CHS Gallery Art Exhibiton
Keith Tolen & Tariq Mix
Brian “The Violinist” McCollough
CHS Gallery and Izms of Art present visual artists Keith Tolen and Tariq Mix. The opening reception will be at CHS Gallery during November’S First Thursdays on Main – Nov 6, 2014, 6 pm – 9 pm. The closing reception will be at CHS Gallery during December’s First Thursday on Main, Dec 4, 2014, from 6 pm – 9 pm.
Sponsored by OnPoint!
Spending time observing the surrounding is easy, the challenge comes when you try to chop life into moments that you can share and remember. This is the goal of Keith Tolen through his artwork. The journey started with a Christmas gift, a camera. This tool placed him on the opposite side allowing him to record images in his story.
He was born in rural South Carolina during a time when there were limited options for young teens. Life could be spent outside in the fields planting and harvesting a variety of fruits and vegetables of spent in the local cotton mill. Keith wanted more, and with the help of his parents was able to open and travel through a door that led to a different path.Keith Tolen is the second of five children born in Batesburg, South Carolina into a hardworking Christian family. He received his education and first taste of art in the public schools of Lexington County. In 1975, he travelled to Orangeburg, SC and studied art education at then South Carolina State College, where he later received a bachelor degree in that field. While at SCSU, now South Carolina State University he met and studied under Dr. Leo Twiggs who was the head of the art program and Dr Terry K. Hunter, educator and printmaker. “The two individuals played a major role in shaping me into the artist I continue to strive to become each day” states Tolen.
Tolen has continued his artistic studies throughout the state with workshops and classes in printmaking, painting and photography.
Tolen has worked, for the past twenty-five years, teaching art to children. He believes that this process has keep him connected to some of the best , brightest and most talented artist of today. As it is said in the book of Proverbs, “Iron sharpens Iron, and so a brother sharpens the continents of another” working with youthful minds has constantly challenged the creative energy that defines this artist.
Tariq Mix was born in Long Island, New York in the spring of 1981. When he was three, his parents moved to Durham, North Carolina. As a young boy, Tariq found that he had a love for art and sports. He was always drawing – in class, in textbooks, on tests, on homework, on his notes, everywhere! When he was not drawing, you could find him racing the boys in the neighborhood, playing football, basketball, or riding his bike through a new trail in the woods.
During his teen years, Tariq began developing his body strength as well as his artistic talent. In high school, he played football and ran track with the dream of competing in professional sports. He worked hard academically and at sports, and was accepted to Howard University in 1999. While at Howard, Tariq received a track scholarship and majored in graphic design and fine arts. It was here that he developed a love for the fine arts and began exploring various mediums. He painted, constructed illustrations and learned about the art of photography.
Tariq received numerous awards for his academic and athletic achievements. He loved competing in track and dreamed of running in the Olympics one day. That dream changed in the spring of 2001. While competing in the Pennsylvania relays, one of the major track meets of the year, Tariq collapsed after running the 100m dash. He was rushed to the hospital and diagnosed with a near-fatal ventricular arrhythmia. He returned to North Carolina and was immediately admitted to Duke Medical Center. After a nine hour procedure on his heart, he was told that he could never compete again.
Although devastated, Tariq would not let this stop him. He could not compete physically, but made up his mind to compete mentally, to keep his soul and talent alive. He would now live through his art work. With vibrant colors, energetic lines and shapes – he breathes. He tells a story in every one of his pieces.