Born: New Orleans, Louisiana
Education: Louisiana State University, Louisiana
Using a “visual alphabet” developed over the course of his career, New Orleans-based artist Clifton Webb creates works imbued with reverence and dignity. Though the symbols he has developed may not be immediately familiar, they are unmistakably noble, and that is the intent. Webb set out to create works that would say to the world, “This is me and all the people around me who don’t get to see themselves, who don’t get to see the royalty and sacredness of who the African American is.”
Webb grew up in the Jim Crow south surrounded by a loving, nurturing and caring community. However, he came to realize the people who made up that community were vastly under-represented in the artworks that were available to them. He asked himself, “What makes me unique? How do I make a mark that would suggest something about me, the African American? How do you know it when you see it in a gallery? What makes you say, ‘Oh, that’s African American’?”
A co-founder of the New Orleans Contemporary Arts Center, Webb’s work is included in the permanent collections of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, the New Orleans Museum of Art and Dooky Chase Resturant. He has also exhibited at the Stella Jones Gallery, The Ohr-O’Keefe Museum, the African American Museum of Dallas, the Chattanooga Museum of Afro-American Culture and History, the Alternatives Museum, the Atlanta Arts Festival, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, the Arthur Roger Gallery and Max Hutchinson Gallery in New York. He is also an arts educator with a BFA and an MFA in sculpture from Louisiana State University.
From Clifton Webb