Renee Crouser - Resident Artist
I am a self-taught artist inspired by human expression and heartfelt connection in everyday life. I describe myself more as a drawer than a painter. I draw with pastel, graphite, watercolor, color pencil and oil… (and ketchup and beach sand and mashed potatoes and table dust and…).
Art is not only my pleasure, it is my prayer. I love words, both written and spoken. I love their power and their beauty. Never able to find the right words, with my art, I can show you my soul.
Michelle Musselwhite - Resident Artist
I love to paint! My husband said it’s all I ever talk about! And as much as I don’t like to admit it, my husband is right! I think about what to paint next and how I’ll finish the piece almost every time. It’s crazy!
As crazy it might seem, life has its way of connecting you to what you truly love. In 1996, I married my husband Leland, who bought me my first art table. A definite way to my heart! I was in college, taking some art classes, but found myself turned off at all the rules of how I need to paint something. I wanted to do it my way….like Frank Sinatra.
So I quit college. But not painting. Our daughter Mandy started painting also, and she eventually acquired the art table in her bedroom. We would paint murals in her bedroom and eventually almost all over our house to get our art on! Those were fun mother and daughter activities!
I also remember our family trips to Savannah, Ga., admiring one of the greatest influences in my art - the artist Vicci Waits. Her huge paintings of flowers and landscapes always get me. I would stand outside her studio and stare at her paintings for a long time. I finally met her in person one year and the only thing I can remember was my daughter telling me “Mom, you're starstruck!” And she’s laughing at me.
I’m so fond of the art memories because It made me the artist I am right now. It’s weird to actually call myself an artist because I’m also a Registered Nurse since 2008. Art became a big part of my life after our daughter moved out of the house in 2015. Her bedroom became my home studio and I’m back together where it all started - the art table!
The art table became instrumental in my pursuit of one of my hearts desires - to paint portraits! I came across the artist Voka on You Tube while watching videos on how to mix paint for skin tones. Voka made it look fun and easy! Fun? Yes. Easy? No. It’s by pure determination that made me learn how to paint faces, my way.
Joining the Studios at Hood Street in June 2018 as one of the Artists in Residence is the ultimate dream of mine. To be a part of a group who shares the same love for the nitty gritty crazy thing called art. My art is what's in my heart. And if I have to sum up what my art is all about, I would say it’s faces, flowers and fun.
Frank Morrision - Resident Artist
Born in Massachusetts then brought by his family to live in New Jersey at an early age, Frank Morrison was reared and spent his formative years there, an affable, precocious and inquisitive youngster whose curiosity about everything around him seemed limitless. Then, as an energetic pre-teen, he was interested and enthused by the youthful fads, interests and activities which marked his world: the neighborhood D.J's with their followers and fans at neighborhood parties, the colorful ‘tags’ of local characters which were splashed across fences, parks and buildings, and the loose-jointed "B" boys and break-dancers who enlivened week-end party scenes. In this setting his world was suddenly rife with possibilities and he became convinced that he, too, could DO this!
In no time, invested with a brilliant flow of creativity, his eye for and execution of colorful ‘tags’ and ‘R.I.P’ scenes began to bring him considerable ‘street recognition’ and local acclaim. But what soon pleased him more was his mounting reputation as a "B" boy--break-dancing, popping and locking with such skill and control that he became a regular on the dance crew of R & B star Sybil. After a couple of years traveling with her, he joined the touring crew of The Sugar Hill Gang, appeared on "Show Time At The Apollo", performed on the video "Rap Mania", and with the dance company of the movie, "New Jack City".
In fact, it was while dancing and touring the nation and European continent that he chanced to visit The Louvre Museum in Paris that he "met his Muse". As he walked the halls there, he was consumed by what he saw. Looking at the work of the Masters in The Louvre, he was reminded of what he had unconsciously reached for in his sprawling graffiti pieces; he recognized realms of color, style, passionate expression and possibilities that he had never before imagined.
Upon returning to New York, Morrison became a ‘regular’ at local museums and galleries--knowing that he had to return to his art. With a renewed vision and an informed eye, the still teen-aged Morrison followed his heart, began the development of an expressive style of his own, crafted his first portfolio, and set out to market his paintings.
One need take only a cursory view/examination of his portfolio or his work ‘en gallery’ to find that his power and inspiration are products of his deeply religious grounding and his loving commitment to his family. His innate musicality, natural rhythmic bent and intrinsic understanding of physical/spiritual/emotional expression both invade and explode from his paintings.
Notable collections of Morrison’s art are owned by former New York City School Chancellor Rudy Crew, New Orleans Senator Gregory Tarver, renown actor/philanthropist Bill Cosby who prides himself on nurturing the talents of emerging African American artists, and Dr. Lorraine Hale among others. His work has enhanced the settings of televisions shows "Malcolm and Eddie", "New York Undercover", "Cosby" and has been a featured artist on the Home Shopping Network.
Morrison has received commissions from the irrepressible radio/TV commentator Tom Joyner, the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans, and executed serially mounted musical scenes for the compact discs "Impulsively Ellington: A Tribute to Duke Ellington. and Down-to-the-Bone’s "Crazy Vibes and Things". His artwork has been displayed in prestigious locales shows such as "The National Black Fine Arts Show" produced by Jocelyn Wainwright, at the Savacou Gallery in Manhattan, and was honored and given a one-man show at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture sponsored by ESSENCE ART and Toyota.
He earnestly declares that he is rendered speechless with pride when he finds his work displayed adjacent to and in conjunction with Romare Bearden originals.
His initiatives include publication of two illustrated children’s books "Zazzy Miz Mozetta" and "Harlem Morning". Which will be readied for publication in fall 2004.
Morrison’s work is inspired, not only by his rich and varied life experiences but, by his love and gratitude for his family--his wife Connie, three sons and a daughter and the omnipresent Hand of God. Each of his paintings bears his signature, of course, accompanied by the notation "TTG" representing and reminding all of his "Thanks To God" for the blessings of his gifts--his family and his talents.
Trish Bilich - Resident Artist
Art . . . Freedom, creativity and courage all splashed together on life's canvas.
Expression, emotion and imagination where the heart, art spirit, body and mediums infuse together creating, depicting reflections of life.”
If I can evoke a feeling or a memory through a painting or a drawing, then I have successfully communicated and that is always a heartfelt moment. I believe most artists paint from the heart and from the core of the soul.
My passion for art comes from my childhood, always observing nature, people and the colorful palette of life’s experiences. Along with my love for music, I’m not sure I could paint or create without it, I've always said “If you don't like music you don't like life.” Always striving to learn and explore, I'm grateful for the everyday beauty that surrounds us and privileged to be able to share a journey through a mind’s eye of life.
My Motto: Art is Life… Live it, Love it, Paint it!
Dr. Zerric Clinton - Resident Artist
As an educator and artist, I have taught art in the secondary level for more than 20 years. Over my career, I have worked in the classroom to inspire students to become artists. In 2010, I received my PhD in Art Education from Florida State University. Prior to this, I received my BFA in Art Education and my Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Valdosta State University. Currently, I teach art education at Dutchtown High School and have been an adjunct professor in the FSU Department of Art Education. I was humbled to be named the Georgia Art Educator of the Year in 2015 and I continue to serve the art association as the President-Elect.
My research is often reflected in my artwork, as it focuses on the way that visual culture influences adolescents. Primarily, I work in a mixed media format using a combination of paint, pen and ink to create abstract representations that feature textured areas of color.