The Rapidian

The Artists of Heartside Gallery and Studio--Tommie Wallace (TownHouse AuKMed)

This dispatch was added by one of our Nonprofit Neighbors. It does not represent the editorial voice of The Rapidian or Community Media Center.

"As food is to water, I have been drawing and painting and sculpting for some 40 years, plus!"

/Heartside Gallery and Studio

Underwriting support from:
Tommie with a painting of Maya Angelou

Tommie with a painting of Maya Angelou /Heartside Gallery and Studio

Our featured artist for December is Tommie Wallace. Here is a little about the artist, in his own words:

"I am the artist Tommie C. Wallace (TownHouseAuKMed) , living in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan on January 20th, 1959. I attended school K-12th grade, earning my High School diploma in 1977. Ever since I was a young age I was always interested in drawing.  One of my neighbors said I was a good painter, and he was an older painter and an artist. Some of my favorite artists are as follows: Charles White, Paul Collins, Hale Woodruff, Archibald Motley, Henry Ossawa, Michelangelo.  

Art is my life. As food is to water, I have been drawing and painting and sculpting for some 40 years, plus! While in college I majored in Fine Arts, and earned a BA in July of 1983 from Wilberforce University. Also in 1980 I became a member of the National Conference of Black Artists in America. I was also accepted in an art exhibition in Battle Creek, which was the 12th Michigan Artist Competition in 1995. I have also been commissioned to do several murals in Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids. 

Most of my inspiration truly comes from the African, African-American experience, and the expression exhibited in the nature and soul of our beings. I draw the spirits of my ancestors and their ancestors. For me it’s the forgotten voices that touch my soul, and that gives the shape and texture and composition which make for a very fine piece of artwork. 

As to what I think is my place on this planet, it is to be very creative in the molding of the African and African-American experience here and abroad-- that is my quest and my outright duty that has been bestowed onto me as a vessel. From God and from the nostril that blows breath in the soul of my body and hands, this is my special gift."


The Artists of Heartside Gallery and Studio is a monthly feature to highlight some of the wonderful people of the Heartside neighborhood. Visit , Facebook and our Flickr page to keep up with us, to learn about volunteering and other ways to get involved.

Sarah Scott is Arts Coordinator for Heartside Gallery and Studio at Heartside Ministry, and can be reached at [email protected]

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