Minter, Daniel 1961-
Minter, Daniel 1961-
Born 1961, in Ellaville, GA; married; wife's name Marcia; children: Azari. Education: Art Institute of Atlanta, A.A. (visual communications), 1981.
Office—P.O. Box 3085, Portland, ME 04104. E-mail— [email protected]
Fine artist, illustrator, and educator. Southern Company Services, former graphic design specialist. Instructor in illustration, drawing, and other techniques at schools and museums, including Cornish College of the Arts, Pacific Arts Center, African-American Academy, St. Theresa Elementary School, African-New World Studies Teachers Institute of Florida International University, Pratt Fine Art Center, Kennedy Center, Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, and DuSable Museum of African-American History. Artist-in residence at Pacific Arts Center and Tacoma Art Museum, 1997 master artist at Experience Art Camp, 2001. Exhibitions: Works included in exhibitions at Pratt Fine Arts Center, Seattle, WA; City Gallery East, Atlanta, GA; Seafirst Gallery, Seattle; Whatcomb Museum, Bellingham, WA; and in exhibitions in Brazil and Italy. Solo exhibitions include at MIA Gallery, Seattle, 1992, 1994, 1996; Clark College, Vancouver, WA, 1993; Northview Gallery, Portland, OR, 1994; Bambara Gallery, Baton Roughe, LA, 1997; and Buell Children's Museum, Boulder, CO, 2001. Work included in permanent collections at Microsoft Corp., Seattle Arts Commission, and African-American Heritage Museum, Seattle.
National Endowment for the Arts travel grant, 1994; Bank Street College Children's Book of the Year designation, 1995, for The Foot Warmer and the Crow; Carter G. Woodson Honor Book Award, National Council on the Social Studies, and Texas Blue Bonnet Book Award, both 1999, both for The Riches of Oseola McCarty, by Evelyn Coleman; Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Book Award, 2000, for Seven Spools of Thread by Angela Shelf Medearis.
Evelyn Coleman, The Foot Warmer and the Crow, Maxwell Macmillan (New York, NY), 1994.
Evelyn Coleman, The Riches of Oseola McCarty, Albert Whitman (Morton Grove, IL), 1998.
Angela Shelf Medearis, Seven Spools of Thread: A Kwanzaa Story, Albert Whitman (Morton Grove, IL), 2000.
Katherine Boling, New Year Be Coming!: A Gullah Year, Albert Whitman (Morton Grove, IL), 2002.
Susan Reynolds, The First Marathon: The Legend of Pheidippides, Albert Whitman (Morton Grove, IL), 2006.
Painter and sculptor Daniel Minter is known for creating art that gains inspiration from both his Southern roots and his African-American heritage. As an artist, he prides himself on creating images that intrigue and connect with their audience. As he told Charles T. Rowell in an interview for Callalo, "I feel that your artwork should support the community …, that somehow it should reflect your community. Creating artwork without any regard for community is valueless for me." For Minter, that community is the African-American community, and in his creative work—including his illustration work for children's authors such as Evelyn Coleman and Angela Shelf Medearis—he often used wood as his canvas, reflecting the tradition of his creative forbears.
Raised in rural Georgia as the ninth of twelve children, Minter gained a reputation for creating things, even as a child, and his work as a sculptor draws on his childhood habit of carving figures from wood or chipped brick. After working as a staff illustrator and computer graphic artist for several years, Minter ultimately turned to painting and sculpture as a way of making a living. Attending art school following high school, he worked as a graphic artist before leaving the corporate world behind in favor of work in the fine arts. His paintings and sculptures, which have been exhibited throughout the world, reflect the artist's travels to Brazil as well as his research into the images and culture of Africa's Yoruban and Kongo peoples.
Among the titles featuring illustrations by Minter are New Year Be Coming!: A Gullah Year, by Katherine Boling, Seven Spools of Thread: A Kwanzaa Story by Medearis, and The First Marathon: The Legend of Pheidippides, by historian Susan Reynolds. His linoleum-print art for Seven Spools of Thread was praised by a Publishers Weekly contributor as "striking"
and detailed, while in Booklist Gillian Engberg wrote that Minter's brightly colored illustrations for Medearis's "root the story in a sun-drenched, magical landscape that will draw children even after repeated readings." Discussing Boling's poetic tribute to the traditions that have developed among the African-American residents of South Carolina and Georgia's sea-islanders, School Library Journal reviewer Judith Constantinides wrote that Minter's "richly conceived" pastel-colored linocuts contribute to a "striking book." In Horn Book, Joanna Rudge Long cited the artist's ability to create "vigorously rendered figures" through his heavy black line, while Carolyn Phelan concluded in Booklist that the illustrations for New Year Be Coming! are "strong in composition, rhythmic in their use of pattern, and bright with color washes."
The history of the long-distance road race that continues to challenge athletes throughout the world is the subject of The First Marathon. The picture book draws readers back to ancient Greece and the famous battle between the Greeks and Persians that was held in Marathon. As Reynolds' text explains, a man named Pheidippides ran over 140 miles to Sparta to ask for aid, then immediately turned around and returned to his Greek leaders. Following Greece's victory, the tireless Pheidippides then ran to Athens to relay the triumph, but collapsed and died upon achieving his goal. The modern road race, which spans 26.2. miles, is named in honor of the man's historic athletic feat. In his illustrations for Reynolds' picture-book history, Minter again incorporates striking contrasts through the use of heavy black space in his linocut art, creating bold images that, according to Booklist reviewer Hazel Rochman, "show the strong, rhythmic movement of the brave young athlete, the battle scenes, and then runners across the world today."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Black Issues Book Review, November, 2000, review of Seven Spools of Thread: A Kwanzaa Story, p. 78; November-December, 2004, review of "Post It," p. 10.
Booklist, September 15, 2001, Gillian Engberg, review of Seven Spools of Thread, p. 249; November 15, 2002, Carolyn Phelan, review of New Year Be Coming!: A Gullah Year, p. 604; February 15, 2006, Hazel Rochman, review of The First Marathon: The Legend of Pheidippides, p. 100.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, December, 1994, review of The Foot Warmer and the Crow; March, 1999, review of The Riches of Oseola McCarty, p. 235; January, 2003, review of New Year Be Coming, p. 189.
Callalo, March 22, 1995, Charles T. Rowell, "Telling My Own Story" (interview).
Horn Book, March, 1999, Margaret A. Bush, review of Bubber Goes to Heaven, p. 207; November-December, 2002, Joanna Rudge Long, review of New Year Be Coming!, p. 771.
Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2002, review of New Year Be Coming!, p. 1217.
Library Media Connection, January, 2003, review of New Year Be Coming!, p. 94; November-December, 2006, Roxanne Welch Mills, review of The First Marathon, p. 83.
Publishers Weekly, December 26, 1994, review of The Foot Warmer and the Crow; September 25, 2000, review of Seven Spools of Thread, p. 66.
School Library Journal, November, 1994, Pamela K. Bomboy, review of The Foot Warmer and the Crow; May, 1999, Marie Wright, review of Bubber Goes to Heaven p. 86; October, 2000, review of Seven Spools of Thread, p. 65; September, 2002, Judith Constantinides, review of New Year Be Coming!, p. 210; March, 2006, Ann Welton, review of The First Marathon, p. 212.
Daniel Minter Home Page,http://www.danielminter.com (January 27, 2007).
Images of Eyes Gallery Web site,http://www.imagesofeyes.com/ (January 27, 2007), "Daniel Minter."