The OHS Press

Leroy Campbell visits OHS

Ewan Woolcock, Staff Reporter

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On Thursday, Mar. 15, the renowned artist, Leroy Campbell came to Okemos High School. Campbell is known for his distinct style of not having any faces in his paintings. Instead, he has silhouettes of people and only draws their lips. As well as his distinct silhouette style, he is known for his Gullah influence. The Gullah are African Americans who live in Georgia and South Carolina. They developed a creole language, the Gullah language, and a culture rich in African influences.

Pam Williams was the person behind the scenes that made it all happen.

“I went to Savannah, Georgia to learn about the Gullah culture and he [Leroy Campbell] came to talk about his art and his culture,” Williams said.

Williams was moved by the way he spoke about not just his art, but about himself and how the Gullah culture formed who he was. She believed that students at OHS could learn from him.

“I applied for a grant that paid for his flight and speaking fees to bring him here,” Williams said.  

He spoke about his art in several classrooms as well as FLEX and AP Art.

Campbell began his art on the streets, despite his disability. He has phocomelia (malformation of his hand), which he said drove him to become the best artist he could be, despite people attempting to bring him down.

Today, Campbell has become a famous artist with many well-known people buying his art, including Usher and Mary J. Blige.

You can contact Leroy Campbell by emailing him at [email protected].

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Leroy Campbell visits OHS