Tuskegee AL; the Rosa Parks Museum in Montgomery, AL; the Hammonds House Gallery and The Odd Fellows Building on Sweet Auburn in Atlanta, GA; and The Beech Institute, The City of Savannah Gallery, and SCAD in Savannah, GA. I am honored to have been a recipient of the 2016 Individual Artist Fellowship from Alabama State Council on the Arts (ASCA).
I’ve been on faculty at Tuskegee University since 2009. There, as Associate Art Professor, I’ve been fortunate to expose a new generation to the history, beauty and centrality of art in our lives. Prior to Tuskegee University, my related experiences included Director of the Chastain Arts Center and Gallery (City of Atlanta, Bureau of Cultural Affairs), Associate Professor of Art at Atlanta Metropolitan College, and Director of Community Outreach at SCAD.
I’m married to Dr. Kanini Rodney Phillips, an avid supporter of my work. We live and raise our son, Skye, in Birmingham AL.