Janis Pinkston
Janis Pinkston
Janis Pinkston
Janis Pinkston
Janis Pinkston
Janis Pinkston
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JP_1. Saint Arthur The Martyr
JP_2. Inclement Esteem
JP_3. I Dreamt You Came Back To Me
JP_4. Outsider
JP_5. Thinking
JP_6. Puppet

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The language of Art has served me well from a very young age. My first memory of drawing was in the Bronx in N.Y. when I must have been 4 and was handed a pencil and a piece of paper for the first time. Later, in elementary school, my parents were active in the PTA and were able to provide me with large quantities of scrap paper with printing on only one side. On the blank sides of this paper I made hundreds of drawings. This may have been a seed from which later art from scrap developed. I also made doll clothes from scraps of fabric left over from clothing, curtains, cushions and other household necessities made by my mother. She also had a way of creating things from unusual materials, such as lamps made from cork-covered wood, a coffee table from a tree stump and a piece of slate, and she 'finished' our basement with 2 cans of paint and some artfully placed carpet remnants.

Later at HUFA (Howard University, College of Fine Art), I encountered artist/professors who led by example in providing students with a plethora of living art. Among these was Ed Love whose 8' statues of Egyptian gods from automobile bumpers epitomized the idea of art from reclaimed materials. As a student in Washington, D.C. I also spent many hours at the National Gallery absorbing the spirit of James Hampton, an obscure, self-taught artist/janitor whose gallery-sized throne was created from all manner of 'recycled' salvage from his janitorial duties long before the term 'recycling' was coined. My senior thesis work for Howard was a quilted 'wall-warmer' made from scraps of cloth collected from a vast array of sources, the most sentimental of which was a piece from the daishiki worn by my brother at his marriage ceremony.

Becoming an Art Teacher for the School District of Philadelphia, I quickly learned that if I wanted to do anything meaningful with my students, I would have to use my well-learned improvisational skills to provide them with materials. After teaching art for many years, I've come to appreciate the freshness and spontaneity of art made by children and hope to someday regain that same freedom of self-expression. I am proud to say that I can look to my former students for inspiration as a number of them have developed into accomplished artists in their own right.



Howard University, College of Fine Art