CountyAnne Arundel County
Traditional Arts, Visual Arts
Artist StatementMy art has been a journey of self-discovery and self-expression as a man who celebrates the African American experience and our achievements in sports and music history. It is the process by which I choose to explore my past, and the past of African Americans in the music and sports Industry, despite the roadblocks that have been thrown at us. I am intrigued by sports and music in any capacity and of all cultures – what has been internally deemed worthy of remembering. Is it truly possible to re-visit one’s past when the information stored has been inevitably distilled by time, dreams, love and fear? My memories are both a source of pain and healing – my spring of interrogation and inspiration. My memories of music and sports are what I tap into when creating my art. -Dwayne Lester
I was born in a little town Steubenville, Ohio and raised in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia called Weirton. Twenty minutes from Pittsburgh, PA. The Steel Valley! Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Sports towns and big rivalries. Our claim to fame was our diversity, our steel mills and most of all what I call the 19. Nineteen professional, baseball, football and basketball players that came from one street in a town where sports was integrated in 1956. Amazing! the Street was Weir Avenue or “CALICO HILL” where every nationality live and worked together.
I became interested in art in the sixth grade. My inspiration was my Cousin Charles Campbell “Soup”. He had the best vision of any artist I’d ever seen Savant-like. He could see way deep inside and render anything that he saw in his mind. That’s when I knew I wanted to be an artist. But, sports was king so I played sports. My family were all sports stars, from my mother who was a semi-professional fast pitch softball star to my younger brothers Chett and Dana who both played baseball. Dana made it to the big leagues with the Boston Red Sox. I did it all, but my head was in the arts. I excelled in everything, but music and art was where my successes were and still are. I went to the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale and Pittsburgh; The Columbus College of Art and Design, and numerous other colleges that landed me three Associates Degrees (Business Administration, General Studies and AAS in Advertising for Art), all with honors. Macomb Community College was my epiphany. There I met Professors, Brian Sauriol, Mike Crumb, Matt Busch (Star Wars Illustrator) and many other professors in the illustration program that pointed me in the right direction. As a Disabled Vietnam Era Veteran my successes have been many in Illustration and design working in the Federal Government. It’s been rewarding but one thing always lingered on my mind that one of my teachers said before I left: “When you graduate, pay attention to where you gravitate. That will be your calling, not necessarily what you majored in.” This is what has led me to to find my true passion–art/illustration.
I have started my own company called Unforgettable images now Dwayne Lester Art, which is an iFine Art/llustration and graphic design studio with a lot of regional successes.All of my work has been heavily influenced by Andrew Loomis, Norman Rockwell, and Paul Calle, but my style is my own. Being in the industry for over 30 years, I feel accomplished but am not ready to slow down my growth. I’m ready to keep pushing forward. My skills in drawing the human figure, automotive, editorial, cover art as well as in conceptual character and storyboard art in traditional and digital, artistically, in the last year, has grown significantly. I feel that I can improve exponentially more. I believe that even greater successes are coming. And believe that my becoming a member of the best illustrator society can help me achieve that success. Since I do not know any members I would have to ask the committee to check my work and see if they agree that I could become a member of this great society.