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Chris’ Corner

The next guest at Lincoln School is…


In an age where the dialogue of art intertwines ever more intricately with the narratives of social justice and cultural identity, the announcement of Charly Palmer's visit to our community heralds not just an event but a momentous occasion that demands our collective anticipation and contemplation. While the formal announcement awaits its grand unveiling in the pages of the Saturday edition of the Quill, the news is too significant, too charged with meaning and potential, for me to hold my peace until then. The decision by Crockett and Tonya Oaks, the visionaries behind the rejuvenation of the Lincoln School, to invite Palmer to our community is not merely an act of bringing an artist to exhibit. It is an invitation to engage, to confront, and to celebrate the layers of our history and the vibrancy of our present through the medium of visual art.

Charly Palmer's philosophy that "Art should change the temperature in a room" is not a metaphorical flourish but a lived reality that courses through the veins of his work. For over three decades, Palmer has been a diligent chronicler of the African experience, creating a body of work that acts as a visual testimony to the richness of African ancestry and the multifaceted nature of contemporary Black experiences. His paintings are not just seen; they are felt. They evoke, provoke, and invite introspection. With each stroke, Palmer constructs rhythmic, visual narratives that challenge, affirm, and shift perceptions.

His productivity is astonishing; as a fine artist who completes upwards of 50 paintings a year, Palmer possesses a unique capacity to capture the essence of Blackness with an unparalleled depth and nuance. Through patterns, symbols, and textures, his work interrogates the past and present, weaving together loose sketches and tight lines, blocks of color, and the subtle intricacies of mixed media. His art is a continuous exploration of identity, posing the eternal questions: "What came before?" and "What truth must be told?"

Palmer's contributions extend far beyond the canvas. His recent appointment by the USPS to design the 47th stamp in the Black Heritage Stamp series, honoring Judge Constance Baker Motley, underscores his role as a beacon in the landscape of Black heritage and achievement. His collaboration with John Legend for the cover portrait of the Grammy Award-winning album "Bigger Love", the creation of the cover art for TIME Magazine's "America Must Change" issue, and his design for the NBA's 75th anniversary edition of the 2K22 video game, all speak to the resonance of his vision in shaping contemporary culture and consciousness. Furthermore, his co-authorship of the New Brownies Book: A Love Letter To Black Families, marks a significant foray into the realm of literature, where his visual sensibilities merge with the written word to celebrate and affirm the beauty of Black families.

As someone who has long admired Mr. Palmer's art, the opportunity to meet him and to witness his impact on our community firsthand fills me with a profound sense of honor and anticipation. His art speaks to the core of our shared humanity, urging us to look within and beyond, to acknowledge the complexities of our histories, and to embrace the boundless potential of our collective future.

The upcoming event at the Lincoln School is more than a showcase; it is a beacon of cultural and artistic enlightenment, a bridge connecting the past, present, and future through the universal language of art. As we prepare to welcome Charly Palmer to our community, let us open our minds and hearts to the transformative power of his work. Let us ready ourselves to be moved, challenged, and inspired. This is not just an exhibition; it is an invitation to journey through the landscape of our shared human experience, guided by the profound insights and indelible artistry of Charly Palmer.

Stay tuned to the Quill for the official announcement and further details of this landmark event. Let us come together as a community to celebrate the art and vision of Charly Palmer, and to reaffirm our commitment to understanding, appreciation, and dialogue. This is a moment to savor, to learn, and to grow. It is a moment to remember.