Prayer Messenger

Paul Goodnight's "Prayer Messenger" is a beautiful synthesis color and movement and message. The woman seems to depict an angel without wings.

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Title: Prayer Messenger

Artist: Paul T. Goodnight

Medium: Water Colors

This piece by Paul Goodnight is called "Prayer Messenger." He uses soft, dream-like colors to create the background and to suggest an "other-worldly" feel in the birds. The woman's dress and headwrap melt into the background to create a quiet, introspective mood to the piece. The intimate relationship between the beautiful woman and the beautiful birds leaves the viewer to decide who is delivering the prayer, the woman or the birds.


Artist Statement

“I would like to be a skilled and consummate draftsman.  I try to use a collection of sensuous colors, often revealing mysterious hidden forms.  I would love to convey the ability to see between the figures, melding and infusing them into an environment of endless nuances where abstraction and representational images are comfortable in the same space and where passion and humanity resonate.  Once I learn to do this well, I will be obligated to pass this on, just as this information has been based on to me.  Thank God for our masters!” 

“I’ve learned that art is making me, rather than me creating it.”


Artist Biography

Artist Paul Goodnight was born in Chicago on December 31, 1946. At a young age, his mother took him to New London, Connecticut, and later to Boston, where a foster family raised him. After finishing high school, Goodnight was drafted into the Army, and served two years in Vietnam. The experience changed him and upon his return, he was unable to speak because of the horrors he witnessed there. Soon after, Goodnight began to paint, reverting to the means of expression he had employed as a child.

Finding release in his art, Goodnight regained his voice and enrolled in the Vesper George School of Art, taking English classes at a nearby community college to help him along the way. In 1976, he earned his B.A. from the Massachusetts College of Art. Goodnight continued to create, and in 1984 one of his works was displayed on an episode of The Cosby Show. Since then, his works have been featured in such programs as Seinfeld, ER and Living Single. Goodnight then began traveling the world, studying the art of the Caribbean, Africa, Russia and Asia, as well as working under contemporary masters such as Alan Crite and John Biggers.

 In 1991, Goodnight founded Color Circle Art Publishing, which is dedicated to the perpetuation of the art and imagery of the African diaspora. His works adorn the homes of such notables as Maya Angelou, Wesley Snipes and Samuel L. Jackson, as well as the halls of the Smithsonian Institute. In 1996, Goodnight was commissioned to create a piece for the 1996 Olympic Games, and in 1998, he designed the World Cup poster. He was awarded the U.S. Sports Academy Artist of the Year Award in 1997. Goodnight's biggest inspiration is his daughter, Aziza.

Coltrane blows. We hear the plaintive sounds --and more.  Billie Holiday sings. we hear the melancholy wail--and more.  Paul Goodnight paints. We see the animated figures-and more. Between the horn, and the man, there is confession.  Between the voice and the woman, there is truth. Between the paints and the painter there are revelations~ Revelations of his consummate skill as a draughtsman of his sensuous colors and often reveling forms, of his ability to see between the figures melding them into an environment of endless nuances where his own passions infuse the picture with human resonance" Edmund Barry Gaither, Director, Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists.

Goodnight's vibrant and emotional work has often been a reflection of his life--from the demons he faced during the Vietnam War to the time he was incarcerated 'I've learned that art is making me, rather then me creating it. His creative efforts are nurtured and inspired by several local artists, like Atan Rohan Crite and Dana Chandler Today he continues to interact with Master African-American artist and mentor, John Biggers, who carved the path many contemporary black artists now travel.

Goodnight has developed his own unique aesthetic philosophy to document the humanity at people around the world. He often incorporates African themes and symbols to provide depths of history and culture. He has studied and traveled extensively to different parts of the world, living among the people of Russia, China, Haiti, Nicaragua, Africa and Brazil.

Goodnight's images have appeared in television and film since 1984: Seinfeld, Arliss, Jackie Brown, The Cosby Show, Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and the Hughleys to name a few. Paul has been featured in numerous publications such as Architectural Digest, Ebony, Essence, People Magazine and the Boston Globe. His works are amongst the collections of such notables as Maya Angelou, Wesley Snipes, Samuel Jackson Angela Basset, Judith Jamison, Victoria Rowell and NBA hall-of-famer Isaiah Thomas. His work has been exhibited in the Museum of Fine Arts~The Museum of the National Center of African American Artists and the Smithsonian. He has been the recipient of many achievements and awards such as receiving a commission for the 1996 Olympics, The US Sports Academy Artist of the Year Award in 1997, and the World Cup Soccer Poster of 1998.

His most recent achievements include being commissioned by Geovision for Mass Dept. of Public Health Minority Adult Male Anti-Smoking Campaign, American Airline and Top Artist Inc. to do a commemorative piece for Black Enterprise 30th Anniversary and the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts Award.

He was commissioned to do a piece to raise funds for the African American: Research Library in FL which auctioned for $32,500 and was commissioned to do a piece by The Valley Inc. in NY which auctioned for $5 t 000.-His works were showcased at the Schomburg Center in NY sponsored by Toyota and Essence Magazine for the Essence Awards 2000, the 2000 African American Achievement Award, WILD local radio station 21stCentury Award and the Mass College of Art May 1999 Honorary Masters Award. He was commissioned to design a ceramic mural for the entrance of the Orlando Airport, a commission to create an original work tot the cover of the Official 2000 souvenir magazine of The Boys Choir of Harlem, and featured in the Official Souvenir Magazine of Alvin Alley for the 1999-2000 season.

Goodnight is the founder of a Boston-based art publishing and distribution company. Color Circle was established in January 1991 by Paul Goodnight, Bernice Robinson, Ekua Holmes & Roland Brooks.

Color Circle is dedicated to the perpetuation of a culture by making widely available the compelling and revealing imagery of African Diaspora visual artists. Their mission is to promote the achievements of established artists as well as committed and dedicated emerging artists. Their goal is to provide the highest quality art reproductions possible to art lovers. They believe that art is the vehicle that aesthetically links our past with our future in documenting and educating about our rich culture and history. Above all, Color circle is committed to the concept of maintaining strong community partnerships in building a strong economic future.




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NOMA Presents: “Lina Iris Viktor: A Haven. A Hell. A Dream Deferred.”
Lina Iris Viktor's first major museum exhibit will be on display at NOMA from October 5th through January 6th.


The phenomenal and thriving artist Lina Iris Viktor will present her first major museum exhibit at The New Orleans Museum of Art, opening this fall. Titled Lina Iris Viktor: A Haven. A Hell. A Dream Deferred, the installation will be on display from October 5th, 2018 through January 6th, 2019.

A Haven. A Hell. A Dream Deferred will feature an entirely new body of work created by Viktor that investigates the narratives surrounding America’s involvement in the founding of Liberia. Throughout the exhibit, the artist reimagines the rich history of Liberia’s colonial past. “Liberia appears in Viktor’s re-imagining as a kind of paradise lost, and as a cautionary tale,” said Allison Young, an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow of Contemporary Art. “At the same time, her work transcends this narrative, revealing how examples of visual culture—from Dutch Wax fabrics to national emblems to gestures in the history of portraiture—exist as remnants of these colonial histories.”

Based in New York, the British-Liberian artist is highly known for her luxurious large-scale paintings and installations that are adorned with gold and include references to both modern and traditional West African culture.

“NOMA is pleased to present Lina Iris Viktor’s exhibition, and to foreground a lesser-known history of which the American South was a part,” said Susan Taylor, NOMA’s Montine McDaniel Freeman Director. “In this series, Viktor offers her unique perspective on a complex and multifaceted history.”

Programs related to the exhibition feature conversations led by Lina Iris Viktor and Allison Young, a film series, and a special talk with Viktor and curator Renée Mussai. For more information, please visit NOMA READ MORE........