Verna Hart
Verna Hart
Verna Hart
Verna Hart
Verna Hart
Verna HartHA6.
Verna HartHA7.
Verna HartHA8.
Verna HartHA9.
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"My works are visual evidence of a painter’s deep reflection of the natural rhythms of jazz. One who looks at my work from the "outside in" is bound to only see. One who looks from the "inside out" is bound to also feel. Jazz is the medium of my work. My interpretation of jazz music into a pictorial structure lies in a change in my character and vision to a oneness with all the means of this medium, and with art itself. Tones of jazz emotionally carry a listener through a song like the tones in a painting move the viewer visually. When jazz improvisation is applied to my work, the colors like sound float through infinite space. I then improvise on my own musical visions. The incorporation of jazz rhythms and textures into visual art, that stimulate and arouse the human emotion, is what my work encompasses."



"Like the jazz musician, I seek to say something personal and spontaneous. The energy that's in the music, I expose on canvas. It's important that you not only see my work, but feel it too ... and, like the music, when it hits you ... move!"

Verna Hart has been painting since age 5, melding her artistic ability with her love of music. Says Hart, "I always wanted to be a musician. I studied the piano, and I still try to play."
A native New Yorker, born in Harlem and now a resident of Brooklyn, Hart was exposed to jazz at an early age. She often takes her sketchpad to a jazz club to capture the mood live. Because of her persistence, the subjects themselves have acclaimed her work. Trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie suggested the title "Dizzy Swinging" for a piece she created during a session at Symphony Space. Saxophonist Branford Marsalis has used one of her pieces to illustrate the cover of his album, "I Heard You Twice the First Time." Hart’s works are also featured in Spike Lee's film, Mo Better Blues.

Hart is strongly influenced by other painters as well, especially Romare Bearden. She met Bearden when she lived near his studio and would go by to watch him paint. He gave her encouragement and purchased some of her work. After his death, Hart created two monoprints to honor him: "Blues for Bearden I" and II," depicting a jazz trio outlined in black.

A trained artist and arts educator, hart holds two masters degrees that she earned simultaneously from Pratt institute (master of fine arts) and bank street college of education (master of science in education/visual arts.) She has received several art awards, including the Absolut vodka commission, Wego jazz logo award, and the Romare Bearden memorial scholarship. Says hart of her art, "my works are visual evidence of a painter’s deep reflection of the natural rhythms of jazz."




Pamela Brown
ArtJaz Gallery
Philadelphia, PA  19106
215-922-4800 E-mail:
 Philadelphia, PA – May 23, 2007 – ArtJaz Gallery is pleased to present artist, Kimmy Cantrell
 and artist, Verna Hart in “Kindred Spirits” an exhibition of Ceramic sculpture, Paintings and Mixed Media.
 This exhibit will be on display June – through July 14, 2007. An Artist reception will be held on Friday,
 June 1st, 5-8pm.

Kindred Spirits is the artistic vision of two outstanding artists with different mediums yet their synergy and energy can be felt by all audiences. This exhibition is a creative blend of two and three dimensional works of art by Kimmy Cantrell and Verna Hart.

Verna Hart’s watercolor paintings are filled with the rhythmic beat of the city whether depicted in images of musicians or people walking the streets of Harlem in the rain such as in the painting, “Precipitation”. Hart a native New Yorker has always believed in documenting “places and spaces in time”. In her recent “Harlem” series, which includes “Precipitation”, the focus is on memories of the past and observations and the feel of Harlem today. This series captures the vibrancy and moods of life in the city. In addition to this representational work, Hart has embarked upon an artistic journey into mixed media abstraction with the use of her favorite medium, watercolor. Her abstract paintings demonstrate both incredible control while at the same time expressing incredible freedom. These abstract works flow with a river of color and complex beauty. Verna Hart studied at Pratt Institute, NYC where she earned her MFA. Hart was one of the last artists to be mentored by Master African-American Artist, Romare Bearden before his death in 1988. Hart has exhibited throughout the United States and is in prominent public and private collections, Sara Lee Corporation, North Carolina, Atlantic County Art Collection, New Jersey, Carillon Importers Ltd, NJ, Bill Cosby, Spike Lee, Former Governor of NJ, Jim Florio, among many others.

Kimmy Cantrell’s asymmetrical aspect of his compositions challenges the traditional definitions of beauty. Cantrell believes “Imperfections tell stories that are far more compelling than perfection”. His ceramic (clay) sculptures focus on three forms, faces, still life and female nudes. The elements of clay, copper and sometimes stainless steel can be found in many of his pieces. Colorful, textural and complex, his works tell stories of his personal life experiences and that of others. Largely self-taught, Cantrell has worked as a full time professional artist for over fifteen years. Cantrell’s works are unique and passionate with an aspect of primitive African art. Kimmy Cantrell has been recognized for his unique works through numerous awards and he has appeared in articles in such prestigious publications as Art & Antiques Magazine and the Washington Post Magazine. Cantrell was recently commissioned to create two large sculptures for the well known Ruth Chris Steak House Corporation for their Florida and California restaurants. Cantrell’s ceramic sculpture and ceramic framed works can be found in private collections throughout the United States.

“Kindred Spirits” exhibition with Kimmy Cantrell and Verna Hart will be on exhibit June1- through July 14, 2007.  An Artist reception will be held on Friday, June 1, 5PM – 8PM. For more information call 215-922-4800 or visit www. ArtJaz Gallery is located at 53 N. Second Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106.