Fine Artist Diana Shannon Young, a world-renowned multicultural artist, artist representative, art event curator, workshop presenter, publisher,and speaker has the distinction of being the Festival's first female Featured Fine Artist. Since 2009, not by conscious intention, the Featured Fine Artist have all been men: Azziz Diagne (2009), Charles Bibbs (2010), Ramses (2011, 2012), Carlos Spivey (2013), and Michael Massenburg (2014). Therefore, it is a welcome relief to have such an accomplished artist that just happens to be a woman provide an exceptional image to represent this years theme, "#Our Voice Matters. Ms. Young's' beautiful "My Voice IS my Vote" image is featured on 65,000 promotional cards, signage and all Official Festival merchandise and materials. Ms. Young will be exhibiting her fine art at the Festival and available to sign the Festival Poster that features .
Diana Shannon Young has always been artistically soul drawing and sketching from an early age. However, she started her artistic journey in the late 70's when a friend convinced her and her husband to join the myriad of would be gallery owners selling inexpensive posters by Rosamond, Klimt, Picasso and more which led to original graphics by Rockwell, Dali, Neiman and others and on to acquiring and representing original work by some of the aforementioned artist and more. Noticing a visible shortage of available artwork by artist of color, they published one of the first full color mail order catalogs devoted to images by artist of the African Diaspora. Thus her creative spirit was rejuvenated and her career and journey as a self taught artist took flight. With a critical eye for color and the ability to strike balance between the familiar and the abstract her work has been well received.
Diana studied art at the collegiate level but primarily self directed her work. She has followed her creative inspirations to heights unconfined yet her art is immediately recognizable. Her work has been featured in National Magazines such as Ebony and The Journal to The National Medical Association as well as LA Weekly Magazine and numerous others.
Her public commissions include but not limited to The March Of Dimes National Office where she created awards for partnering Sororities and Fraternities . She created Collage Painting Awards presented to the six surviving founding members of The Congressional Black Caucus, including creating posters for The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation on three separate occasions. She was also commissioned to create posters for The 25th Anniversary Fundraising poster for The Forum of Black Public Administrators, The 2008 Los Angeles Pan African Film and Art Festival and a special anniversary painting for Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, just to name a few.
Notable shows include solo exhibitions at The African American Museum, Los Angeles, Ca., The Lyceum Theater Museum, San Diego, Ca. and group exhibitions at Bank One Center and Museum Wilmington, DE. and Riverside Art Museum with Elizabeth Catlett, Romare Bearden, Charles Bibbs, Jacob Lawrence and more. She has exhibited at Art Expo NY, Las Vegas and Palm Springs, The Brentwood, CA. Fine Art Show., The National Black Fine Art Show, Harlem Fine Art Show and in Harlem, Martha's Vineyard, and The Monterey California Fine Art Show and more.
Collectors include Ed Gordon, Billy Dee Williams, Barbara Thomas, John And Earl Graves Sr., Alden McDonald, Sheila Webb, and more. Diana delights in creating a place of peace through color, texture and shapes.She is inspired by spontaneous impromptu subject matter thus allowing the rough feel and the soft but vibrant hues to set a mood for each painting. Her paintings reflect spirituality, unity, family, political, botanical, color and form.