Charles Blackwell

Charles Blackwell is a published poet. His books are called The Fiery Responses to Love Callings and Is the Color of Mississippi Mud. He writes poetry, short stories, lyrics and theater plays. He is currently conducting writer’s workshops for homeless young adults and high school youth at Youth Spirit Art Works in Berkeley, CA. 

As a visual artist, Charles works in several areas –afrocentric, conceptual, abstract, and experimental – all to create art that will enhance and inspire the human spirit. He knows it’s working when someone comes in off the street and tells me that the piece I’m working on inspires them. In today's alienated society, he chooses to embrace the gift of life and create, create, create. Art is not to isolate but to build community.

My approach is unorthodox – I use the bottom of the paintbrush, my fingers, an ink spout, and all this because I’m trying to make my blindness work for me. My blindness, in a sense, gives me the originality. When painting, I’ll strain my eye to see, until the reality of being partially blind registers. I then rely on instinct, sloshing colors between thick lines, moving the medium along the path to completion.

Art is not for mere capitalist gain but to provide inspiration. Here in the Tenderloin much encouragement and inspiration is needed. I feel like I contribute to this, creating life where death is ever present.

Artistic Discipline: 
Literary Arts, Visual Arts, Performing Arts
Sacramento City College, Cal State Chico

Painting, drawing, poetry, poetry performance, and play writing.

Disability type: 
Visually Impaired
Oakland, CA