Seattle Foundation Blog

The Art of Hasaan Kirkland

Multimedia artist and curator of Northwest African American Museum shows work in Seattle Foundation’s exhibit space


May 21, 2019

By Cedric Davis, Senior Philanthropic Advisor

It’s been said that art imitates life and Hasaan Kirkland’s work is exemplifies that.

For me, Hasaan’s work evokes pride, of my people and my heritage, and for the future for people of African descent everywhere in the world. I see reflections of struggle and resilience, despair and hope, courage and disappointment, and most of all, in the midst of it all, strength. Hasaan captures intense moments and tells compelling stories. I am thankful to be able to muse on his works every day.

Hasaan, who is an artist, educator and a curator and collections manager at the Northwest African American Museum (NAAM), uses his art and passion to push beyond art for the sake of art. Hasaan believes that the challenge of the artist is to use creativity to affirm his or her own voice and to make the voices of others heard, seen and valued.

Seattle Foundation is featuring Hasaan’s multimedia artwork, including paintings and collages, at our hallway gallery space now through Friday, June 14. Our offices are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday for anyone who wishes to enjoy his work.

Hasaan’s works provide a visual editorial on Black Culture and American History, reflecting the ancestral past of African sculpture, cubism and abstract identity. He develops visual texture through his designed compositions of collage and painted canvas. He uplifts perspectives of the African diaspora through his work in ways that are unique, reflecting influences ranging from Romare Bearden to Jean-Michel Basquiat and Jacob Lawrence.

"My work is an expression of visual conversations that I have been engaged in over the last 20 years, steeped in art education, American History, popular culture and my own creative evolution. My creative growth guides the composition in my work through collage methodology, pallet knife paintings, representational and abstract work,” said Hasaan, who moved to Seattle from the East Coast a few years ago. “I am eager to produce new work here. Seattle has proven to be a fertile ground for creative energy and cultural reflections."

At NAAM, Hasaan oversees the museum’s curatorial duties and manages the museum’s permanent collections. Previously, he was a tenured professor of fine art at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, N.C. While there, he co-founded the Arts Factory, a visual and performance art interdisciplinary program, and also served as a public art consultant, freelance commercial digital and fine artist.

Hasaan’s work also includes murals, illustration and digital art. He received the 2018 ArtPop Street Gallery Award and was selected as the 2017 Belk Corporation Artist for the Award of Excellence in Charlotte.

His work can be enjoyed online at www.hasaankirkland.com, as well as through his Instagram account: @Gallery_of_One.

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Art GalleryArts and CultureCommunities of colorAfrican Americans

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