CCC Ends Black History Month with Renowned Artist
CLARKSDALE – Coahoma Community College ended Black History Month on a high note by welcoming an internationally recognized artist on its campus Friday. Marcus Akinlana of New Orleans, a renowned artist best known for his fine art, which includes murals, mixed media and African drumming, visited the campus for the program that was sponsored by CCC’s Fine Arts department.
Along with his WON Mural Society, Akinlana is the mastermind behind several public works projects fixed in libraries and airports across the country as well as the concrete relief on a levee that stretches across the city of New Orleans.
“I’m happy to be here in Mississippi, The Home of the Blues,” said Akinlana. “Whenever I get to come and work in Mississippi, I feel blessed. There’s something special about this place. …People don’t understand, but I know.
Before the “Meet the Artist” program held in the Georgia Lewis Theater, CCC art students had the opportunity to see Akinlana in action and ask questions during an interactive painting workshop.
“I’d like to leave the students a vision of the what you can do as a cultural activist and that you can use culture as a basis to interact with the world—both the business world to make a living but also to do something positive,” said Akinlana.
While introducing Akinlana, organizer Rosalind Wilcox, CCC Art chair/instructor, accurately summed up the event as “cool, creative and casual.”
“When you’re an artist, you need to surround yourself with creative people,” Wilcox said to the crowd of students and art lovers.
During the program, attendees were also entertained with an impromptu jam session that included Akinlana on the drums and Wilcox on the banjo and guitar. Akinlana then wowed attendees with photographs of some of is most famous pieces in a PowerPoint presentation and shared a behind the scene perspective on each piece.
The program closed with poetry readings by two CCC students performing dramatic performances of poems they’d written as Akinlana accompanied each piece with drums. Afterwards, Akinlana proceeded to the Pinnacle where he was featured on a live radio spot during CCC’s 2014 Career Expo. The event topped off at with an artist reception that included live music, poetry, dramatizations and refreshments at Sun House Studios, located in downtown Clarksdale.
To learn more about Akinlana,, visit www.akinlana.com.
To view snapshots from the Meet and Greet with Marcus Akinlana on CCC’s Facebook Page.