Thearthur Wright is a pointillist bleach artist who expresses the culture of blackness in his paintings. Wright uses the simplicity of his minimalist tools to express what cannot be said, and to emphasize the black experience and feelings: to create a spiritual connection most importantly with the things that are often inexpressible, but which reach out to the heart and soul, and connect to truth. 

Thearthur Wright was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1940. He attended high school in Seattle, Washington, and later pursued college at Central Washington State. He served in the Air Force, and after being discharged from his station in Japan, he settled in the Bay Area in 1964. There, he published his writings and sold art in the early seventies. Thearthur became a board member of the Artship, a seaborne arts venue in Oakland, a position he maintained until 2004. In 2003, Wright sold his “‘Califia, Queen of California” for the 2003 Carnaval in San Francisco. Throughout his career, his works have made appearances at colleges all around California: UCLA, Stanford, Santa Rosa, Sonoma, and others. Presently, Wright is part of the board of directors for Prescott-Joseph, a non-profit organization in Oakland, California. 

One of Wright’s first major launches as an artist was his “Califia, Queen of California” painting, which shows careful gold accents in great quantities. This painting, along with many of Wright’s other artistic works, have been featured in the African American Historical and Cultural Society Museum in San Francisco, which also exhibited other artists’ interpretations of Queen Califia. 

The painting below is titled “Can You Hear the Drums Beat?” and is inspired by the African drums beaten by Zulu Drummers. Found under Wright’s “African” paintings, this giclee canvas is currently available for purchase.

Image result for thearthur wright can you hear the drums beat


  • One of Wright’s most well-visited haunts in the Bay Area is the Artship at 88 Perry St in San Francisco, which aims to showcase new, creative styles of art for those breaking into the industry. Wright, who is a board member of the Artship, dedicates his time to the organization, collaborating with arts agencies, various artists, and foundations to re-create a new artistic community. An old warship has been renovated to provide a seaborne arts space for the Artship community. 
  • Another haunt of Wright’s is the Prescott-Joseph Center for Community Engagement, where he is on the board of directors. Located in West Oakland, this center is for community services, culture, and education to serve the local community. To help maintain the community of West Oakland, this center offers computer literacy classes, celebrating the arts, and tutoring for schools. It is located at 920 Peralta Street, Oakland, CA 94607.
  • Finally, another Bay Area location that Wright frequents is the African American Historical and Cultural Society Museum in San Francisco, where one of his most popular paintings (Califia) was featured. It is here that he was able to showcase his most popular work. This museum is located at 726 Fulton Street, 2nd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94115.

~ by Patricia Dalao ~

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