At 5:50 pm on Thursday, February 8th, 2019 a crowd grew in front of the Wilmington Library. People waited patiently for the doors to reopen and at 6 pm, the crowd, now nearly wrapped around the other side of the building began to eagerly shuffle into the large room of the library. Between the groups of people, you could see the photorealistic deep blue skies and portraits hanging on the walls.
The room was buzzing with people excited to get to see Kadir Nelson and his paintings up close.
A Brief History of Kadir Nelson
Kadir is a 44-year-old world famous artist from Silver Springs, Maryland. You’ve probably seen his art on the covers of Drake’s album “Nothing Was the Same” and Michael Jackson’s posthumous album, titled “Michael”. He has not been limited to album covers though, he also creates illustrations for The New Yorker and has drawn 28 children’s books in his lifetime. In his early career, he had a brief stint at Dreamworks animation studios where he worked on “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron” and was a conceptual artist for Spielberg’s movie “Amistad”.
To start the night, Library Director, Jamar Rahming presented stakeholders of the event with prints of Kadir’s work. Then a local pianist sang his original song “Hammer” to introduce Kadir before he took to the podium. During the presentation, Nelson shared sketches and paintings from his childhood, through his career in the present day. Speaking to the crowd, he shared how he found success by networking and focused on how libraries were important for his success.
See a recap of the night filmed and produced by New Castle County TV:
This is one of the many events being hosted at Wilmington Public Library this year, with several February events focusing on Black History Month. From now until April 1st, you can head over to the Wilmington Library to view the artwork for yourself. Check out Wilmington Public Library’s website to learn more.