High school saw him not just pass but soar, and the esteemed Pratt Institute opened its doors, offering John a space among the crème de la crème of the artistic world. But John was not a soul to be caged or confined. A restless spirit, he craved more - an understanding deep and profound that only the hallowed halls of Fisk University in Nashville, TN, could satiate.
At Fisk, the universe pulled back the curtains. Under the illuminating guidance of iconic torchbearers like Aaron Douglas and Elizabeth Catlett, John didn’t just see art. He felt it, breathed it. Every piece was a symphony, a celebration of the Afro-Atlantic culture, a deep dive into the rhythmic cadences of religion and music that pulsed with life.
The big city called him back, and John answered, carving out his sanctuary of creativity in the eclectic vibrancy of Tribeca in lower Manhattan. But destiny, as always, had its plans. The winds of change wafted over the pristine shores of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, and in 1979, John, alongside his equally gifted wife, Yemaya, embraced the island’s embrace.
Here, amidst the rhythmic dance of the waves and the whispering palms, John wasn’t just an artist but a ‘teaching artist’ at the St. Croix Educational Complex. But this island, with its melange of Caribbean, African, European, and indigenous whispers, was more than a home - it was John’s living canvas. Every sunrise painted tales of cultural amalgamation, and every sunset echoed the narratives of social harmonies and contrasts.
In the kaleidoscopic world of St. Croix, every day was a stroke of the brush, a melody of hues and tones that told tales untold. John was not just living; he was breathing art in every sense, witnessing a confluence of worlds where every wave, every grain of sand, was a story unfolding an artwork in perpetual motion.