Bio: Osman Muhammad
Multifaceted artist, SWIM CST, also known as Osman Alim Muhammad was born and based in Cleveland, OH, later taking the name Task38 of the Cleveland Skribe Tribe crew. Earning his place in “The History of American Graffiti,” his indisputable talent and creativity has been exhibited on a multitude of projects and has achieved multiple creative and advisory roles with The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame among other momentous endeavors.
His career led him to collaborate with In Creative Unity, out of Los Angeles, on commercial mural work. SWIM is now currently living in Cleveland, OH and continues to share his cultivated ingenuity by producing live aerosol art and murals, designing graphic art, and leaving his permanent mark with custom tattoo work.
A woman representing a Butoh dancer is burning and turning into ash, symbolizing the victims of Hiroshima. Flaming slave ships and a map in the background illustrate the slave trade routes, all representing the evils of colonization. Though the evils of these events will never be forgotten, the piece is a reminder that human civilization is always moving forward and progressing, even though its history can be haunting.
NoseGo is a Philadelphia-based artist with a passion for illustration and media arts. He mixes fine art with a contemporary style to deliver highly energetic work. His designs feature an assemblage of patterns, vibrant colors and characters derived from his imagination and his surrounding environment.
My image depicts a character removing a mask and revealing a landscape on the inside. The idea is to create a visual metaphor about self-awareness, self-reflection, and perception.
Bio: Margaret Kimball
Originally from Connecticut, Margaret Kimball is an illustrator and writer living in Cleveland, Ohio (by way of Boston and New York City). Her work ranges from spot illustrations to surface designs for both large and small clientele. Her favorite things to draw are buildings and houses, along with natural objects, such as flowering plants and animals.
In addition to client projects, Kimball is also working on a graphic memoir about childhood and place, excerpts of which have appeared in Ecotone, Black Warrior Review, Copper Nickel, South Loop Review, and others. She is also working on illustrations for a young adult novel with Christian Moody.
Margaret Kimball has two MFAs from the University of Arizone, one in creative writing (nonfiction) and one in visual communication (illustration).
Inspiration: White Pages by Martha Collins
Martha Collins’ poem is an indictment on the white narrative and history of/participation in civil rights. Put simply: she calls into question phrases and conversation (or silences) that, on the surface, seem inclusive but which actually perpetuate systemic racism. A few of the phrases contain the words “Yes but…” where the concept of inclusion and equality (i.e. the word “yes”) are interrupted by a conflicting statement. To me, the poem actually seems to be all about the word “no.” For example, “Yes but”; “borders”; “lines drawn”; “colored section”; “not mine”; etc. are all ways of putting up walls between people or groups of people. For my section of this project, I wanted to use the simple and powerful word ‘YES’. The word is inclusive and strong and in this case, has no strings attached, nothing to interrupt it. The word also harkens to Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign slogan, ‘Yes we can.
Bio: Louise Chen
Louise Chen, also known as “Ouizi,” is a muralist based in Detroit, MI. She studied drawing and printmaking at the University of California (Santa Cruz), but her artwork also involves the use of metal fabrication, woodworking, sewing and painting. Chen’s pieces are mostly inspired by the patterns found in nature, especially plantlife.
Inspiration: “Eleven” by Sandra Cisneros
My “Totem Pillars” are inspired by a work in which a boy talks about experiencing every age within himself up to his eleventh birthday, and how he wished to embody all the different emotions and physical reactions associated with them. He feels conflicted, because although language and social constructs ask him to be one particular way, he wishes to be a more whole version of himself, more than just eleven years old.
The totem pillars are a celebration of the way cultures represent themselves in the language of ornament, with design inspired by many different cultures spanning the world. Drawing from original imagery, but with no license to do so other than artistic, this totem formation represents a defiant act of being and feeling like everything all at once. This overload of ornament transforms the pillars into architectural objects fit for a palace or temple. In the environmental context that suggests entry or passage (freeway overpass and nature hike), the pillars become a shrine, an invitation to the public to enter an experience of belonging anywhere and being anyone.
Bio: Katy Kosman
Katy Kosman is a 27-year-old visual artist, hailing from Cleveland, Ohio. Kosman mainly works with illustration, and is a part of Canopy Collective, a group representing 60 artists from Cleveland and around the country. She currently lives in Westlake with her mom and her dog, Fox.
Inspiration: “5 Dollar Bill” by Dorothy West
In the story, a young girl has a complicated relationship with her parents, in which she learns hard life lessons at a young age. I related to this story and applied it to my own upbringing. My father and I had a complicated relationship like the one in the story, and he died when I was fairly young. Nonetheless, he taught me most of the lessons I use now in my everyday life. The father in the story seemed to be a distant and practical man, much like my own father, who bestowed this mentality on me. These lessons have served me in being a practical adult. The girl in the story is trying to find herself, just like I have in my life, and this is a verbalization of a way in which I have done this, just like the main character in the story.