2020 Fellows

Meet the Artists: 2020 Philadelphia Fellowship for Black Artists 



Ginssiyo Apara

Ginssiyo Apara is an artist, and theorist working with various media, ranging from sound, sculpture, painting, poetry, and writing. A common theme that runs throughout his work centers around manipulating found plastic materials, synthesizing them with classic fine art materials.

Recently, he has begun exploring the use of “playful” materials such as puffy paint, sequins, vintage stickers of nostalgic cartoon imagery, repurposing and arranging discarded items. He is interested in deconstructing the definitions and distinctions made between “art” and “trash”.

In deconstructing these two categories his work aims to construct an allegory of the trials and tribulations of the black community in America. Example: the analogy of the simultaneous “trash”-like treatment of the black demographic yet overconsumption of the culture. Through this, he conceptualizes this notion of a “recycling” of black culture and existence.

The recent ban of plastic bags is the ban on the black existence, yet in reality blackness will exist long after. Blackness is the creation that can’t be recycled, that never decomposes.

IG: @sickandtiredblackartist




Tash Billington

Tash Billington is a Philadelphia Native who uses art as a way to heal, motivate and give back to the world. She specializes in Photography, Painting and Community Engagement. Best known for assisting on large scale public mural projects and being a part of the Women's Mobile Museum Collective. Tash has currently worked with Philadelphia Mural Arts, The Philadelphia Photo Arts Center and Amber Art and Design. In 2019 Tash was one of the 180 selected for the New York Times Portfolio Review out of 3500 applicants worldwide.

IG: @tashbillington
FB: https://www.facebook.com/tash.billington




Adenilson Dos Santos

A native of Brazil, Adenilson Dos Santos (Mestre Doutor) has practiced capoeira, a Brazilian folk and martial art for the past 41 years. As a result of his achievements, he was granted permanent residency and US citizenship as an “Alien with Extraordinary Abilities”. Mestre Doutor is the founder, artistic and executive director of Project Capoeira, whose mission is to preserve, develop, and share Capoeira. Our activities grow intercultural understanding and a sense of community through arts education and social outreach. We use Capoeira as a vehicle to promote other Brazilian arts and to preserve Brazilian culture in Greater Philadelphia.

Youtube: ASCAB Capoeira USA
IG: @MestreDoutor
FB: Project Capoeira- Ascab Philadelphia and Mestre Doutor
Mestre Doutor e Sua Academia https://youtu.be/6DETN1FeQCI




Jere Edmunds

My background for the past few decades has involved steady work in the service industry, in arts distribution, and volunteering in many video productions. I have had a close association with the Philadelphia arts community for many years - I went to art school and have acted and modeled, and supported arts and artists all along the way. Through my involvement at Scribe Video Center, WYBE, and DUTV, I became drawn to the opportunities that video makes possible. All of this led to the development of my first program for PhillyCam, “5 on the Go”, a series of short glimpses into various artists and events around town. This evolved into “The Inside Look” a short form documentary series now in production of it’s second episode. I am from, of, and for the community and operate under a simple and effective principle: Care, Share, and Be there!

My goal is to develop “The Inside Look”, an intimate look into the process and outcomes of notable, but overlooked, African-American artists in Philadelphia.




Shanel Edwards

Shanel Edwards is a Black, queer, non-binary, first-generation Jamaican, Philadelphia based, dancer, photographer, director, and poet.Their work centers Black Queer Femme-hood, intimacy as a tool for healing, and radical joy. They create art in a world where tenderness and rage coexist. There are no sharp corners but when needed, there are knives. Shanel's artwork is a plush landscape for laughter and slow dancing with one another. Shanel's creations should bring you to ease, should bring you closer.

IG: @shaneledwardsart




Devon Harrison

I am a Black college grad that studied Animation and Glass. With my work, I would like to continue down the path and show others in my community (young and old) that there are more options available to them than the limits we know. Hopefully, my work will inspire others to join the crafts and explore outside of what is commonplace.

IG: @saltfort




Simone Holland

Forging professional careers in makeup, wardrobe, production design, graphic design and now, camera and creative direction, attention to detail is in her blood. With humble beginnings in makeup and wardrobe, Simone worked in the commercial and film worlds applying her unique aesthetic. In 2018, she went on to attend Sundance Film Festival for "What Death Leaves Behind" (2018) as the costume designer, as well as a principal part of the makeup team.

An avid techie, she continued to study visual art and committed full-time to the camera department as 1st assistant camera, and now camera operator and director. Continuing to direct, Simone cross-pollinates her creative versatility, applying her technical experience to graphic design and directorial work.

IG: @Simone.knew




Naomieh Jovin

Naomieh Jovin is a visual artist with a focus in photography. She received her BFA in Photography and Digital Arts from Moore College of Art and Design (‘17). Her work is influenced by the absence of her late mother as well as her experiences growing up Haitian-American in the United States. In her work, she utilizes appropriated photos from old family albums and incorporates her own photographs to try and recreate similar moments. This process is meant to illustrate resistance and intergenerational trauma and how we carry them through our bodies. The incorporation of appropriated family photos, writings from relatives, and her own personal work allows Jovin to reflect on her family history, while paying homage to generations before her and their generational resistance against erasure.

Naomieh Jovin currently lives and works in Philadelphia, PA.

IG: njovn




Yannick Lowery

Yannick Lowery was born in New York City and raised throughout the south and midwest. The only son of two fine artists, he rebelled and studied Advertising Design at Columbia College Chicago. Working in kitchens throughout college, he began a dual career as a Sous Chef. Outside of the kitchen, he maintained his art practice while collaborating on several independent creative projects across the US. Working primarily with wheat-paste in outdoor spaces, the recent quarantine restrictions crystalized his focus on paper collage. Lowery now resides in Philadelphia, PA where he is developing a club for local paper collage artists.

IG: severe.paper




Eustace Mamba

Eustace Mamba Francis, (born Manhattan, NY - 7/1992) is a fine artist, photographer, printmaker, and graphic designer driven by innovation and quality.

Eustace's fine arts practice is an extension of his obsessive documentation of complex, contemporary thoughts and issues through simple expressions. Eustace strives to convey the unique perspective of a first-generation child of immigrants and to capture the complex interplay of history and identity, involved in straddling multiple worlds and cultures.

Eustace's artwork is an adventure into a vibrant world, which he believes is overlooked, and, as a result, under and misrepresented and underappreciated, by Western classically trained academics. He has chosen to explore themes and images of people of color in studio work, given this lack of proper representation, in the canon of Western art history.

Instagram @Eustvce




Breyanna Maples

Philadelphia native, Breyanna Maples is an alumni of The University of The Arts, School of Dance. As a freelance artist her practice is through but is not limited to Dance. Her practices extend into theatre, gallery performance and design. The work that Maples’ explores is internally stemming: moods, emotions, and the untold stories of her fantasmic innermost world are alive. Breyanna’s performance credits include Solange Knowles, Okwui Okpokwasili, Peter Born, Gerard and Kelly and more.

IG: ⁠@breyannarm / @breyanna.rm




Anthony Molden

Anthony Carlos Molden is a mixed media painter/sculptor born in 1968 in Cedar Rapids, IA, and raised in Altadena, CA. Anthony currently resides and creates in Philadelphia, PA.

He is a ,mostly, self-taught artist; but, has taken courses at both the Pasadena College of Art + Design and the University of Iowa...in order to supplement self-learning.

Anthony has been drawing since age 3...and painting with acrylic and oil, vigorously, since age 12. In his 20s, he started working as a scenic on movie, video and theatre sets. Anthony has also had an over 20yr career in construction and creation/restoration of decorative architecture while living in New York City for 25yrs.

All of the aforementioned experiences lent to Anthony's current painting style, which is a mix of sculptural relief with a repurposing of found objects and recycled materials. All of his paintings are made with 90-100% recycled materials, including paint and surfaces. This was a 20yr goal for Anthony..."to make something of value out of the piles of refuse around us everyday."

Anthony's work has been exhibited at such reputable galleries as...Kenny Schacter Contemporary and La Mama La Galleria both in NY...as well as the Painted Art Center, Tiberino Museum and Rush Arts...all in Philadelphia, PA.

Mr. Molden has also become a master at live painting and has done it several times...from the renowned Leaf Art & Music Festival in Asheville, NC to the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia.

Anthony's works are currently on exhibit at The Painted Bride Art Center...and he is presently preparing for a full solo show at Rush Arts.

IG: @anthonymolden
FB: https://www.facebook.com/anthony.c.molden



Martin Peeves

Martin Peeves is a New-Media artist of Ghanaian heritage who lives and works in Philadelphia, U.S.A.

Peeves’ juxtaposes & incorporates his subjective experiences, as an African immigrant in the United States interfacing with Western contemporary culture, (for content and context) in his works.

His interdisciplinary artworks explores and interprets the multifaceted realities of assimilation. Using Art as an integral activity for play, therapy, and research; Peeves draws inspiration from his daily socio-cultural context to develop his artistic practice. Incorporating elements of improvisation & sampling of found material into music, sound, and video-based works - #PEEVESKOTEK - he utilizes social-media platforms and internet subcultures for performances & exhibitions.

The Artist/self-taught D.I.Y designer creates unique customized up-cycled clothing using recycled garments and materials under the tag #MadeByMartinPeeves.

Peeves Art
IG: @Martinpeeves
Peeves Music
Peeves Fashion




Taj Poscé

Philadelphia-based artist, Taj Poscé, analyzes the beauties and plights of his life through color, abstraction and informal narrative paintings, designs and poems. He truly has a pure, raw and optimistic gaze on art making and on the world. Many of his most recent works reflect the idioms “every cloud has a silver lining” and “being on cloud 9.” Taj often mixes found materials from his environment with quality art materials, which show no sense of hierarchy in his work. He also sometimes burns paintings in an abstract way that, to him, reference the current states of war and chaos. Many of his works across mediums reference clouds. He believes that as humans, like clouds, we are constantly in motion, adapting, evolving and changing. Poscé believes that we are always taking form to our present circumstances; trying to grasp and understand the plights of our being while also embracing and cherishing them with the beauty of our lives.

(267) 324-7179
Portfolio: https://tajposce.myportfolio.com/visual-fine-arts
IG: @tajposce & @posce_studios




Chanae Richards

As a lover of all things home, Chanae has always found so much joy in not only curating her own home, but also helping others with their home projects. With a gift for sourcing unique pieces and understanding her client’s needs, Chanae’s passion has since become the noteworthy interior design firm that is ọlọrọ interiors. Chanae’s goal with ọlọrọ is to create spaces that feel like a haven for her clients from their busy lives.

In order to do this, her design firm creates spaces that are made up of thoughtful touches, where every room speaks to the individual’s personality.

IG: @olorointeriors
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/Olorointeriors/




Erika Richards

Philadelphia, PA native Erika Richards is a professional illustrator – a skilled artist who has mastered the technique of blending watercolor and Prismacolor pencils. Erika began creating art at the tender age of three.

A fascination with the female figure and fairy tales has developed into Erika creating fantasy art. Erika draws upon fantasy, history and the human image to make visual art that elaborates on imagination.

Erika is a graduate of the Moore College of Art and Design located in Philadelphia, PA with a BFA in Illustration. Her artistic skills have earned her several accolades. She is the recipient of the Philadelphia Watercolor Society Award 2017, 2nd place award for “Best Illustrator” at the 34th Annual Fall for the Arts Festival Chestnut Hill, PA 2018 and 1st place artist award for the 11th Annual Gloucester City Cultural Arts and Heritage Society 2019.

In the summer of 2019 Erika started her business Erika L. Illustrations LLC. Erika L. LLC prides itself on putting quality artwork first. "If the work must be brilliant, everything else will fall into place." Erika L. Illustrations produces pristine art and merchandise with an emphasis on Afrocentrism and black women. Erika is supported by her mother CFO Sherida Douglass and is currently growing Erika L. to become one of the most preeminent art companies in the world.
Erika remains a resident of Philadelphia, PA. In her spare time Erika enjoys playing with her ‘crazy cat’ Jazz and watching rerun T.V. shows.

IG: @erikarichards_art
FB: https://www.facebook.com/erikarichardsartwork
Deviantart: https://www.deviantart.com/erikalillustrations




Aqil Rogers

Aqil Rogers is a metalsmith from West Philly. Their afrofuturistic brand, BLACKMARZIAN, aims to generate a new Black visual language of identification for the liberated self. This carries the intention of urging Black collective liberation into existence. Through working with metals that are not precious by name, but by nature, Aqil seeks to create accessible jewelry defined by Astro-Blackness.

IG: @blackmarzian




Nazeer Sabree

Nazeer Sabree is a contemporary African-American artist from Philadelphia. His subjects are often centered around the African American experience and capturing black culture. Nazeer has a photo realism quality when rendering figures and combines them with raw expressive backgrounds and incorporates abstract mark making. Nazeer has been illustrating images since the young age of 6, at age 18 he began to learn how to paint with acrylics and oil. Nazeer has attended numerous programs and schools centered around the arts. After meeting his mentor Randy Chavez, Nazeer began to learn at a rapid pace, he would study master paintings from other artists and also paint for hours on end. Inspired by the narratives and storytelling in most of the works he studied such as, "the raft of the medusa" and "Nymphs and Satyr" He begins incorporating those same qualities from those works. Many of Nazeer's paintings capture stories from his life or the sitter's life. Most of his works have subtle references from historical and sometimes even biblical events, he connects them to current events to ignite conversations that most people are not about speaking about. Randy Chavez, Kehinde Wily, Jean Michel Basquiat, Kaws and David Grove are his artistic influences and inspirations.

IG: @nazeersabree




Athena Scott

Athena’s work is the synthesis of fine arts and design. Her influences include Frida Kahlo, Käthe Kollwitz, Basquiat and Kerry James Marshall, just to name a few. Though her primary love is in portraiture, she has also worked professionally as a Web/Graphic designer for the past 14 years. In her work, you can sometimes get a sense of those worlds merging to become one. She does not limit herself to a particular medium as she is willing to experiment with various tools, techniques and surfaces.

Heavily influenced by music and human expression, a lot of Athena’s work is created while surrounding herself with a collage of sounds helping to bring forth the mood and emotions she’s trying to convey. She shares some of her process on social media with time-lapse footage and stills, allowing her followers to be a part of her creative journey. Her muses can be those familiar to pop culture, family or just someone who has caught her eye. Athena is currently an artist-in-residence at Cherry Street Pier in Philadelphia and is pursuing her MFA at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.

IG: @athena_astraea
FB: https://www.facebook.com/AthenaAstraea/




Ellen Tiberino

Ellen Tiberino is a mosaic artist born and raised in West Philadelphia. She comes from a family of renowned visual artists. Ellen has exhibited in numerous galleries in Philadelphia and New York . Including the Sande Webster gallery, Gallery 22, Rosemont College and the African American Museum . Ellen has conducted numerous workshops for different organizations including Mural Arts programs, Living Cities, People's Emergency Center and independently in different communities.

Her work can be found in various collections. Ellen Tiberino’s work is inspired by her love of nature, travel and family.

IG: @Ellentiberinoart



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Noah Smalls, Rush Arts Philadelphia

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