A Talk by Kadir Nelson

January 8, 2018 6:00 pm

University of the Arts

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Please join the University of the Arts in welcoming Kadir Nelson at the Caplan Theater where he’ll share insight into the art of picture making, his illustrative process, and his career as a celebrated Illustrator. Nelson is an award winning artist based in Los Angeles, California. His subject matter comprised primarily of figurative paintings focus on historical narrative and heroic subjects in American culture, and are often informed by the Old Masters like Ingres, Michelangelo, Hopper, and Tanner. His sumptuous settings and characters, rich palette, and realistic, yet painterly technique speaks to both modern urban realism and masterly works of the next turn-of-the century American painters. Currently, Nelson’s paintings are displayed in the permanent collections of several notable institutions including The National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne, Switzerland, and the US House of Representatives.

Nelson began his career as the lead conceptual artist for Steven Speilberg’s Oscar nominated feature, Amistad. He is the recipient of multiple Gold Medals from the Society of Illustrators in New York, including the prestigious Hamilton King Award. In addition, he’s been the winner and recipient of Caldecott Honors, Coretta Scott King Author and Illustrator Awards, New York Times Best Illustrated Books, NAACP Image Awards, Communication Arts Award of Excellence, and an Olympic Art Bronze Medal, among others.

Nelson has created artwork for a host of distinguished clients including the cover art for Michael Jackson’s posthumously released album, ‘Michael”, the cover artwork for multi-platinum recording artist Drake’s “Nothing Was The Same”, Sports Illustrated, The Coca-Cola Company, The United States Postal Service, multiple New Yorker covers, Major League Baseball, and Dreamworks SKG, to name a few.

Nelson has also authored and illustrated over 30 picture books, several of which went on to be award-winning NYT Best-Sellers including, “WE ARE THE SHIP: The Story of Negro League Baseball” and “Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans.” Nelson states, “I feel that art’s highest function is that of a mirror, reflecting the innermost beauty and divinity of the human spirit; and is most effective when it calls the viewer to remember one’s highest self. I choose subject matter that has emotional and spiritual resonance and focuses on the journey of the hero as it relates to the personal and collective stories of people.“

Hope to see you there!


211 S Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA

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