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 Norman Parish  (20/21st century)

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Lived/Active: Illinois/District Of Columbia      Known for: landscape

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Biography from a third party submitted on 05/05/2006:
“I find excitement in the use of highly refined color harmonies.” (Norman Parish)

Norman Parish, painter, and owner of Parish Gallery–Georgetown, Washington, DC is a fine arts graduate of The Art Institute of Chicago where he studied under Briggs Dyer, John Fabian, Paul Wiegart and Leroy Neiman.  Prior to his opening of Parish Gallery, he spent thirty years exhibiting his paintings in the Chicago area as well as internationally.  Parish has spent the last 12 years actively building a gallery of primarily, but not exclusively, African art and artists of the African Diaspora.

In 1967, Parish was one of the visual black artists who participated in the mural painting of the famed “Wall of Respect” in Chicago.  Twenty-four years later his desire to bring art to the people was still very much alive when he established Parish Gallery in 1991.  Since the fruition of the gallery, Parish has not taken much time for creating his own paintings, he has only taken the time for two exhibitions of his own work, when he celebrated the gallery’s 5th and 10th anniversaries.  For the 5th anniversary exhibition he used the vibrant oils inspired by his childhood in New Orleans and the 10th his most recent body of work, oil paintings of rural panoramas of northwestern Maryland.

Born in New Orleans, his family migrated to Chicago when he was six years old where he lived for over 50 years.  He moved to Washington, DC in 1988 and spent the next three years traveling to paint the wonderful open vistas of western Maryland. Not able to find a gallery to show his work he decided to open a gallery of his own. He paints recognizable subject matter that he terms “Stylized Realism”.  Working primarily in oil on canvas, he explores a wide range of subject matter – from representational images of black heroes and everyday scenes to semi-abstract landscapes.  “I find excitement in the use of highly refined color harmonies.” Parish has presented the work of many outstanding artists in solo and group exhibitions including: Lois Mailou Jones, John Scott, Herbert Gentry, Wadsworth Jarrell, Lorenzo Pace, E.J. Montgomery, Wosene Kosrof, Tayo Adenaike and Ed Clark and the well renowned South African Ndebele artist, Esther Mahlangu.  The gallery has presented many multicultural exhibitions such as artists from the Caribbean, Europe, Asia and Oceania.  Most recently Parish had the honor of showing two original Romare Bearden watercolors in conjunction with the Bearden exhibition at the National Gallery of Art.

Education: School of the Art Institute of Chicago and University of Chicago - Fine Arts 1960

Statement: I work in oils on canvas. My work varies in subject matter as well as moods. I find excitement in the use of highly refined color harmonies. Angularity developed around or within the subject matter is intended to add 2 1/2 dimensional depth to the picture plane, thus creating a feeling of futurism to current subject matter.

Awards: Honorable Mention - Intergraph Computer Art Competition - Huntsville, AL - 1985 YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago Black Achiever of Industry Recognition Award - 1977 Purchase Prize, Chicago City Bank and Trust - 1970 Purchase Prize, Union League Art Show - 1967

Permanent Museum Collections: DuSable Museum - Chicago, IL Huntsville Art Museum - Huntsville, AL

Corporate (and other) Collections: Stevens Gallery - Chicago Hilton Towers Hotel - Chicago, IL Foote, Cone & Belding - Chicago, IL Chicago City Bank - Chicago, IL Arthur Ashe - New York, NY Howard A. McKee - Barrington, IL Art in Embassy - Jamaica Jerutha Steptoe Beacher Wiggins Hazel R. O’Leary Johnson & Johnson Associates

Gallery Affiliations: Galerija - Chicago, IL (1983 to 1990) Parish Gallery - Washington, DC (1991 to Present)

Solo Exibitions: Last Stop Gallery - Richmond, VA - 1990 Rio - Gaithersburg, MD - 1989 Chicago State University - Chicago, IL - 1987 Oak Creek Towers - Oak Creek, WI 1986 Wisconsin Power & Light - Milwaukee, WI - 1985 Galerija Art Gallery - Chicago, IL - 1983 Museum of Science & Industry - “Black Esthetics” Featured Artist - Chicago, IL 1981 Monroe Gallery, YMCA - Chicago, IL - 1977 Garland Building - Chicago, IL - 1975 The First Pacific Bank, Mid-continental Plaza - Chicago, IL - 1973 The Chase Park Plaza Hotel - St. Louis, MO - 1972 “Decade of the Art of Norman Parish”- Southside Community Art Center, Chicago, 1972 Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville, IL - 1971 Heritage House - Philadelphia, PA 1970 Hyatt Regency House - Atlanta, GA - 1970 House of Beauty and Carmen Cosmetics, Congressman John Conyers - Detroit, MI - 1970 Purdue University - West Lafayette, IN - 1968 Southside Community Art Center - Chicago, IL - 1967

Lectures and Publications: “Drafting for Miniaturization” Vendor Seminar - 1976 “Midwest Black Artist” - Southern Illinois University - 1970

Professional Memberships Include: Alumni Association of School of the Art Institute of Chicago National Society of Literature and the Arts African American Visual Artist’s Roundtable National Conference of Artists Southside Community Art Center

Critical Reviews Include: “Finding a Following for Black Artists” by Kathryn Christensen, Chicago Daily News - 1975 “Galleries” by Harold Haydon, Chicago Sun-Times - 1973 “Norman Parish, Black Pride Shows Thru the Whitewash” by Jane Allen and Derek Gutherie, Chicago Tribune - 1972 “A Tour of Art in Detroit” by Joy Hakanson, Detroit Sunday News - 1970 “Major Role for Black Artists in a Fluid Society” by Agnes Stewart, Detroit Chronicle - 1970 “Gyrations of American Gothic” - C&M Publication Society Magazine - 1969

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