Light of the Caribbean Artist
Mike Easton is a graduate of Howard University College of Fine Arts in Washington, DC where he received his BFA and MFA. Mike Easton’s work has appeared in such publications as an Upscale magazine, Emerge and others. Mr. Easton was commissioned by the Giant Food Corporation to develop and paint six portraits for their seventh edition of “Profiles in Excellence A Celebration of African-American Heritage.” Easton also released two new original paintings in print form entitled “In Remembrance of Me” and “Village Under the Mountain” followed by “Gentle as a Lamb” that was published as artist limited editions. Easton has completed numerous commissions, most noted: “Legacy of our sound” at Howard Universities Fine Arts Building.
Easton has sojourned to East Africa, Europe, South America and the Caribbean. In addition to travels and awards, it was during his years at Howard University that he learned the purpose and function of his work as an African American artist. His meaning by this is the proper use of the African American subject matter has an intrinsic theme in America at large, more importantly, the interpretation of the African American to himself.
Easton has been commissioned by private individuals, organizations, and institutions. His influences include the Mexican artist Diego Rivera who incorporated social commentary into his art. Rivera also wanted his art to have meaning to ordinary people who weren’t typical of those who attended art museums. In addition, Mike’s development has been cultivated by the various teachers and professors that are also great artists in their own rights.
I fell in love with art from an early age. Growing up in Washington, D.C. with a single mother of four boys, she knew she had to find our passion early. As a result, I discovered a passion for art after seeing a portrait of Frederick Douglass at the Frederick Douglass home in Anacostia. I was later mentored by renowned portrait painter Simmie Knox who was the first African American portrait artist to paint a sitting President and was the very artist who painted the Frederick Douglass portrait that captivated my passion. Since that time, I sojourned to Africa, Brazil, the Caribbean's and Europe where I had an opportunity to experience the world’s artist first hand and to allow that experience to cultivate my artistic view. To ensure that the next generation of artists was educated, challenged and literally thrust to the next level, I have taught all manors of art for over 20 years and now chair the Visual Arts Department at the prestigious Duke Ellington School of the Arts. My work includes painting, drawing, photography and mixed media as a means of documenting the experiences of people of color throughout the African diaspora.