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Visual Artist Hiawatha D.

Photo Credit Eyemagination Imaging


Millenial patrons at Northwest African American Museum

Photo Credit @illoquint

About the Artist & The Collection

For decades Hiawatha D. has used acrylic to paint stories that speak to the Black experience. His work brings a brilliant vibrancy to canvas, book covers and numerous campaigns and collectibles, with his signature abstract, cubism and surrealism style— identifiable throughout his extensive body of work. Inspired by Black people transcending historical, societal, racial and economic challenges in America, Iconic Black Women: Ain’t I a Woman, is Hiawatha D.’s homage to the resilience, power and beauty of Black women and Black women history-makers. 


“This collection is powerful because it tells a story of amazing women, and although Black women are very important to our society they are often grossly undervalued, inappropriately stereotyped, and significantly underrepresented in all sectors,” stated Hiawatha.  “The sacrifices, and accomplishments Black women make are rarely celebrated. My work has always been supported by Black women and through this collection, I can share my love and appreciation for the foundation they all provide in healing, nurturing, supporting, changing and sustaining our culture and communities,” he continued.


Hiawatha D. uses various mediums to interpret the energy observed in Black people throughout his travels, Hiawatha uses acrylic paint, pencil and watercolor, on cotton rag or canvas. On occasion, he also creates on ceramic bisque and wood panels. Through out his career Hiawatha D. has been inspired by Ernie Barnes, Salvador Dali, Jacob Lawrence, William H. Johnson, Pablo Picasso, and Henry O. Tanner. He is a graduate of the Burnley School of Professional Art.  


Hiawatha D. has sold at his works Nordstrom and Macy's and exhibited in galleries and trade shows nationwide. A former brick & mortar  gallery owner Hiawatha D. now sells his work online through his website, social media platforms and private home showings where attendees are offered intimate company with the pieces where collectors can ask questions and learn more about investing and collecting art. 


Hiawatha D. is deeply committed to community. He has shared his craft through teaching and presenting at Seattle Pacific University, Seattle University, University of Washington, Seattle Public Schools and for the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle. He also designs and teaches programs for young people including City Art Camp, a summer program for City of Seattle Parks and Recreation.


“Several of the pieces in this collection are inspired by legends such as Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Oprah Winfrey, and former First Lady Michelle Obama, yet all women can recognize and see themselves in these moving and powerful images. There are images that represent Black women profiles and issues we all know about to provoke thought and encourage discussion as well. Iconic Black Women: Ain’t I a Woman is my way of honoring women and showing how connected we all are to the stories painted in this collection,” said Hiawatha D.


“Iconic Black Women: Ain’t I a Woman” Art Exhibition will be featured at Northwest African American Art Museum, October 18, 2019 - March 15, 2020. The entire community is invited to visit, learn and enjoy the stories painted and presented by Hiawatha D.

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