Campbell, Leroy

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.
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