Gen Gaines, Affiliate

I am a Native Washingtonian (as in the,”District of Columbia”).

I can’t remember a point in my life when I wasn’t creating some form of visual art. I’ve explored various artistic mediums and forms of visual expression such as acrylic, oil, and watercolor paintings; magazine collages and clay sculptures; pastel, graphite; charcoal, color pencil and (sumi)ink drawings; various kinds of archival paper and fabric printing, and more.

I have an extensive formal education in the fine arts—having attended Moore College of Art and graduating with a BA Degree in Arts Management from Howard University (studio art courses and business electives)in 2007.

Soon after graduating, my thyroid gland was severely damaged as a result of a botched medical procedure. My health became increasingly worse and I soon became abysmally out of touch with all aspects of my life. I continued to work but, I then sought out primarily clerical roles — far removed from what I went to school for. Eventually, I closed the door to all artistic pursuits.

In 2010, I was challenged with a professional diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder Type l. I can also evidence a mild Provisional Tic Disorder manifesting in facial grimacing and Coprolalia when I am under significant emotional stress. In 2016, I was diagnosed by an Endocrinologist with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.

This news was devastating but, extremely helpful. How? Because now, at least, I could understand what was making me so unwell for so long and, I was armed with a protocol to treat it.

In 2017, I discovered Art Enables. I volunteered as a staff aid at this NGO. They then offered me a Resident Artist Fellowship and I slowly began to switch back on the right side of my brain. The AE program helps disabled emerging artists (of all stripes) free up their mental and emotional baggage to produce exceptional works of art. For me, it proved to be extremely transformative.

I began to plumb the depths of my imagination with representational and abstract forms of acrylic painting and I have not looked back. I have begun to view and to conduct myself as a legitimate, professional artist.

I am currently inspired by the figurative mastery of Chloe Piene and the notan draughtmanship of Alphonse Mucha. Other professional artists of interest to me are: Tim OkamuraKadir NelsonMichael D’ Antuono, and others -too many to list.

As of April 2019, I am also a resident artist with Artists & Makers Studios located in Rockville, Maryland. My studio hours vary. More information about my A&M journey will be provided within the coming months.

So… Thank you for your interest in my art and in my life! Your visit to my website is greatly appreciated.

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