What is Art? According to the Oxford Dictionary “Art is the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as a painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.”
Art is able to capture the beauty and essence of life. We’ve all heard the saying “A Picture is worth a thousand words.” July Chi@Glance spotlight feature is shining the light on accomplished Chicago Artist: Barrett Keithley. Barrett is an Artist and Founder of Crown B Studios (Interior design and carpentry). He is also a partner at the Paradigm Creative Group (PCG), which deals with brand management productions, and operations of artists.
Multitalented is a word I would use to describe Barrett. His art ranges from paintings, to drawings, to poetry, stories, the spoken word, and sculptures. He can even sing a little, although by his own omission he can’t “saaang” so normally he leaves that part out. LOL
Barrett can remember being artistic from the young age of about 6 or 7. He comes from a creative family and credits his two brothers for getting him involved in art at a young age. One of his brothers wrote poetry and introduced Barrett to the writing of Langston Hughes. By 6 Barrett was writing poetry of his own. His other brother was big into drawing and Barrett started doing drawings of his own. Although he comes from a family of creative talents, he’s the only one that went on to pursue a career in the arts full-time.
It’s always fascinating to me the inspiration behind a person’s passion. For example I do Lifestyle Blogging with a focus on Chicago. I cover ALL things Chicago on the blog because Chicago and Chicagoan’s like Barrett inspire me. When I asked Barrett what his inspiration behind his works of art are his answer was quickly: CHICAGO.
Barrett grew up on the South Side of Chicago Morgan Park Neighborhood. Where he grew up was very distinct and known as the “Wild Wild 100’s” His neighborhood and influencers within that neighborhood provide the inspiration for his art. Barrett grew up in a place between one of the poorest neighborhoods and one of the richest neighborhoods. He said one day you can wake up and have an experience like “Boys in the Hood” and the next day you’ll experience the “good life.”
Barrett is also inspired by Chicago artists. Hebru Brantley was on his list of inspirational artists, but he also mentioned countless other artists he’s inspired by from Chicago. Chicago has a large community of artistic talents. Barrett took a few art classes at Harold Washington College, but other than that he’s a self-taught artist.
Out of curiosity I had to ask him what was his college major and what career path he would have chosen if not art. Believe it or not his college and career path was leading him towards politics. He went to Morgan State College in Baltimore and majored in Political Science.
He credits his interest in politics and art from coming from a family of service. His family has always strived to help others. Barrett’s part time job, which used to be his full time job is mentoring young men between the ages of 11 to 21. He quit a couple of times, but he always goes back because of his love and passion to mentor young men. Besides that he enjoys living vicariously through them and they keep him young. 🙂 He loves that the mentoring he does is not just “talk.” Barrett background is similar to the young men he coaches, so he knows what they have to endure and is able to come at them like an older brother versus a distant bystander.
Why is Barrett Keithley Artist and Founder of Crown B Studios a Chicagoan YOU should know?
“Simply put I’m a Chicago native that LOVEs, LIVEs, and BREATHEs CHICAGO. I want to build a platform for the world to see us in a better light.”
I LOVE THAT! Chicago is such a great place to Live and so much positivity is going on here. I admire Chicagoan’s doing their part to show the world ALL we have to offer. A thriving community that takes care of it’s own.
Make sure to follow Barrett on his social media platforms to find out where he will be next. He’s been doing A LOT of live body painting shows/exhibits . I checked out a recent show he put on “Xperience” and it was definitely an awesome visual experience.
About Crown B Studios
Founded by Barret Keithley, also partner of Paradigm Creative Group. An interior design and carpentry company that creates a variety of things from art displays to furniture. Crown B Studios Instagram.
About Paradigm Creative Group (PCG)
Founded by Marcus Rashad. PCG provides a platform needed for emerging artists and they provide a multitude of services from event planning, venue scouting, talent scouting, promotions, branding, and marketing. PCG website