U.S. artist Leroy Campbell arrived in Turkey to hold a series of creative workshops between March 6 and 21 as part of International Women’s Day (March 8) activities.
After holding a creative workshop under the theme of “Happy Memories” at the Children Care House for Girls in Ankara, Campbell met youngsters in Isparta, Burdur, and Denizli.
Ankara was the first stop of “Creative Workshops with Leroy Campbell” which runs the theme of “Happy Memories”. The program was made possible by the cooperation between the U.S. Embassy in Ankara and TOBAV (The State Theatre, Opera and Ballet Employees Foundation), with further contributions and support from the Ministry of Family and Social Policy, Ankara Directorate of Children Care Houses for Girls, the Provincial Directorate of Ministry of Family and Social Policy in Burdur, Denizli Metropolitan Municipality, Hand-in-Hand Foundation for Social Solidarity and Support, and the Western Mediterranean Development Agency (BAKA).
Campbell held a workshop for students at the Children Care House for Girls in Ankara between March 7 and 9.
Approximately 60 female students who participated in the workshop made drawings using Campbell’s unique artistic technique. On the second day of the workshop, in which Campbell paid special attention to each student, the U.S. Ambassador to Turkey’s wife Holly Holzer Bass also took part in the creative workshop and drew together with the girls. During the event, both Campbell and Holzer Bass highlighted the importance of young women gaining new skills through education and empowering them to become self-confident and self-sufficient individuals.
Following the activities in Ankara, Campbell was in Isparta between March 11-13 to visit the Hand-in-Hand Foundation for Social Solidarity and Support. His next two stops were Burdur’s Zekai Piribas Support Center for Children between March 14-16, and Denizli Metropolitan Municipality’s “Young Denizli” Painting Club for the two following days. In all of the three cities, Campbell met with youngsters and women.
“The experience that I just had in three days was perfect. I have just experienced so much love, so much affection, and so much kindness and care from these girls. I could relate to them because I too grew up with pain of my childhood. My family was dysfunctional, my father beating my mother throughout my grade school years, and their eventually leaving us— me, and my brothers and sisters while we were all in high school. So I know what they are feeling about themselves, the lack of self-esteem, not having the love of the family. So, it is important to show that love. Love gave me a new path in life. That is what I wanted to do here. I am here to give the same love to them. In life, don’t give up on looking forward,” said Campbell.
“Art is medicine. It is therapy. For me, my art literally saved my spirit life, and made me find my place in life. I am in Turkey right now because of my art,” he commented. “Art allows you to get access to your potential, and you need to know that you have potential.”
South Carolina native and New York City ripened fine artist Leroy Campbell has no formal training in arts. His work is inspirited with such venerated artists as Jacob Lawrence and Charles Motley, and infused with Gullah – Geechee roots, post Renaissance vibes of Harlem and Brooklyn, and the 1980s African cultural resurgence.
Through nostalgic scenes and universal themes, he illustrates the art of storytelling using mélanges of acrylic, paper, tapestries and organic materials. His work is a fusion of art and history that celebrates family and community culture.
For more information about the artist, you can visitwww.leroycampbelloriginals.com.