NewsUplifting Arizona


Emerging Black artist hoping to inspire youth

Posted at 4:53 PM, Feb 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-11 20:52:46-05

PHOENIX — A touch of jazz music helped to set the mood at the Pink Elephant Art Gallery on Friday. Inside, emerging artist Aaron Marner used his imagination and pallets of color to carve out creativity across the canvas.

“I kind of just go with the flow, for me it’s just about a finished look,” said Marner gliding a pallet knife of yellow across the canvas.

His artwork in oil was recently spotlighted by the Phoenix Art Museum and Arizona State University.

It’s a long hard-fought dream that is now becoming reality for the self-taught artist from Phoenix.

“I think sometimes it gets a little unnerving to people that all I talk about sometimes is art, but I think that’s just how you have to get when you’re doing something,” said Marner, who spends more time at his studio than at home.

It’s a drive that recently allowed him to open his own gallery off 7th Avenue and Indian School Road, just a few short miles from where he grew up. It’s a success story he now hopes to use to open the door for other black artists.

“Growing up not seeing people who look like me being in this field of painting or having a gallery or any of those things, I think the representation of that is very important,” said Marner.

He envisions as his increasingly showcased work is shown, it can inspire young artists to see themselves more in a world historically difficult to penetrate for African Americans.

The first step of which was taken when the Phoenix Children’s Museum hosted a solo exhibit of his artwork.

“My thing is, kids will see it, you get one kid who says oh I can do that because we have representation of things that we think are available to us, so seeing something different I think is important,” said Marner.

It's an important mission helping to create a renewed picture of a world, vibrant in diversity, allowing those dissevering of the chance to show what they can do.