About the Artists

Richard Dempsey

WPA trained Abstract Expressionist, RICHARD DEMPSEY (1909-1987, Ogden, Utah) is an “unknown” artist who was on the forefront of abstract expressionism, alongside Norman Lewis, Charles Alston, Harold Cousins, Beauford Delaney, Alma Thomas, Jackson Pollock and  Willem de Kooning, who have mainly been credited with this mid-century American art movement. Dempsey’s painterly canvases and paper works offer insight into the times the artist lived through, as well as many of his life experiences. The artist attended the California School of Arts & Crafts in the 1930s and created experimental figurative works in the 1950s; colorful, playful works inspired by many trips to the Caribbean; and utilitarian, abstract motifs in his later works. He was a Julius Rosenwald Fund recipient in 1946, the same year Elizabeth Catlett received her honor. Dempseyonce wrote a letter to President Roosevelt, stating his credentials and asking to do his part for his country. He was offered a draftsman position at the Federal Power Commission in Washington, DC and became the first African American to hold the position in 1941. He soon moved up to an illustrator position at the General Services Administration, supervising 12 other illustrators and becoming known as the "Dean" of D.C. federal Illustrators. This master was a prolific painter who found time after work in the evenings to work on several pieces at once, and has helped to set a standard that many contemporary artists are inspired by today.

Antonio Carreno

Antonio CARRENO’s new series of paintings provide a fresh perspective with spontaneous abstractions that are marred and scraped with an emphasis on large, bold sweeping strokes. These small and medium sized paintings are an experiment of light, color and movement. Although Carreno continues to draw inspiration from landscapes and nature found in his native land of the Dominican Republic, his intent here is to focus on the beauty that surrounds us all, especially in troubling times. Carreno has works in several public collections including the Latin American Museum of Modern Art in Washington, D.C., the Dominican American Institute of Culture and The Reserved Bank of the Dominican RepublicDillard University, New Orleans, LA, as well as many important private collections, along with exhibitions at several prestigious galleries and museums.

Delita Martin

Delita MARTIN is primarily a printmaker and her large portraits are centered around women of color in their everyday lives. MARTIN’s unique process consists of layering, drawing, sewing, collaging, and painting—a combination she describes as fusing the “real and the fantastic.”  Signs and symbols are used to create a visual language and by combining this visual language with oral storytelling, she offers other identities and other narratives for women of color than has traditionally been presented. Martin’s work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally in numerous portfolios and collections, including recently, the State Of The Art: Discovering American Now at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in northwest Arkansas. This exhibit included 101 artists from around the United States.  She was also included in the International Review of African American Art as one of sixteen African American artists to watch who were gaining national and international attention in 2015. Martin’s work, GatherThe Children, is featured on the Winter, 2017 cover of The Black Scholar publication.

David Gaither

David GAITHER is a self-taught, artist from Mableton, Georgia whose paintings are a layered tapestry of bold color, abstract shapes and symbols that createdepth and context and which the artist defines as a “land of maximalism.” GAITHER’s canvases or “land of maximalism” are filled with energetic interactions between his sometimes original shapes, forms and symbols and saturated with color that gives a nod to the Pop Art movement. This imaginary world is a place of escape from reality as the viewer must suspend what is real and jump into this frenzied, yet happy place. Gaither’s work has been exhibited around the world and recently in the Tubman Museum of African American Art.

Patrick Waldemar

Patrick WALDEMAR is a recent transplant who splits his time between his native, Kingston, Jamaica and New Orleans. His love of our rich culture comes through in a series of portraits of Marie Laveau, an historical figure who has attained mythical status as NOLA’s Voodoo Queen. He showcases Ms. Laveau’s beauty, strength and vulnerability. In a second series focusing on the rights of African American’s to protest, WALDEMAR offers a more energy -infused grouping that focuses his anger at a President who shows little regard for people of color and their role in making America great. WALDEMAR is considered one of the Caribbean's leading watercolorists and his paintings in acrylic and watercolor are rooted in the Impressionism Movement. WALDEMAR is a graduate of the American Academy of Art, Chicago and his work has been exhibited in New York, Los Angeles and New Orleans.  

A Little Gift

Charly Palmer

Charly Palmer was born in 1960 in Fayette, Alabama and raised in Milwaukee. He relocated to Chicago to study Art and Design at American Academy of Art and School of the Art Institute. As a graphic designer and illustrator, he has run a successful design studio with a Fortune 500 clientele. As an instructor, he teaches design and illustration and painting at the post-secondary level—most recently—Spelman College. Currently, Palmer devotes his life to his creative goals and has established himself as a fine artist of note.

In his youth, Palmer was fascinated by illustrations in Ezra Jack Keats’ The Snowy Day. “I could never get enough of the imagery in the book,” he says Keats’ work was magical and planted a seed in his young heart. What appealed to him most is the random geometric shapes, the simplicity of layered textures and patterns, and the mix of bold colors. Though inspired by Keats’, Palmer brings unique style and technique to fine art. He creates visual theatre that gleans from history and life experience.

In the recent past, Palmer worked under the pseudonym Carlos—his alter ego. Doing so allowed him to explore and experiment with spontaneity and fluidity. The result is a body of work that is less controlled and more abstract and primal. The fusion of his  artistic styles has culminated into the perfect stylistic voice, which is fully expressed in his powerful Civil Rights series.  

Charly Palmer’s work is in private and public collections which include Atlanta Life Insurance, McDonald’s Corporation, Miller Brewing Company, the Coca Cola Company and Vanderbilt University. His previous work His Story, belonging to the estate of Maya Angelou, was auctioned by Swann Gallery in 2015. Palmer’s work was commissioned for the 1996 Olympics and the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau. In 2016, he was selected to execute original artwork commemorating Fisk University’s 150th year anniversary; in 2017, he accomplished the same for Howard University. He completed a project with the Green Bay Packers which features art for the Lambeau Stadium. Palmer recently illustrated two children's books,There's A Dragon In My Closet and Mama Africa—a children’s book chronicling the life of Miriam Makeba--for which he received the 2018 Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award. Palmer remains in high demand for significant commissions. He currently lives and works in Atlanta, GA.