Ivy Storehouse recently partnered with Atlanta-based artist Kevin Williams to offer his celebrated painting “The One” in the April #IvyBox. The work was initially commissioned by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated as part of a massive remodeling of the international headquarters. They showcased the depiction of the founding legacy and continued life of the Sorority during the ribbon cutting and open house.
The painting celebrates Ethel Hedgeman Lyle, one of the original “20 Pearls” who founded the Sorority in 1908 on the campus of Howard University. The original has a permanent home in the remodeled Ivy Center. The size included in the April Ivy box was exclusively created for Ivy Storehouse subscribers.
Alpha Kappa Alpha chose Williams to produce the work after reviewing sketches of his design idea. A celebrated artist, Williams tells figurative stories with his paintings and the artworld has taken notice. His pieces have earned a place among the world’s most widely circulated urban fine art.
Williams spoke about his life and career at a multi-cultural art collective. He explained how he began his journey into the art world at age 15, drawing images for clothing boutiques and hair salons in Chicago’s Historic East 87th Street Black Business District. He became a cosmetology illustrator for Soft Sheen at the age of 19, which eventually led to a commission from Alberto Culver USA to create for the Motions hair care line. “Standing Appointment” brilliantly depicts four women under hair dryers and is widely considered one of the most popular art images ever utilized within the hair care industry.
Bernie Mac also recognized Williams’ unique talents, commissioning the artist to create more than 20 original pieces. He gifted one of of those pieces to Oprah Winfrey who displays it in the lobby of her Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa.