Baruti Tucker, Resident Artist
Baruti was born Richard Tucker in 1966, to Atherline Smith and Richard T. Tucker in Staten Island, NY. He has been in the artistic arena since age 12 when he began drawing comic book characters with a childhood friend. He later moved from New York to Panama City Florida where upon graduating from high school, enrolled into Haney Institute to study art illustration; and later enrolled in Fashion Institute of Technology (FITNYC). Upon graduation he worked for L & H Greeting Cards as an illustrator. He has worked in the community of NYC teaching art to elementary to high school children; as well as young adults. Baruti’s art is exhibited throughout New York City.
Baruti relocated to Augusta, Georgia in May 2011. Currently he teaches visual arts at C.H. Terrell Academy and Jessye Norman School of the Arts, as well as offering private art classes in Augusta, Georgia. Affectionately called “Brother B” by many of his colleagues, students and friends, he not only has a passion for art, he is committed to working with young people as a youth mentor. He founded S.T.R.O.N.G. ROOTS; a mentoring program that captures the minds and spirit of young men in the community in 1999(under the name Brother2Brother, and has resumed its programming in Augusta. Baruti is the Co-Founder/Owner of Humanitree House, LLC and Creative Director. Baruti has Tahirah Greene (Harlem, NY) and Song and Sol Tucker (Atlanta, GA) and is Father by Love to two additional, Symphoni Wiggins and Jordan Lipscomb. Baruti is married to Denise Tucker. Baruti has authored one publication entitled “Metatalah” which is scheduled for release on January 15, 2014.
Making art is the clearest way I know to communicate. My work is inspired by human forms, elements (earth, air, water, fire), nature, sweeping landscapes, jazz, comic books, my children, my dreams, fears, frustrations, spirituality, and the Hue-man experience. It is my belief that all things are connected and I cannot separate them in my mind, my spirit, or in my art. I begin my work by journaling. Through my uncensored thoughts, I take note of themes and recurring concepts. From there, I begin to collect references that help me to visually piece it all together, sort of like making a story board in film. I carry my sketchbook and ink pen with me everywhere. Once I am ready to create, on canvas I begin with the foundation, beginning with the big picture and moving onto the details. I paint only with my hands, using a technique I have termed as “Ahfingah”. The brush, to me, is a foreign object that separates me from the art. When I use my fingers, I am reminded that the original people of the earth used their fingers to paint and tell their stories to the world. I feel directly connected to the universe through my art.
My work is organized into themes and series. When the work is going well, I am filled with a sense of responsibility to bring the piece into fruition. I know a work is complete when I can envision a series based on the piece. It is my hope that the work inspires a sense of community, conversation, and a charge to heal the self and heal the earth.
My technique is an exploration of painting with "fingers". A technique I call Ahfingah. Ahfingah is meditative, controlled breathing, concentrated circular motion of the fingers while using paint to define light and dark shapes with colors that vibrate.