Oliver Lake: If I Knew This

April 22 - May 13, 2014
Opening Reception Tuesday April 22, 5-7PM


Born in Arkansas in 1942, internationally reknown musician Oliver Lake also enjoys an impressive career as a painter and poet.  He began drawing at the age of thirteen after his family moved to St. Louis.  Self-taught and drawing inspiration from his African, Chawtow, and American roots, this exhibit features works on canvas, paper and wood ranging from whimsical to spiritual. In addition to flat surface pieces, he continues to paint a series of found natural sticks painted and decorated to tell stories, break spells and power dreams, which he calls ‘Talkin' Sticks.’

Oliver Lake’s energetic style and commitment to multi-disciplinary forms is best stated by his popular poem Separation: “Put all my food on the same plate!” Because whether leading one of his many ensembles, composing commissioned works for the Brooklyn Philharmonic, arranging for Bjork or Lou Reed; collaborating with poet Amiri Baraka or choreographer Ron Brown, performing with Anna Devere Smith or sharing the stage with Mos Def and Me'shell Ndegeocello, everything Oliver Lake creates comes from the same potent source.