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Meet the Chester Made Artist and Storyteller Residents

Photo Credit Adachi Pimentel.

MISTY SOL

Misty Sol creates art that explores Black people’s connections to nature, wellness, and speculation. Her paintings, children’s book illustration, stories and eco-practice are heavily influenced by Black history and aesthetics. Particularly, her grandmother’s history as a migrant farmworker, midwife and gifted storyteller in early 20th century America. From her grandmother’s tales of dangerous journeys in the racist North and Jim Crowe South, to her epic Bible tales and terrifying ghost stories, Misty’s work inherits a sense of narrative, sensuality, magic, timelessness, hope, the bucolic and fecund. But also contained are senseless abstractions, images of stark violence, and the weight of the oppression of being Black in an unforgiving world. Ultimately she uses these elements to distill elements of dignity, legacy, humor and connection. With acrylic colors as vibrant as her gardens, the gurgle of a stream, a hymn her grandmother used to sing, the smell of onions and the coolness of garden soil, she creates a body of work that explores and affirms the experience of Black humanity.

Misty Sol is also a visual artist and performer living in Philadelphia. She uses stories, bright colors, patterns and figurative paintings to explore how we can use art in our everyday to feel good, feel whole, powerful, connected and human. Her acrylic paintings and collage work are featured in seven children’s books. In 2016, she received the Leeway Transformation Award, an unrestricted grant of $15,000 for her commitment to community-engaged art. As far as public art, she worked with artists and residents of West Philly in 2016 to design and paint meter murals to beautify the 52nd Street corridor. In 2017, she received public recognition for her mural of Guy Bluford and Kenny Gamble in the children's garden of Bluford Elementary School. This August 2019, she was Artist in Residence for the Philadelphia Museum of Art where she created visual and performance work that helped families connect to art made from everyday objects. Misty Sol has a BA in Literature from Penn State University Park and an MFA in Interdisciplinary Art from Goddard College. When she isn’t painting or writing, Misty enjoys making meals from scratch, gardening and foraging for wild edible plants and medicines.

Contact Misty Sol at mamamistysol@gmail.com.

SISTAH MAFALDA

Sistah Mafalda is a multi talented grassroots artist whose professional career spans over 20 years. A local full time teaching artist, Mafalda has both studied and performed African and Caribbean folk dance, drumming and storytelling in West Africa, The West Indies, South America and Europe. Mafalda's work has been recognized throughout her career by art organizations and received several grant awards; Pa Council For The Arts, Leeway Foundation, Jubilee Foundation, and Chester Made partner PA Humanities Council, to name a few.

"I first learned to walk on stilts in 2002 in Trinidad & Tobago and continued walking tall ever since. I've performed for 19 years on stilts in community performances, public and private events, school assemblies and fashion shows, in many states throughout the United States and Canada. I like to use traditional art forms to promote cultural understanding, to restore hope and reclaim my ancestral roots. Stilt walking helps to inspire and motivate the youth to stand tall as well against all odds and adversity. When I'm on my stilts I feel like a superhero with super powers that change things, help make our planet a better place to live, spread joy and laughter, make new friends and build community!”

Contact Sistah Mafalda at mafaldatdance@gmail.com.

MARCY MORRIS

Marcy Morris is a multi-expressive artist who lives and breathes the narrative of embracing diversity. Named Marcy Lois Stein, she was adopted and born December 2nd, 1966 in Miami Florida. Raised in a Jewish home in Wayne New Jersey, her parents encouraged her artistic talents throughout her childhood. In 1998 Marcy met her biological parents--learning of her Finnish & Colombian bloodlines--both of whom are art professionals. Marcy attended Syracuse University and received a Bachelors of Fine Arts in 1988 and a Pennsylvania Art Teacher Certification K-12 from Moore College of Art in 1996. Marcy presently lives in Mount Laurel, New Jersey with her two children. Marcy’s business The Art Mix provides custom fine art programs with an emphasis on achievable skills, creativity and inclusivity.

Marcy’s body of artwork is expressed through wearable art, paintings, portraits and illustrations. Her early experience of selling her artworks began along the Jersey Shore at fine art and craft shows in the 80’s. She began her teaching career in Philadelphia and Chester, PA through the 90’s. Marcy’s early paintings reflect urban communities and African American and Latino culture. The combination of her life experiences have transformed her mindset about race and identity and how the arts are the bridge bringing people together to heal the divide.

Marcy’s ‘Children Create’ series capture inspirational and emotional moments of children expressing themselves. ‘Love & Diversity’ (2000-2010) series reflects themes of her adoption, interracial marriage and raising her children. Marcy also emphasizes social and political themes supportive of DACA, Black Lives Matter and the LGBTQ community. Her ‘Music & Dance’ series (2010-present) reflect the flow and the rhythm of her spirit, influenced by jazz and hip hop modern, African and salsa. Currently, Marcy combines her fine art, poetry and wearable art with a message to illuminate her beliefs and visions. Abstract explorations and interpretive dance give birth on a larger scale as she enters into the next decade, 2020.

Please contact Marcy Morris at marcypaints@gmail.com.

ABSTRACT KINGS--KENNY HUNT & DAMIEN PARSON

Damien Parson is a self taught Chester artist who is known for his use of rich, bold color to create uplifting works of art. His exceptional ability to blend urban contemporary culture with high art motifs is undeniably unique. Damien’s paintings are created in multiple layers of brilliant acrylics and oils on paper and canvas. Damien's works of art are in corporate collections throughout the United States and in private collections throughout the world. An encouraging teacher, he is a popular instructor of both children and adults. His positive nature helps corporate groups free their creative spirit and express themselves with paint--wonderful for team building! Damien also leads small creative retreats to beautiful locations throughout the East Coast. Damien is passionate about sharing the joy of creation with others. Damien has been a volunteer with many free programs throughout the tri-state area for over 10 years sharing the healing effects of the arts with young and old.

Contact Damien Parson at parsonbodyart@gmail.com .

Born in 1980, to parents Kenneth & Eunice Foster Hunt, Kenneth Picasso Hunt (The Art Monster) was no stranger to hard work from the beginning. His parents raised him with love and emphasized a young entrepreneur mindset. He was nicknamed “Picasso” for his talent to push boundaries with the paintbrush, conquering all levels and mediums and spreading his “Art Monster Movement” like no other, this phenomenal young artist has begun to take the Art Scene by storm.

The Art Monster started his journey at a very young age. Fortunately enough, along the way, he was blessed to have met and worked with many talented artists from all walks of life. These legendary artists were also a few of his mentors and teachers as an adolescent. Kenneth was given the opportunity to be in his first professional art show hosted by an art collector named Michael Gray at the youthful age of 16. There he was able to display his work alongside legendary artists such as George Benson, Andrew Turner and William Dandridge. Surprisingly, before the show had ended for the night young Picasso had sold out of 27 pieces of his art works and gained the desire, passion and encouragement needed to fuel his career as an artist.

Wynwood Art Week Miami / Art Basel 2018, The 50th Anniversary Art Basel / Basel Switzerland 2019, London, Frankfurt Germany, Amsterdam, Paris, Pennsylvania, New York, Washington DC, California, Atlanta, North Carolina, Utah and Texas are just a few of the places Kenneth has left his mark as he emerges as an international traveling artist. During this journey he has opened two art galleries.

First the Gorilla Land Art Gallery and now Abstract Reality Art Gallery which is used as a platform to showcase, inspire and display young and upcoming artist and their work as Mr. Gray once did for him. Kenneth has multiple collections out such as; The Untitled Series, Dear Mr. Picasso, Sinister, and his most popular collection The Art Monster.

Contact Kenneth Hunt at kennethpicassohunt@gmail.com.

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