Greg Bolden

Visit the artist’s website here.

#gregBOLDeNtheARTist, the youngest of three siblings, is a D.C. Native that was reared in the N.E. quadrant of the city. Obviously birthed with a natural gift that only GOD can give, it was at the tender age of six, by the instruction of his 1st grade teacher to complete a drawing assignment before the end of class, that he discovered that inherent gift for drawing.

By 8th grade, his apparent love and knack for art grew into a better understanding of the craft and was thus introduced to a medium that he would later become to favor, pastel. It was under the guidance of his art instructor Ms. Ewing that he learned the discipline of art, the tools of the craft and their usage, laying the fundamental foundation to be 2nd place winner for portraiture, in the Duke Ellington Art contest.

As time passed, Gregory continued to draw earning a reputation for his craftmanship creating t-shirts and hats for friends. However, along with that passage of time, something happened. Counted amongst the disenfranchised inner city youth, housed in an underdeveloped drug infested neighborhood, with a single mother who faithfully relied on public assistance, presented its own set of challenges. To add to the complexity of those challenges, one that would wreak havoc on the psychological well-being of all the siblings, the late revered Arnita Boyd, his mother (who later became clean) struggled with an all too common yet unrelenting crack addiction that extinguished all embers of his creativity. Instead of ripening into an auspicious and flourishing artist, those aspirations were quickly overridden with a desire to survive matriculating into a knack for making money by illegal means which was consistently being honed by the environment that he would eventually succumb to.

Now, after spending 14 years in prison and still presently incarcerated, Greg has had enough time to assess his situation involving his circumstances, irrational thinking and the negative influences that contributed to the life he once succumb to. The impact that it has had on his life, family, and the lives of others, to empathize with them showing remorse and accepting responsibility, to find purpose in this new life, live it out; and continue to be the change that he wants to see while evolving into the man, that you know today as #gregBOLDeNtheARTist. Never having any formal tutelage he considers his gift a blessing that he is obligated to share with the WORLD as an illustration to GOD’s Glory.

BOLDeN has done and continues to do just that….Literally! Bolstered with redemptive efforts to reform and give back to society, he along with fellow inmates Harry Ellis, Kevin Burno, Antonio Nero, Jaren Holley, Brian Marsh and Keith Thomas have founded and formulated a Youth Mentoring Program and Curriculum called P.U.S.H. an acronym for Persistent Until Success Happens. The P.U.S.H. program is wholeheartedly committed to the uplifting of our youth, by helping them to identify who they are in this world and assist them in obtaining the highest degree of mind, body and soul, which are recognized as three of the five dimensions. As P.U.S.H. facilitators they’re dedicated to fitting our youth with the fortitude to become responsible and productive men, while holding firm to their integrity and humility, thus they may have what it takes to say “NO” to crime and destructive influences, enabling them to strive in a positive, crime-free and drug-free lifestyle. Our youth will be equipped to P.U.S.H.

As a prisoner and soon to be former prisoner, that has been through the fire and able to emerge, heeding the lifelong lessons of his actions, he is in a unique position to better understand what works in terms of change and lowering recidivism. When asked about what one can expect from his art and future endeavors, #gregBOLDeNtheARTist states thus:

“You can expect me to continue to create art that expresses my identity and to introduce Black themes into American modernism. To portray my experiences and spontaneity in my art as well as  inspire and evoke thought. I am emBOLDeN to emerge from the ashes of ignorance, poverty, crime and desecration that once choked my very existence, into a vital force that would contribute to art, change and the uplifting of humanity.”

Bolden’s most acclaimed titles above that of creative are those of loving husband and father, in addition to being an artistic “engineer” whose reach magnifies beyond sometimes even his own imagination. Look out for the expansion of his dexterities as he embarks as an author of art comedy coming to media outlets everywhere soon.

 

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