Local Artist Gets Recognition At Ralph Ellison Library

Tuesday, February 25th 2020, 11:13 am
By: Kelsey Kernstine

In honor of Black History Month, Ralph Ellison Library is recognizing a local artist’s work.

Dante Anderson showcases three portraiture drawings of well-known black Oklahomans – a writer, Ralph Ellison, civil rights activist Clara Luper, along with Dr. Martin Luther King Junior.

It hasn't always been an easy journey for Anderson to pursue his passion. He’s been in and out of jail and suffers from bipolar disorder.

“I was trying to push my art too hard and not connecting with the right people,” Anderson said.

However, Anderson is not letting his past stop him from his own greatness, He chose to highlight three pioneers with his drawings during Black History Month.

“The contribution that these people made to the community and to the world,” Anderson said.

Anderson said there is a strategy to why he chose to showcase he each leader.

“Ralph Ellison was the library, the street is on Dr. Martin Luther King and then Clara Luper, you know she was an Oklahoma native and did so much being a black activist,” Anderson said.

Anderson's behavioral case manager, Cortigan Houston, said his progress makes her work worth it.

“I think it’s great seeing his artwork on display and that’s all he has been talking about since I’ve been working with him,” Houston said.

She can see Anderson healing himself with his passion,

“It’s not about the money, but it’s about the fruit of the spirit of what we get afterwards, to see a smile on his face in an interview for a story. That brings joy to my heart,” Houston said.

Anderson said his next piece he's working on right now is of late NBA star Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna who died in a helicopter crash last month.

To contact Anderson for more on his work, you can email him at dantedcanderson@gmail.com or 405-204-1353.