Collection: Leroy Campbell

For over two decades, Charleston, South Carolinian, self-taught, mixed-media visual artist, Leroy Campbell has painstakingly captured the essence and emotion of god-fearing, self-reliant, proud, and intelligent subjects of his Gullah childhood through acrylic mix-media collage-on-canvas artworks that display a deliberate choice of vintage quilted fabrics, news print clippings, burlap, threads, and elements of southern terrain. Many call his work 'old spirit art' because each piece reflects community and memories of those that made a difference in his life. Fellowship and a strong community rank high in Campbell's life priorities and he finds that powerful.

In 1983 Campbell accidentally embarked upon a career as a visual artist. Campbell while in New York, visited The Studio Museum of Harlem exhibition of esteemed Charlotte, NC born African-American artist Romare Bearden whose works involved collage technique and consistently depicted African-American culture. It was then that Campbell began to reflect and appreciate his home even more. Campbell's vision to tell his story was instilled and his first series, "The Neckbone Series" was born.

His most recent series, "The Gullah Collection", features news print as its most dominant feature. His use of newspaper signifies more than one denotation. On one hand, it represents the Gullah rituals of witchcraft to who by papering the walls of their houses with news print protected them against and rid of curses and dangerous spirits. Yet simultaneously the newspaper serves a time capsule, since upon a closer glance, the news clippings are excerpts from "The Black Chronicle" newspaper as compiled by the late documentarian Henry Hampton. Exemplified in pieces 'Bear Paw', 'Endurance', 'Quiet Strength', and 'Piece of Mind', "The Gullah Collection" triumphantly details the palpable, unwavering strength and perseverance of people of African ancestry during the late 1800's through mid 1960's.