How To Speak Art: Vincent Keele and Eric Salisbury Talked Art At C-Art Gallery
One thing I love is the ability to sit down and talk with other artists and explore how they see the world and how they communicate their thoughts creatively.
The Art Talk At C-Art Gallery
Eric Salisbury is the owner, artist and gallerist at C-Art Gallery. Eric is no stranger to the Arts and considered by many to be one of Seattle’s prominent artist. You can find him working in the community with art projects for kids and adults. Eric has created some remarkable art series over the years that collectors are still enjoying today. When he’s not creating artworks you can find him doing evangelist work in Africa and in the US with open-minded people.
Over the years we have done several art exhibitions, collaborations, and artist talks. It’s not uncommon to find us pushing each other to do more or to stop each other and assess what they have done. This was the exact case with our Rise 365 art challenge. The idea was to make 365 artworks in one year. Comes out to an artwork a day. I did finished artworks, while Eric did under drawings that he would turn into artworks the following year. Doesn’t sound that hard to achieve, until you think about we did not stop making our regular artworks, running our businesses, teaching classes, doing art fairs and everything else. This talk is from his impromptu art series.
This was not a planned or disgust conversation, actually I was picking up some artworks for a gallery show I had coming up, and he was interviewing another artist for the impromptu art series. Before I could leave, he asked me to hang around because he would interview me next! After being blindsided from the thought of the interview. I gathered up a few paintings for the backdrop and started getting ready for the camera. The first idea he had was to do a true impromptu, with no scripts, second takes, editing or topics. Just sit back and talk directly to the people about your artworks. However, as fate would have it as we were getting ready another artist friend came in and suggested that he sit down with me and we do it interview style talk instead. Since I was a little unprepared in the first place, I jumped at the opportunity to have some fun and stick him in front of the camera with me. The Gregory Hines painting was the fastest and easiest to set up, along with the Private Cathay Williams painting in the background.
The Gregory Hines Painting
24" x 36" original acrylic painting on gallery wrapped canvas
I centered this painting around the concept of a master and a student. Sammy Davis Jr. was a master tap dancer, one that Gregory Hines loved and cherished. He danced his way all the way to the top and became a master tap dancer himself, but he never forgot his Idol Sammy Davis Jr.
I wanted to paint the feeling and pride that he must have felt when his Idol acknowledged him for his efforts by giving him a pair of his own shoes.
Every time I’ve ever seen Hines on TV he was well-dressed and I wanted to make sure in this painting there was no exception. Thinking about another master, I adorned Gregory Hines in a vintage Gianni Versace shirt. Gianni was an Italian fashion designer and founder of Versace. I wanted to make sure I gave this painting a true Versace feel by adding in the lion-head design, which master designer Gianni Versace used frequently in his clothing.
After his sister Daniella Versace became CCO (Chief Creative Officer) she started using the Medusa head and Indigenous African patterns in the new Versace clothing. I enjoy using these Indigenous African patterns, and they were perfect for adding to the design behind Himes. Daniella has definitely moved from student to master as she has taken Versace to an international fashion powerhouse.
This painting has plenty of areas that I could continue to talk about and all the symbolism. I don’t know if Gregory Hines ever wore any Versace clothing, but he looks good in this shirt and this is exactly how I saw him in my mind, and definitely how he looked after receiving Sammy Davis Jr’s tap dancing shoes.
Private Cathay Williams Painting
18" x 24" original acrylic painting on gallery wrapped canvas
Private Cathay Williams was a pillar of strength, being the first known African American woman to enlist in the United States Army and become part of the legendary Buffalo Soldiers.
Despite the prohibition against women from serving in the military. She enlisted in the Army under the fake name of William Cathay. If you could shoot straight and had dry feet, you were good enough to be a soldier. As a frontiers woman she had both and decided not to sit at home while others fought for her human rights. In 1861 the Civil War was raging on and this brave woman was in the middle of it fighting alone side some of the bravest and fiercest soldiers to take the battlefield. Private Cathay Williams marched with the 38th Infantry Regiment all over the Midwest.
I created this painting from deep research on the Civil War and life in it. In this reading the memoirs of Cathay Williams Private and army documents. Life as a soldier was terrible with low provisions, raggedy shoes and worn uniform.
Cathay contracted smallpox and had to be hospitalized, but she rejoined her unit in New Mexico. Later she was honorably discharged by her commanding officer, Captain Charles E. Clarke, after the post surgeon finally discovered she was a woman in 1868, surprise!!! Cathay Williams found a new regiment when she signed up with an emerging all-black regiment of the legendary Buffalo Soldiers. A St. Louis reporter heard rumors of a female African-American who had served in the army and went to interview her. He published Cathay’s life and military service narrative in the St. Louis Daily Times on January 2, 1876.
She inspired many women to join their male counterpart on the battlefield. Over 400 women served in the Civil War posing as male soldiers. Molly Williams, Deborah Sampson, and Anna Maria Lane all disguised themselves as men in the Revolutionary War, but they denied Cathay Williams’s request to join.
She was an American Hero, just the stuff our young people need to know about. It was such a joy learning about her and her life and now, I can share this inspiring painting of her with the world for more people to be for all time.