African Beauty | August 2023

Vincent Jackson is one of the most prolific and longest practicing artists at Creativity Explored. Jackson is known for his large-scale figurative oil pastels. His thick, defining lines break the human form into geometric shapes filled with a heavy impasto of layered colors arranged with Jackson’s masterful sense of harmony. The resulting mask-­like works can be viewed as a contemporary renewal of traditional African and Oceanic folk art imagery. "My faces are my way of telling a story rather than writing," he remarks.

Jackson's work has been exhibited internationally. Additionally, Jackson’s work was chosen to adorn the third series of artisanal chocolates from Recchiuti Confections and was selected by CB2 for a number of limited-edition products including a tote, rug, pillow and ceramic vase. He is also a featured artist in the upcoming book, Art is Art, published by Chronicle Books, releasing November 2023, and his artwork is on the cover!

"I didn't get this “renowned artist" thing from nothing. The public already knows what I bring to the table. I bring excellence. I bring joy to the people. It's not about what you know, it's about how you carry yourself. I’m trying to keep my art career going."

Creativity Explored is a studio-based collective in San Francisco that partners with developmentally disabled artists to celebrate and nurture the creative potential in all of us.


"Creativity Explored serves 130 artists and has facilitated the careers of hundreds [more]. Creativity Explored artists have seen their work exhibited in museums, galleries, and art fairs in over 14 countries and have earned over $2 million from their art.

Their life-changing programs continue to open doors of inclusion to center the personhood and creative vision of people with developmental disabilities. Most importantly, Creativity Explored is a source of community, empowerment and dignity." (Creativity Explored website)


Q&A with Vincent Jackson

Where are you from? Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I'm Vincent Jackson. I'm from San Francisco. I grew up here, and that's it.

We noticed you’re incredibly prolific! How often are you making art?

All the time. Nothing ever stops me from doing this. I’ve been doing this for years, I've been doing this for 40 years. They know my work, they know what I stand for.

What are your other interests and hobbies besides art/favorite things to do? Favorite music?

Gospel music. I am a totally gospel person. I love to do art, I love music, I love being around fun people. Some of the teachers here [at Creativity Explored] are very interesting.

Anything you’d like to tell us about your African Beauty drawing?

If you are interested in it, you should look at the book Wonderful Blackiful People, created by artist collective, Blackiful. Those drawings were wonderful, it was a wonderful project. The book was well done. It was worth it for us to do. I want the Blackiful group to do more.

We noticed you’ve worked with textiles quite a bit. What do you enjoy about making wearable art?

Wearable art is fun, and people have bought the things I've made. I think when I finish a suit, a dress, it's all about simplicity. I know how to quilt. That's why I do it. This is one thing about Victor Molina [CE teaching artist], he lets us do what we want, lets us talk to the fabric. Next time, I want to challenge myself to make children’s clothes. Fabric is art. It's not what you wear, it's the character of it. It's just something I wanna do. Maybe I want someone to push me to have my own
boutique clothing shop. Something that women or men can really like. Maybe I would like to make a pillow.


Find more about Vincent:

Vincent Jackson on the Creativity Explored blog
Shop Vincent's available artwork
Vincent's interview with Summertime Gallery
Vincent on Artsy