Artist Amiri Farris is known for his dynamic powerful artwork. His fine art combines an alluring blend of vivid colors and layered textures that evoke images of Sea Island Gullah culture. His artistic vision introduces uplifting moments and insight into his contemporary view of culture. He has captured the essence of a people who have preserved their African traditions of net making, basket weaving, quilting and bateaux building.
His signature style of using Adinkra symbols subtly in an African dress, a colorful turban or entangled in a shrimp net stimulates the eye to take in every inch of the canvas. Deep, engaging layers invite you to look deeper into the painting, where empowering images and colors dance across the canvas in an energetic display of expression. Amiri states, “The Gullah Geechee people have preserved much of their African cultural heritage. It is very important that we tell the history of this unique sea island culture.”
In 2012, he was the co-recipient of a prestigious award for preservation from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Amiri Farris received the Master of Fine Art and Design degree from Savannah College of Art & Design and is currently a Professor of Fine Arts at the University of South Carolina—Beaufort. In addition to the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, his work has been exhibited and displayed in permanent collections nationally and internationally. He was named the 2008 Artist of the Year by the historic Penn Center on St. Helena Island and is artist-in-residence at the Gullah Museum of Hilton head island.
Amiri Farris is also a noted musician and performer. Production of a television show hosted by Amiri Farris, entitled “Amiri’s Neighborhood,” is in the works for late 2013.
Amiri Farris’ client list includes numerous cultural, educational and commercial organizations : the Telfair Museum of Art, The Savannah Children’s Museum, Hilton Head/Bluffton Chamber of Commerce, Youth Opera International, the Gullah Museum of Hilton Head Island, Historic Penn Center Landmark, Savannah Jazz Festival, Heritage Jazz Festival, The Boys & Girls Club, The Coastal Discovery Museum, and many others. He has exhibited his work at numerous one-man shows and has also served as a judge in numerous juried art shows.
Amiri’s art studio, located at the Sea Island Art Center at the University of South Carolina’s Beaufort campus, is open by appointment. His artwork is currently on display locally at Four Corners Gallery in Old Town Bluffton.