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Featured Artists

Kadir Nelson


Kadir Nelson is an award-winning African American artist and illustrator. Born in Washington D.C., he is a graduate of Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY and lives in San Diego, CA with his family. Nelson received his bachelors in fine arts, graduating with honors, and has since worked with clients such as Dreamworks, Sports Illustrated, Coca-Cola, The New York Times, Major League Baseball, the United States Postal Service, among others. He is a two-time Caldecott Honor Award winner; he also won the Coretta Scott King Author Award for We Are the Ship in 2009.

Nelson has also exhibited his artwork in galleries and museums throughout the United States and abroad, including the Museum of Tolerance and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles, The Museum of African American History in Detroit, the Anacostia Museum in Washington DC, the Society of Illustrators and the Studio Museum in Harlem in New York, The Bristol Museum in England, The Citizen's Gallery of Yokohama, Japan and the Center for Culture of Tijuana, Mexico.

Many of his paintings can be found in the private collections of actors, professional athletes and musicians including Debbie Allen, Denzel Washington, Steven Spielberg, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, Berry Gordy, Sharon Stone, Spike and Tonya Lee, Terry Lewis, Jalen Rose, Venus Williams and Queen Latifah. His paintings have also decorated the sets of television sitcoms "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air" and "The Jamie Foxx Show," as well as feature films Friday, Set It Off and The Beauty Shop. Most notably, Nelson was the "Conceptual Artist" for Steven Spielberg's feature film, Amistad, and the Oscar nominated animated feature Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron.

Nelson has also collaborated with several notable authors on a series of picture books. Currently, over a dozen children's books are in print including the most recent Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom, by Carole Boston Weatherford, Debbie Allen's Dancing in the Wings, the Coretta Scott King Award Book, Ellington Was Not a Street, by Ntozake Shange, New York Times bestsellers Salt in His Shoes and Please, Puppy, Please by Deloris and Roslyn Jordan and Spike and Tonya Lee, and Will Smith's Just the Two of Us, for which Nelson won an NAACP Image Award.

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