African American Paintings

An online art gallery and store created by African American artists for the enjoyment and empowerment of our African American brothers and sisters

About African American Artist Charles Lilly

Phone/fax: 718.323.4666

Charles Lilly has been a father, an art teacher/instructor, a commercial artist, an exhibit coordinator, an award winner, a guest lecturer, an organization founder, an activist, an entrepreneur, and a believer in God. He's always been a loving son to his parents (deceased) and that love passed onto his son Eliott... his most impressive and in his words "my greatest work of art". From his earliest surviving drawing at age 6 till his latest present day work, one thing is clear... he's always been an artist.

A graduate of the School of Visual Arts in 1970, Lilly became an 'illustrator' which spanned over 30 years. Recently he's turned his focus to fine art and plans to create new works for his life's pursuit, a series he calls 'Black Life in America', which will chronicle the ordinary every day existence of an extraordinary people, from coast to coast and from north to south. Lilly says "It is my intention that when future African American children (or any children) and adults alike visit various museums, they will see realistic oil painted documents of us (themselves) doing what we do and being how we be, and thus knowing 'Our' importance in 'This' society"; quiet as it's been kept.

Coming from a commercial art background, Lilly has painted a huge assortment of people, places, and things. Some of his favorites and most memorable are 'Malcolm X', 1973, originally painted for Encore Magazine and the next year became the well known cover of 'The Autobiography of Malcolm X', by Alex Haley. Then, too, there was 'Hanibal', painted for Budweiser's 'Great Kings of Africa' series in 1979. More recently there's 'Crispus Attucks', February, 1999 painted for Crisis Magazine/NAACP, and 'Mt. Freedom', painted for the cover of Dr. Molefi Kete Assante's book 'African American History 2002' A Journey of Liberation, the People Publishing Group, NJ.

Now the stage is set for the next phase of Lilly's life, where-in he will decide what images he wishes to leave behind for Eliott's generation and those yet to come. 'Black Life' has never looked so good and held in such high esteem, as in the capable hands of the artist by the name of 'Charles Lilly'.

Honors and Awards:
Arts Achievement Award from Helen Marshall Queens Borough President.
Photo Opt with Mayor David Dinkins/ presentation of campaign portrait.
Certificates of Merit (1 dozen) from the Society of Illustrators Annual National Exhibition, NY.
Two Awards of Merit from the Art Director's Club, NY.
One Show Merit Award/AD & Copy Club, NY
Two Awards of Merit/ Society of Publication Designers
Print Casebooks 2 Certificate of Design Excellence
Four CEBA Awards for Excellence

Clients (partial list):
AT&T, Bell Atlantic (Now Verizon), New Jersey Bell,
Bank of New York, Bank One, Anheuser Busch/Budweiser, Coors Breweries, Miller Brewing Co, Seagram's, Smirnoff, Windsor Canadian, Cutty Sark, Pepsi Cola Corp.(Pepsico), General Services
Administration (Federal Government/ African Burial Ground, NYC.), ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, RCA, United Artist,
Columbia Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Congressional Black Caucus,
Avon Books, Ballantine Books, Bantam Books, Double Day Books,
Dell Books, Harper Collins Books, Putnam Books, Readers Digest, Scholastic Books, Boys Life Magazine, Playboy Magazine,
Redbook Magazine, United Negro College Fund, NAACP/ Crisis Magazine.

The White House, Wash. DC, Blue Room - Christmas Tree Ornament
The African Burial Ground, NY (Viewing Room)
York College/Dr. M.L. King annual exhibit, NY
Hampton University, Va.
NYC Public Schools, District 29, Boston Public School System
Langston Hughes Community Cultural Center Library, NY
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, NY
Afro-American Historical Society Museum, Jersey City, NJ
Miami, Dade County Cultural Center Library
Hawaii Public Library
Kennedy Center, Dallas, Texas
Washington DC Convention Center/Congressional Black Caucus
PEPSICO (Pepsi) Headquarters, Purchase, NY
NYC Department of Parks, Arsenal
NY Coliseum Expo
DuSable Museum, Chicago
Ray Landis Gallery, NJ
Dr. & Mrs. Darc(Grand Daughter of Seward Johnson- of Johnson & Johnson) Estate, New Brunswick, NJ