Pheoris West

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Pheoris West is an African-American artist. He has been an associate professor at the Ohio State University College of the Arts since 1976.

Early life[edit]

West studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and earned a Masters of Fine Arts from Yale University.


West's areas of expertise are painting and drawing, computer graphics, and design. His art has been shown in various art displays since 1970. Examples of his work are held in the collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, the Museo Civico D’arts Contemporaneo Di Gibilina, Palermo, Italy, and the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati. He took part in the national touring exhibition “To Conserve a Legacy: American Art from Historically Black Colleges and Universities.” He was a curator for the 1999 "HOMAGE TO JAZZ" at the Martin Luther King Center in Columbus, Ohio. He has also served on the National Endowment of the Arts Expansion Arts Panel, the International Juror National Exhibition of Zimbabwe, and the Ohio Arts Council.

West considers himself an Afrocentric artist. He does not align with modern or post-modern artists. He prefers to integrate the importance of a strong moral society with cultural traditions. Africa is the source for classical art traditions and African and American cultures inspire his imagery. He symbolizes a universal message through the use of traditional tales, mythologies and religion. His most common subject is the black woman. He considers her a symbol for Mother Earth, for the cradle of humanity. She represents the theorized oldest evidence of humanity recently found in Ethiopia. In his work “The Garden” he paints Eve as an enchanting black woman. The painting creates a spiritual energy from the layers of imagery and the balance of color and form.

A solo exhibition "Urban Warriors: A Retrospective"[1] in the Shot Tower Gallery at Fort Hayes, highlights the strength and energy of his body of work.


  1. ^ Dispatch, Melissa Starker, For The Columbus. "Powerful paintings by Pheoris West in retrospective". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 2017-02-21. 

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