Along with providing great food, resources and entertainment, the Taste of Soul also displayed the creativity of six local artists through their Art Walk exhibit.
L.A. Sentinel political cartoonist David G. Brown has a successful career, which included being the first political cartoonist for the Stockton State College newspaper and winning an NAACP Image award for his book “Barack, Race and the Media: Drawing my own Conclusions.”
“It’s been a really great way for me to inspire the younger generation,” Brown said. “I am one of the few African American political cartoonists nationally that I do cartoons that represent the Black perspective and the world view of African Americans.”
Muralist Mike Norice is an award-winning commissioned artist who specializes in portraits, fine art and fashion design.
“I love the food and to be able to just be with the people; I don’t get a chance to display my work a lot,” Norice said. “People get surprised when they see me with the walls and the pictures and everything and a lot of people get surprised that I’m the guy that does all that.”
Buena Johnson was a member of the Los Angeles Laker’s “In the Paint” program that promotes and supports artists of color in the L.A. area.
“To provide this platform where thousands can come out and invite us to be a part of that, that’s something that’s beyond money can buy,” Johnson said. “For me, it’s like an art smorgasbord of seeing all of these beautiful people because people to me are art as well.”
Ramsess offered several products that profiled his art, including calendars and coloring books. His greeting cards profiled several icons in African American culture, including Dr. Maulana Karenga, Tina Turner, and Dizzy Gillespie. He noted how the Taste of Soul allowed an affordable means of exposure.
“A lot of us don’t have this kind of platform to exhibit and to show our work,” Ramsess said. “A lot of times it costs us so much money to join the exhibit that we can’t afford to make our money back.”
Fulton Washington will have a solo show in the Jeffrey Deitch gallery in Beverly Hills next year. He noted how the artwork in his booth chronicled events that happened during his life.
“L.A. County has a lot of great artists, creative minds,” Washington said. “I got a lot of commissions … people want work done, so I am grateful for that.”
Mohammed Mubarak created the album design for Stevie Wonder’s “Hotter Than July;” he was also commissioned by Floyd Mayweather, Compton City Council, and Mike Tyson.
“It’s been an honor and a privilege to be able to be a part of this huge event that gives not just me an opportunity, but several of my colleagues an opportunity to campaign and display our works and try to make some money,” Mubarak said.
While the Taste of Soul provided the artists the chance to make money from their work, they were happy to meet with the community.