The Christian Science Monitor

This artist's vision prioritizes community and healing

Paul Goodnight, shown here in his Boston studio, strives to convey the beauty of the African diaspora, but his work is more than that, too. Source: Alvin Buyinza/The Christian Science Monitor

Inside Paul Goodnight’s art studio, hundreds of vibrant paintings fill the space from floor to ceiling. In each one, black bodies appear to move in intricate ways, and washes of color fill the canvases like spots of colored lights at a disco.

As a painter, Mr. Goodnight strives to convey the beauty of the African diaspora. But his work is more than that: Describing himself as a “citizen first and then an artist,” he uses his paintbrush to tell the stories of communities and present their issues in a new light. Goodnight has gained recognition for his socially conscious work, which spans decades and continents. He has brought students together at a school that was struggling with racism, mentored young artists, and even aided Sierra Leone refugees in coping with trauma

Community artistArt as a healing agentThree groups with an arts component

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