Artist Tag

Kindred Journey 38 – Priya Handa

Bay Area born and bred I can tell Priya Handa is one of those life long artists, a scorpio, lover of good music, ice cream, and justice. As a muralist she has worked with Precita Eyes in SF, the Community Rejuvenation Project (CRP), Twin Walls Crew, the Zapatistas, Trust Your Struggle Collective, and the Bay Area Mural Festival. She has painted nationally and internationally traveling as far as Mexico and Palestine. She is a tattoo artist and an illustrator who works both big and small, aerosol, ink, acrylic, watercolor, and needle. She is an activist making work supporting Black Lives, Sex workers, Farmers in India, the Navajo nation, the military complex, and police brutality. And she is a child of South Asian immigrants (Punjab in India).

The first time I met Priya she had paint/gear in her hands and she came through as we (TYS) were working on a wall for Reem’s California in Oakland in 2017 just to help. The last time I saw her she brought a painting she knocked out for elder Emory Douglas of his art for the “Love and Protect: Chinatown Black & Asian solidarity mural project”. Both times her skill, humbleness, and generosity spoke for itself. Although I’m still getting to know her I implore you to follow and support her work now. She’s a hard working rising star and deserves all the shine.  Follow her on Instagram at

Sources:,, Asian American Women Artists Association

Did you catch the piece of Maya Lin?

Last year I focused on Aapi musicians and this year I’m focusing on artists. If you’re new to this, “Kindred Journey” is a serious of paintings I’ve done of prominent and lesser known Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders since 2016. You can find a gallery of all past paintings here.

Fellow artists! May is #asianamericanheritagemonth and I invite you to paint, collage, or draw amazing folks for the month of May. Well known folks of course, but def the lesser known people, places, movements, organizations, etc. I limit my color palette to 💜💚, I use watercolor, do 12-24 posts, and I try to share a short bio of ea subject. I Use the hashtag #apahm #asianamericanheritagemonth and I call my series #kindredjourney but get down for yours, name it whatever u like, and share so errybody can learn more abt our folks-especially NOW!
💚To my everyday folks -feel free to join by sharing photos or art abt folks too, just make sure to credit the creators of the images and ask permission wherever possible before posting.
💜Last yr my focus was on musicians. This yr it will be on artists. What specific area of #aapi history do u love? Djs, South Asians, activists, special fx artists, blasians, entrepreneurs, actors, wrestlers? Get busy!

Black Is Beautiful 2021 – Wilhelmina Godfrey


Wilhelmina Godfrey was born in 1914 in Philadelphia and moved to Buffalo NY. A life long artist she was always making art. She attended Albright Art School , the art institute of Buffalo, and the Rochester Institute of Technology. Wilhelmina was a sculptor, weaver, printmaker, and a painter. I chose the images behind her in this portrait because of her more abstract painting style. Shout out to Florida A&M who posted about her. Besides being an artist she also advocated for the arts by teaching, organizing a weaving program, and co-founding the Langston Hughes Center with Jim Pappas, Clarence Scott, and Allie Anderson (a space for youth arts). In her lifetime she exhibited her art, sold paintings, and was awarded a fellowship with the National Endowment for the Arts. She passed away in 94, but I hope to find more information about her and that people become aware of her work.
Sources: FAMU 79′ Impact Afro American Women Artists, Buffalo News, Uncrowned Community Builders
Did you see the painting of Lois Mailou Jones?
The last one before her this year is Leola King

Black is Beautiful 2020 – Cey Adams

It’s been a while. I took a break from doing Black Is Beautiful last year. I was taking care of my brand new baby girl and now I’m back at it. Not sure if I can knock out one for each day of the month but I’m definitely going to do do some new ones and a poster.

Lets talk about Cey! 

We talk about giving people their flowers while they’re still here and I want to give Cey some shine. If you didn’t grow up into graf as a kid, lemme introduce you. Cey Adams started off as a graf writer in the mid 70s as Graffiti was exploding throughout the boroughs of NYC. Born in 1968 this cat had been painting for many years when I saw him in “Style Wars”. Cey had and still has incredible letter structure that instantly caught my eye.

He went on to be a part of that merging of Graf with gallery exhibitions in Manhattan which I’m sure he caught flack for from some purists. Then he became one of the architects of what we know as design for hip hop producing graphics, album covers, merchandise, and logos for many of the best hip hop and r&b stars of the 80’s, 90’s, and beyond. He co-founded a design company called “The Drawing Board” which produced a ton of Def Jam’s design work! Today this cat is still making art with a mixture of beautiful texture and some classic logos.

As a 20 something while interning for design powerhouse Morning Breath Inc in Brooklyn I really got put on to Cey’s work as Doug and Jason showed me some incredible work he’d done that I didn’t even know he did. I saw originals that just blew my mind. For ever Cey will be one of my favorite artists/designers and I would love those celebrating Black history to not only include this man in the books, but to give him his props now. Much respect Cey if you’re reading this!

Sources: Style Wars, Def Jam,, Wikipedia, Noisey

Is this your first time seeing me do Black History Month art? Please check out a few of these!
Ruth Carter– Costume Designer
Betty Reid Soskin– Park Ranger

Inspiring Artist – Mode 2 (NSFW)

MODE2 “Preludes” Art Exhibition in Paris from Rebild Productions on Vimeo.
I’m not joking when I say I have been a fan of this guy’s since I was a kid. It all started with Spraycan Art by Jim Prigoff. Then , just seeing his work in Graffiti magazines (before the internet). Then actually seeing some of his pieces up close in NYC. Now you can follow him on social media and he has had a website for at several years. Check out this video of him putting together a show!

Check out the post about Alberto Mielgo if you missed it

Kindred Journey 19 – Tyrus Wong

Tyrus Wong was born in 1910 in Taishan China. He migrated to United States, specifically Angel Island in the Bay Area between San Francisco and the East Bay. He endured interrogation and detention because of the US policy called the Chinese exclusion act.  After his release and reuniting with his father he moved to Los Angeles. He loved to draw and paint as a child and attended Otis college as a fine artist. From the 1930s until the 1960s Tyrus worked in animation at Disney Animation studios and later at Warner Brothers. While working as in in between animator at Disney his incredible landscape paintings where discovered by Walt Disney and his painting style laid the foundation for the landmark film Bambi. Because of racism his work was not lauded or celebrated by the studios however, and Tyrus did not get his just due until he was in his 70’s and 80s. Through his artistic career he not only painted beautiful landscapes. But he also painted Chinese calligraphy, greeting cards, ceramics, and built kites. Tyrus passed away in December of last year. He is survived by three daughters and two grand children.

NY Times, CAAM, CBS Sunday Morning

Dig this? Check out this ptg of AAPI animated characters

WhoisShe? 29 – Ruth Asawa

Ruth Asawa was born on a farm in southern California in 1926. She and her family were interned around the time of World War two. When she could, she left to study at the Milwaukee Teachers College. Later she would spend time at La Universidad de Mexico. In Mexico and while interned she learned to make art with whatever materials she could find around her. After Mexico she studied at an experimental college called Black Mountain great artists such as Ora Williams and Willem de Kooning. She made at continuously from a very early age up until when she passed. She is most famous for her sculptures of orb like tear drops that sit or hang from the ceiling. But she also created large scale metal sculptures, some of which still stand today in San Francisco. Her work is abstract to me. In addition to making art, she also served as an arts advocate for the city of SF, and for arts programs in schools. She helped garner funding and start art programs in schools. She had six children and passed away in 2013. Her work has been exhibited countless times and is still in collections and being viewed today.
You can purchase this original $40, 8″x8″ mixed media on paper, please email at
Sources: Kqed, Oakland Museum, Wikipedia,

Who is She? 28 – Yolanda Lopez

Yolanda Lopez is a Xicana artist from San Diego, California. She was born in 1942 and came to San Francisco in the late 60s around the time of some serious social movements with the Panthers, recent the United Farm Workers, and the SF State strike to put in ethnic studies in the school (which she was involved in). The first time I saw Yolanda’s work as a painter it was “La Virgin” piece that she did of a woman running with a flag using the same backdrop as the famous “Virgin de Guadalupe”. This painting was part of a series depicting every day women of color and it hit because there were not many artists depicting brown women like that. The next time I saw her work was the famous illustration of an indigenous Aztec man pointing with the quote “who’s the illegal alien pilgrim?!”. That blew my mind when I saw it, because I’d heard folks talk about Raza that way, but never saw someone flip it on Europeans. In addition to being an illustrator/painter she produced films too! in fact she is also an amazing photographer. Most recently at the Mission Cultural Center I saw some of her photos of homegirls hanging out, from car clubs, probably some who were family too. Her photos provided a glimpse into San Francisco and Xican@ culture that I’d never seen before so vividly in photographs. She is an inspiring artist and a teacher of many. And her son Rio happens to be a dope artist and human being too.

You can purchase this original piece $40, email me at 8″x8″ mixed media on paper

Sources:, Wikipedia, Mission Cultural Center

Who is She? 27 – Kara Walker

Kara was born in Stockton California in 1969. She grew up there until she went to college at Atlanta College or Art, and later Rhode Island School of Design. She is currently a professor at Columbia in NYC. The first time I saw Kara’s work was at Parsons in New York City while finishing up my BFA there. Her piece “event horizon” caught my eye and it wasn’t until I was taken on a tour of art galleries in Chelsea that I saw an entire show of her work. There I was blown away because I’d never seen someone do art like that. I kept wondering how the hell she got these uppity art folks to let her get down like that, speaking on racism and the treatment of Black folks in such a in your face, no apologies, satirical way. Kara has worked as a painter, but she’s best known for the paper cut outs she’s done. Most recently, her show “Domio Sugar” had hella people I know posting about its use of similar subject matter and the scale to which she took the sculptures. She’s had over 40 solo exhibitions in places like Oakland, Austria, The UK, Spain, Italy, and so many other places across the U.S. 
You can purchase this piece. Email me at 8″x8″ mixed media on paper
Sources: Art 21, Wikipedia,

Kindred Journey 11 – Maya Lin

Maya Lin (born 1959) is an artist, sculptor, and designer best known for amazing work creating the art installation and dedication memorial for the Vietnam War in Washington DC. She was born in Athens Ohio and was around artwork in some for or other at an early age being that her father was a professor of art and her mother was a poet. She graduated from Yale with a Bachelor in Fine Art and won a public art competition at a very young age to take on the Vietnam memorial project which catapulted her into some fame and hatred from critics of an Asian American woman creating the memorial.  After this Maya went on to design the civil rights memorial in Montgomery Alabama and the Museum of Chinese Americans in New York City which I was blown away by. She has created tons of public art pieces across the US and internationally which are breath taking. These pieces use nature, earth, water, and many emotions which have multiple levels of meaning. 
Sources: Wikipedia, The Takeaway,


Peace yawl, I was asked by the good folk over at the BBC blog to contribute to a magazine about Black Artists and Activists by interview.Sponsored by The Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College(SUNY).What an honor!!!!The great poet and homie Tamara Davidson was also featured in this mag along side so many other dope artists. Please check it out and let other folks (especially young people) know what you think. Small steps make staircases, hopefully yesterday, today, and tomorrow this art will make a positive impact in some ones life. It definitely has in mine. Props to Issa, Joi M. Sears, Tamara Davidson, Emory Douglas, Octavia Butler, Nelson Stevens, Lois Malou Jones.Speak from the heart.

Read it HERE