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West Palm Beach artist puts his past into dynamic, colorful work

The artwork of Anthony Burks Sr. on display at the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County on July 15, 2021.jpg
Posted at 11:29 AM, Jul 16, 2021

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — With charcoal and acrylic color pencils, along with watercolor on paper, Anthony Burks Sr. of West Palm Beach creates his works of art.

"This is a love for me since forever. I have been in practice for over 40 years," said Burks. "Once it hits me, I get into the zone and it comes out."

Burks’ series, "Natural Beauty One Love" is displayed at the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County, a non-profit local arts agency.

"I called them my queens. I used to do them in full color when I first started. Something came to me and was like, you know, they don’t need any color behind them. The grayness and their values are brighter than any color you put on them," said Burks.

Each of the portraits displayed are people Burks met throughout his life.

"This gentleman here I have known since he was young. And he’s a drummer here locally, Abasi. He had that stock, power of a Black man," said Burks. "That is why I put the colors on his shirt, it basically represents the power of a Black man."

Burks is one of many who were awarded a grant to be part of the council’s Artist Innovation Fellowship Showcase program, a mission the council is doing to give a voice and venue to local artists.

"It opened a lot of doors that’s been shut. It allowed me to be able to open my first studio and it allowed me to finally show these pieces in one group," said Burks.

The showcase runs until Aug. 27.

For more information about the Artist Innovation Fellowship Showcase program, click here.