Self the artist was born in Chicago IL in 1979, raised on the South side of the city. He moved to Sacramento, California alone at the age of 21 with his life savings in his pocket and a dream. He believed being a product of one's environment was not to be taken lightly, nor should it be confused or thought of in any other way than for being the core of positive inspiration. Influenced by his uncle Charles who taught him the gift of continuous wire sculpting aesthetics and the many cultures of the inner city of Chicago, he has shared his life story of survival through each of his pieces ranging from one of a kind handmade continuous wire sculptures to graphite pencil drawings that depict current events and historical references within Black American culture & urban society.
In 2014 he began working at Fortune School of Education where he taught in the After School Art program, introducing scholars to the tools and mechanics of drawing and design. After advancing to a Behavioral Technician and later receiving another promotion as a Special Education Aide within the Special Education Department where he dedicated 4 additional years, he was offered a salary position as the very first and only Art Instructor for two Fortune College Preparatory campuses which teach grades (K-6) and (6-8) and is currently the owner of Sacramento's only standing Black Owned Art Gallery.
In his journey, he has dedicated 8 consecutive years as a local educator for the Fortune School of Education and is currently the proud owner of Self Designs Art Gallery in Midtown, Sacramento which just celebrated its 2nd year anniversary on Juneteenth, 6/19/2022. The gallery is a center for inspiration and growth for all ages and backgrounds. Currently offering art and music classes in classical piano, clarinet and flute for school age children and adults, it is known as a place for specialized workshops, an event space for community groups to convene and space for artists to create or conduct private classes. The gallery offers a variety of events such as Friday night Open-Mic shows, Comedy Events, Paint & Sip Workshops, Wine Tasting Wednesdays and monthly outdoor Courtyard Concerts which provide a stage for local musicians, models, fashion designers and entertainers from all orientations and talents. His gallery and art classes bring forth Visual Arts with a modern approach through the use of colorful lighting during his featured "Art in the Dark" Tour which creates an almost living effect on his captivating collection of wire sculptures and graphite drawings in addition to the talented and awe-inspiring local artists that decorate the walls.
Self Designs Art Gallery and Self's continuous wire sculptures have been featured in media such as: ABC10 News with Mark S. Allen on March 1, 2022; CBS13/CW31; 2 appearances on Good Day Sacramento November 2006, and January of 2018, and in 2011 one of his sculptures was even seen on reality TV show called "Love & Hip Hop". He has also taken part in showcasing his works at many locally supported art events including but not limited to:
The Black Expo 2005-2007
California Home and Garden Show 2006
Sacramento Banana Festival
Las Vegas Expo 2006
Lincoln Art Festival 2006
Sojourner Truth Art Gallery 2006
Crave Party Fashion Show 2006
Juneteenth Festival 2006-2008
Duke Ellington Art Exhibition 2006
The Brickhouse Art Gallery 2010 -2017
Opening of Self Designs Art Gallery in 2020
Sponsor & Event Space Host for Fall Zen Fashion Show 2021
Sponsor & Event Space Host for Zen II Fashion & Arts Festival 2022
Over 100 local community concerts, classes and special art exhibits have been held at his gallery between years 2020 to present date
Locations which carry his continuous wire sculptures on display include:
The Hilton Garden Inn Sacramento, CA
Casazza Chiropractic Sacramento, CA
KSFM radio station Sacramento, CA
Sacramento City College Library
Dave's Cut Above Riverdale, IL
Generous donations raised to support diverse local charities and venues include:
The Wonder Inc.
Granite Bay High School-Granite Bay, CA
Reno-Tahoe Blues Festival
The California State Home and Garden Show
The Sojourner Truth Multi-Cultural Arts Festival
Self has also raised over $3,000 for the Fortune School of Education Music program, and more than $1,200 in collaboration with Symphonos Studios at the Big Day of Giving Fundraiser for the Sacramento Community Concert Association which has existed in Sacramento for more than 60 years.
He studied Fine Arts at Sacramento City College from 2011-2014. While attending SCC he received a certificate for outstanding student performance in academics and was the winner of the 2014 Student Art show judged by Shelly Willis (Director of the Sacramento Art Commission) honoring him with the Gregory Kondos Gallery Award for Visionary Art. While studying at SCC Self was a teacher's assistant to many Art professors who helped him find his artistic muse including Mitra Fabian, Kathy Noonan, Ianna Frisby, Elizabeth Higgins O'Connor, and Emily Wilson.
As a practicing Artist, Self is currently working on his latest project called "200 Pounds, A Continuous Wire Sculpture & Graphite Pencil Drawing Series Depicting Post-Traumatic Growth" which is a collection of his signature continuous wire sculptures created with precious living succulent additions that are posed in various scenes of people with colorful baskets and clothing made of wire mesh. This new art series is currently on display at his gallery alongside heartfelt graphite drawings of historical communal struggles that tell stories of inspirational figures who lived a life unknown to most prior to becoming a victim of violence.
Ms. Love is a Sacramento born native who dedicates her time in curating the gallery with a non-traditional yet unique style that encourages imagination and emotional resonance within each guest who steps inside her creative world. With an open mind and heart, she enjoys meeting newcomers in the art world and accepts all ages & backgrounds of artists who have a dream of sharing their artisitic gift with our community and one day the world. She is an abstract painter and digital artist who uses advocacy and overcoming personal experiences of life love and her survival of abduction to provide a healing place for others to use art as a segway to detoxifying the body of stress using color therapy and self expression.
As a Master of Ceremonies for Self Designs Art Gallery she has hosted and assisted the success of more than 100 events, including but not limited to holiday themed concerts, local monthly Courtyard Concerts, indoor live musical events, Wine Tasting Wednesdays, Zen Fashion shows, artist counsel, and has created an educational panel project encompassing discussions on Love, Sex and Anime in today's world. She continually searches for conscious, dedicated artists in Sacramento and invites opportunities with small local businesses to promote local musicians who wish to perform, assisting them to gain support, stage presence and confidence. Providing a place for all people to grow and strengthen their unique artform while removing the stigma of the "starving artist" to "striving artist", Ms. Love has helped more than 40 artists receive a chance for public appreciation and support. Offering options for artists to create flexible schedules between parenthood and teach their own artistic mediums whether it be on canvas or in musical expression, she is honored to support Self Designs Art Gallery as center of opportunity and a therapeutic method of artistic survival self-love and and independence.
Sewasew Meaza also known by many as "Golden Ladder" is an Ethiopian born artist who is greatly inspired by the amazing work of nature creating her pieces with acrylic and ink on canvas.
As an acrylic painter who uses an uncommonly seen technique to build texture and various levels of dimension to her canvases, she often depicts the journey between nature and the spiritual world while her paintings embrace the energy and spirit of her ancestors. By combining her love for art, historical education and her community, she enjoys using the nourishing traditions of Ethiopian culture to instruct new students with open minds. She is known as a visionary artist and colorfully seasoned art teacher, whose purpose and directive is devoted to connecting one's self to one's soul.
Many of her designs have transferred into beautiful fashion statements with her new clothing line called "NDISI Unique Reflections" inspired from the African Diaspora which was worn on stage at the Zen 2 Fashion & Arts Festival 2022!
She currently accepts students who wish to improve their artistic application and shares her beauty for her life's work with a kind statement:
"My gift is to assist people through my inspirational private art sessions."
To learn more about how you can support her as a treasure in our community, you can see her clothing creations at: https://ndisiuniquereflections.com/collections/sewasew