Medium:Graphite on Primed Masonite
Graphite drawing of a Native American man bent over holding a hoop in his left hand.
Local Grand Rapids artist Paul Collins’ talents were cultivated at a young age when his history teacher had him illustrate the lessons on the chalkboard for the entire class. As a young child of African, American Indian and European descent, he was faced with the harsh reality of racism. Years of witnessing and experiencing inequalities and prejudices of the world helped shape his determination to speak about the injustices among us. His work strives to create a moment of truth, giving people a chance to experience the unique beauty of one another in a positive and freeing way. His life-like portraits have included everyone from the children of Harlem to Special Olympics and pro athletes. He was the first artist of color to paint a President’s portrait with the creation of the Ford Mural on display at the Gerald R. Ford Museum in Grand Rapids.