About The Artivist
Ronald Herd II, a.k.a. Bro. Ron, a.k.a. r2c2h2 tha artivist is not only an artist but a protean force of nature. He is a man of immense talents and a multi-faceted personality who is also a multi-disciplinary artist: a 21st Century Renaissance Man. A committed artist and activist, hence the term “artivist,” Bro. Ron uses his talents to participate in social justice movements and to highlight and address historical wrongs.
A graduate of John Overton High School (1998), Washington University in St. Louis (BFA 2002) and Bethel University (MBA 2009) respectively and currently pursuing his Doctorate of Education at Walden University, for 13 years he has had successful one man and group art shows in the U.S. and abroad. In 2004, his art was featured in a group show in Paris, France, curated by the Hip Hop music supergroup The Roots. His W.E. A.L.L. B.E. Radio program http://www.blogtalkradio.com/
The Meeting Of 2 Artivists: Bro. Ron aka R2C2H2 Tha Artivist with the honorable 'hue-manitarian,' comedic legend and master teacher Bro. Dick Gregory: BEYOND CATEGORY!!!
Tha Artivist has interviewed some of the most prominent movers and shakers, icons and iconoclasts of our times including crusading former 2008 U.S. Presidential Green Party candidate the honorable Cynthia McKinney, Jazz great Gerald Wilson, acclaimed historians the late Dr. John Hope Franklin and the late Dr. Manning Marable, renowned psychiatrist and author of "The Isis Papers" Dr. Frances Cress Welsing, the great comedian and 'huemanitarian' Dick Gregory, MLK lawyer and speechwriter ("I Have A Dream") Clarence Jones, award-winning author and journalist Patrice Gaines, author and activist the honorable Judge D'Army Bailey (the founder of The National Civil Rights Museum), the iconoclastic author Sam Greenlee (The Spook Who Sat By The Door), celebrated U.S. Presidential portrait painter Simmie Knox, first Black NASA astronaut candidate and acclaimed sculptor Ed Dwight, The Father Of The Black TV Sitcom Eric Monte (Good Times, Sanford & Son, The Jeffersons), 80s art counterculture icon and the godfather of Hip Hop TV Michael Holman, among countless others.
"Justice For Fire: R.I.P. Frederick Jermaine Carter" (2011) by r2c2h2 tha artivist
Using his media acumen and investigative journalism instincts via his W.E. A.L.L. B.E. Radio platform, R2C2H2 Tha Artivist was among the first stateside to interview key participants in the Jena 6 movement as well as investigate the recent December 2010 hanging death of a young black man named Frederick Jermaine Carter in Greenwood (his work in that case led to the state of Mississippi to finally release the autopsy reports of the deceased after a several week delay) and the August 2009 surreal assault of an unarmed young Black male in Tallahatchie County chased by a drunken militia led by a tank driven by the son of the lawyer who defended Emmett Till's killers and a canine unit from Parchman Penitentiary, both outrageous and stranger than fiction events taking place in the both celebrated and infamous Mississippi Delta.
Bro. Ron is also an award winning author. In 2005, he self-published his first book "James Reese Europe: Jazz Lieutenant" (http://www.jazzlieutenant.
2005 also saw the debut of "The Arthur 'Soldier Boy Grip' Taylor Chronicles" (http://www.soldierboygrip.
In 2007, R2C2H2 started The Jimmie Lunceford Jamboree Festival Movement http://www.jimmielunceford.com to honor the legacy of Jimmie Lunceford, the first Memphis City Schools High School Band Director & Jazz Swing Great. His efforts led to Jimmie Lunceford being honored with a brass note on Beale Street in Memphis, TN, in July 2009 and a Mississippi Blues Trail Marker in his hometown of Fulton, MS, in June 2011.
Tha Artivist with his many pics (photo courtesy of Sis. Damara Rochelle Hamlin)
In Bro. Ron’s Own Words:
My job an artivist (artist + activist) is to actively promote understanding, love and appreciation for the creative arts as well as for creative people. I use my art in particular to break down all types of walls and barriers that people put up either to justify their hatred, prejudice and indifference or because of their ignorance and naiveté towards certain issues and topics concerning people, history and culture(s). One of my main objectives in my profession is to teach the world how to love, not just tolerate black people and other beautiful beings and things! If I reach just one hue-man being then my entire existence in all its meaning will be totally justified!
My art is created through the use and motivation of three of my main passions: art, music and history, in particular African and African American History. I think four of my biggest influences, Jacob Lawrence, El Greco, William H. Johnson and Paul Gaugin, have taught and convinced me that interesting stories can be told in a visually expressive and highly original individual style without the use of the written word. These artists among the countless others that I admire like Picasso, Charles White, Van Gogh, Romare Bearden, Lois Jones, Archibald Motley, George Hunt, Jean Michel Basquiat to musicians Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Run DMC, Louis Armstrong, Robert Johnson, Howling Wolf, Billie Holiday, Robert Johnson, Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington and 2pac remind me through their prolific outputs that research is one of the most important ingredients in forming your own artistic voice. Before I create a series of related artworks I dive deeply into the subject(s) of my choice. I feel artists are like synthesizers, taking in all foreign information and materials, mixing it with the artist's experiences and knowledge and then compressing it into a product made in the artist's likeness or image based on the artist's own ideas and philosophies. All great art to me seems to be those works that have substance and tell unwritten as well as written stories that are to be retold and reinterpreted for years to come. Hopefully my dedication to my art will continue to lead me in this direction.