Painting, Visual Artist
Who is Wadsworth Jarrell?
Wadsworth Aikens Jarrell is an African-American painter, sculptor and printmaker. Born in Albany, Georgia, he moved to Chicago, Illinois, where he attended the Art Institute of Chicago. After graduation, he became heavily involved in the local art scene and through his early work he explored the working life of blacks in Chicago and found influence in the sights and sounds of jazz music. In the late 1960s he opened WJ Studio and Gallery, where he, along with his wife, Jae, hosted regional artists and musicians.
Mid-1960s Chicago saw a rise in racial violence leading to the examination of race relations and black empowerment by local artists. Jarrell became involved in the Organization of Black American Culture, a group that would serve as a launching pad for the era's black art movement. In 1967, OBAC artists created the Wall of Respect, a mural in Chicago that depicted African American heroes and is credited with triggering the political mural movement in Chicago and beyond. In 1969, Jarrell co-founded AFRICOBRA: African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists. AFRICOBRA would become internationally acclaimed for their politically themed art and use of "coolaid colors" in their paintings.
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- Nov 20, 1929
- African American
- School of the Art Institute of Chicago
- Lived in
on July 23, 2013
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