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Biography

greenville museum of art-1

The Greenville Museum of Art in North Carolina. The Bass Player and Modern Mona by Emmett Ardie.

The Artist was born in Washington, DC in the early 1960’s. He lived and studied art by drawing and painting street-life in DC’s notorious 14th Street corridor. He began his studies by drawing animated cartoons from television, later creating his own comic books. He did portraits of musicians, and sold handmade posters as a child. He attended The Columbus College of Art & Design (Ohio) on the weekends-beginning at age 11. His mother agreed to match half the class fees if he earned the other half himself. He was told that his grandfather was an Artist, and his father dreamed of becoming an Architect. His family briefly relocated to Ohio, then returned to the city when he was 15. He had studied the impressionist since age 10 from books and then self portraits, once he returned to Washington, the city streets became his focus. Drunks, Cops, Pimps and Streetwalkers permeated his sketchbooks for the next 5 years. He occasionally went to Atlantic City to the Playboy Club to draw gamblers and bunnies.

The Artist earliest mentor was Georgette Seabrooke (Powell) the Harlem Renaissance painter. She created Tomorrow’s World Art Center, and occasionally hired the young painter to capture her events like “Art In The Park”  live on canvas.

He showed at The District Building (City Hall) with adults, “Spirits: The Makings of Masters” was his 1st group exhibition. Then was accepted at The Corcoran School of Art where he became the 1st recipient of The Marie Fredenburg-Torsani Memorial Award in 1983.

The Artist donated musical murals and paintings commissioned by the District Government to DC Village retirement home, formerly “Junior Village” an orphanage, in which he was a resident for a few months in the ’60s. While there he was taken to the White House for a Christmas Party and viewing of The Wizard of Oz. He met Tricia Nixon who approached him as he drew her shoes.  She wanted the drawing and she traded him candy for it.

After leaving the Corcoran, the painter grew bored of impressionism, as everyone was doing it. He had always been attracted to Cubism, and applied new ways to make it work for him in a current world. He could appreciate and apply any technique that had already been tested, and accepted. But he wanted to be as unique as Duchamp, and Picasso, but his intent was to capture actual moving figures on city streets, figures that will not sit still, he wanted to find a way to capture the intangibility of musician at play. From Rock Stars to Jazz Singers.  He found his way onto the walls of some local Jazz Clubs in DC. Then obtained his 1st solo exhibition in Bethesda, MD.

This during the massive exhibition of Van Gogh, the press refused to cover him. He was employed as a concierge, and people were buying tickets to that show were paying $50 or more. Then a reporter told him that no one was going to cover him, and not one person was going to write about his show.

The painter began leaving writing them letters and sending postcards with his imagery to them.

He finally found one writer, who wrote a series of pieces on him and his show. The gallery kept extending his show, a near sell out-buying some works for themselves.

The painter then relocated to Greensboro, NC and opened his own studio in 2003 after a successful solo at a local gallery. Numerous features appeared in print and press. The painter attracted captains of industry to his door. Then his work was featured at the Design Institute of America-DIA-Planum Showroom. Then furniture executive showed up and began to buy out his studio. They returned with offers to have his works featured on their high-end club chairs. Eventually this led to continuous being shown at The High Point Furniture Show for a decade or more.

The Artist now makes his own furniture designs. Available by commission.