Cleaster Cotton is an African American painter and photographer. Born into a large, close-knit family, Cleaster was lovingly raised by southern parents, in the heart of Brooklyn, New York. Her approach as a contemporary and figurative artist is organic, innovative, unexpected, and honest with a refreshing use of texture, shape, line, and color. She manipulates conventional and unconventional materials to produce an eclectic range of vibrant paintings that are often environmentally interactive. Textured paintings play with the light, change with lighting... with the viewer’s perspective, and with solar and lunar shifts. Throughout the day and evening, the narrative unfolds and reveals itself. At age five Cleaster was inspired to be an artist by her mother. She created her first line of greeting cards and fell in love with art. Geometrics were at the core of her mother’s training, and geometrics continue to inform Cleaster’s artistic expressions and teaching style. Her mother’s early training lead Cleaster to inventing the Modern Day Hieroglyphics - ALNUGE "al-new-gee" ALNUGE Code Games and Puzzles is fun, game-based education that fosters interactive learning, creativity, cognition, invention, innovation, and brain health. Cotton has used the ALNUGE Coding System to teach K12+ art and academic education for over a decade. Cleaster worked in corporate America for several years before becoming self-employed. She is a Contemporary Primitive Artist and Exo Expressionist Artist. She is a certified Master Teaching Artist, and has served the Westchester Arts Council, Georgia Council of the Arts, Museum Design of Atlanta, High Museum of Arts, UNCA, Asheville City Schools Foundation, LEAF Community Arts and Boards of Education across the nation. Cleaster has taught thousands of children and has facilitated art- based professional development workshops for hundreds of teachers, parents, as well as academic, arts, and community professionals. She is an advanced open-water SCUBA diver, an organic gardener, martial artist, and gourmet chef. She is a Cultural Conservationist who treasures spending quality time with family and friends. Cleaster enjoys the theatre, travelling, film, dining, dancing, and laughter. Cleaster Cotton is loved and loving.
The Contemporary Primitive Art Creative Process / Professional Development / Arts In Education (PreK-12+) / Cultural Conservation / Equity from the Perspective of an African American Woman / Self-Empowerment Through Self-Expression (SETSE) / Enriching and Empowering Communities Through the Arts / Grant and Proposals
Additional Funding and Sponsorship for Arts Programming / Collaboration / Partnerships with Established Arts Entities whose desire is Diversity in Creativity / Identifying welcoming Arts Partners with Creative Spaces where I can ‘throw paint’ or ‘paint conservatively’ when I travel nationally and Internationally
Continue to trust yourself on your journey growing your art and your business. It’s all in how you perceive things... Another way to perceive ‘No’ is ‘On’.
I most admire God... because it is always healthy for offspring to admire their Parent(s).
My superpower is a package... although not secret is originality, compassion, communication and my smile... it lets the sun shine into deep spaces and places.
My only career is Freedom... creativity, communication, true education and innovation are my tools.
What I remember ~ without effort ~ is Ancestry, Authenticity, Art and Love.
“We are all artists at birth. I love the powerful healing qualities of art and the way it embraces and joins people across the planet like global glue. Art nurtures children to grow into creative, productive adults - and grows adults into innocent children with uncharted imaginations. As a visual story teller and cultural conservationist... like my Nubian ancestors of Ancient Kemet, authors of the Hieroglyphics, who built the Great Pyramids containing treasures unparalleled, and my Dogon ancestors (in the Cliffs of Bandiagara) whose primitive markings revealed previously unlocked mysteries in the Solar System... my paintings hold important messages about and for nature, humanity and the exos. Have fun experiencing and ‘reading’ my art. Enjoy the colors and play with the codes.” ~ Cleaster Cotton, Contemporary Primitive Artist, Educator, Inventor, Author