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Meet Artist Mario Moore, Artist in Residence at Harlem School of the Arts

mariomooreHe may be young, but Brooklyn, NY-based artist Mario Moore is already making major inroads in the art world.

Moore is the current Artist in Residence at Harlem School of the Arts.

Moore caught the art bug early in life. “I realized I wanted to be an artist at a very young age,” says the painter and sculptor. “My mother is an artist and when I was young I was surrounded by her artwork. She was still in art college when I was a kid, So I would often poke my head in her friends art studios. I was always interested in painting because I loved the idea that someone made whatever they wanted on the blank canvas.”

Moore was born in Detroit native and received a BFA in Illustration from Detroit’s College for Creative Studies in 2009 and an MFA in Painting from Yale University’s School of Art in 2013. Moore has been very busy since showcasing his work. He also served as Artist-in-Residence at Illinois’ Knox College and as co-curator and exhibitor for several shows, including Great American Artist at the Charles H. Wright Museum and “Do the Yale Thing” at the George N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art. In addition, Moore has also had numerous solo exhibits, including at Winston-Salem State University.

“It’s a steady process but I grew up heavily involved in art. I attended College for Creative Studies in Detroit and majored in Illustration because I thought that would be a way for me to make some money through art. After a while I realized I didn’t like making  artwork for others, so after graduating from College for Creative Studies I took some time off and then applied to Yale’s Graduate  Painting program,” says Moore.

Moore’s work has sparked major interest across the country. in 2015, Moore’s work was included in “RESPOND,” a widely publicized group exhibit at Smack Mellon Gallery in Brooklyn which included 200 works by artists responding to issues of racism and social justice following the killings of Eric Garner and Michael Brown by police.

Moore’s work seems to be inspired by the world around them. “Creating work that challenges the viewer’s perception of Blackness, I am not interested in perpetuating the use of stereotypes or satirical images to demean Black culture. Instead, I draw from life experiences – connecting viewers to my culture, family and generation. The pieces I create are visceral, metaphorical, confrontational and unapologetic. I want to create a powerful experience for the viewer,” explains Moore.


Art is not only what Moore does, it is who he is. “Making art a career is all about the love you have  for creating and surrounding yourself with people who share that  passion. Not everyone needs grad school, I surely didn’t want to go  before I applied but I connected with people there that are very serious about their work. These are people who I would curate in shows or share opportunities with and that is not because we went to the same school but because I believe in their work. I still have  friends from undergrad that I share opportunities with if something is not fitting for my work,” he says.  “The other important thing is find a group of individuals who are excited about art just as much as you are or even more. Those are the people who will expose you to new things, introduce you to new artists and open your eyes to new ideas.”

About the Author

Ann is a freelance writer who started her professional career at the NY Trend more than two decades ago. Ann has since gone on to write for a number of major outlets including: Black Enterprise, Essence, MadameNoire, Pathfinders, Frequent Flier, Playboy, The Source, Girl, Upscale, For Harriet, The Network Journal, AFKInsider, Africa Strictly Business, AFKTravel, among others.

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