— Deep within the spirit and flesh of my being, the fretting breath of Ancestors guides the burning faith. Sacred are the visions ingrained like gleaming sermons, preached far beyond the face of my nights. Give me the courage to know the things of life, that I may be worthy of my place. Above all, teach me to share the gifts.

With some of my brothers and sister on the porch of the home where we all were born, when I was around 13 years old. From left to right: Freddie, me, Gloria, Warren and Marvin, all now involved in the arts.

Me in my studio. Photograph by Peter Tolkin

My studio. Photograph by Peter Tolkin

My studio. Photograph by Peter Tolkin

Born and raised in Greenville, North Carolina in 1933, John Outterbridge is an artist, educator and community activist. He was founder and Director of the Communicative Arts Academy, Compton from 1969-1975, and Director of the Watts Towers Arts Center, Los Angeles from 1975-1992. His work has been included in five PACIFIC STANDARD TIME exhibitions as well as in shows at the Centre Pompidou, Paris and The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; a retrospective of his work was held at the California Afro-American Museum in 1993. He is represented by Tilton Gallery, New York.