|African Artisan Spotlight|
Chaz Guest – Painter & Sculptor
Chaz Guest is a self-taught prominent artist that creates innovative, meaningful and inspiring work. After growing up in West Philadelphia, Chaz earned himself a gymnastics scholarship to college and went on to compete in the United States Olympic Program. After retiring from gymnastics in 1985, he went into the fashion industry and began to teach himself how to paint. This proud member of the African Ancestry Family traces his ancestry to the Yoruba people living in Nigeria today.
Chaz’s unique collection has been displayed in exclusive galleries and institutions around the world. For the past 20 years, his work has brought him a dedicated list of elite private and public collectors including: Denzel Washington, Tyler Perry, and members of the Royal Family of Saudi Arabia.
He painted the portrait of Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall that hangs in President Barack Obama’s private study. He also painted a portrait of President Obama that was used for his inauguration.
In 2010, President Jammeh of the Gambia allowed Chaz to rename Fort James Island to Kunta Kinte Island, after the enslaved Gambian that was brought to Maryland in 1767. For the Island, Chaz created a 30 foot bronze statue of Kunta Kinte. While in Gambia he was able to meet Kinte’s descendents.
Last year Chaz painted “I Am Troy Davis” for Amnesty International, hear what compelled him to paint Troy Davis here:
Learn more about him here: www.chazguest.com
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