Life.  ‘Life’, as we know it, began for Ukwensi April 17, 1969.  Ukwensi grew up, son of Havana aka JJ (1945-1991) and step-son to Earl (Mac), traveling the country with the US Navy.  His young life filled with exposure to multiple cultures, always seeking out the beauty… not only in the people, but in nature, in colors, in surroundings, and in culture. That is what Ukwensi gives the most credit for his inspiring artwork that he does today.

Ukwensi was drawn to the beauty and expression of art as a young teen.  An early favorite… Gustav Klimt’s ‘Judith’.  Full of color, glamour and beauty.  Later it would be Peter Maxx’s 60’s psychedelic pieces that caught his attention and imagination.  

Maui 1997, a new home for Ukwensi and the origin of his talent and technique that he uses today.  While living on Maui (1996-2013); Ukwensi immersed in the contemporary art scene at galleries owned by local artists. It is to those Artists and the urging of close family and lifelong friends…. to whom Ukwensi is forever grateful of their influence.  Ukwensi also began living life to the philosophy of “Gnothi Seauton” – ‘Know Thyself’.  Once you know Ukwensi, you understand.  A man that lives life honestly, lovingly, passionately and to the fullest.  Believing in positive manifestation to the universe.  Truly knowing thyself. 

Art.  Ukwensi’s Art is created through a mixture of color, movement, texture, and the viewers imagination.  His hope is that every viewer sees something unique to them.  A personal moment with the piece… a connection.  A connection to the basis of creation.  The explosion of a newly born galaxy; the swirling of a whirlpool; the inside of geodes; gemstones; texture; nature.  His unique technique adds to the beauty of each piece.  Making each piece a one of a kind and not able to be replicated.  Cementing its existence in space and time.  Staking its place in the universe.  We hope you enjoy….

Bio written by his loving husband – James McCray

Ukwensi Chappell
Ukwensi ChappellArtist and Gallery Owner
With the support of his loving husband James McCray, family, and a great many friends, Ukwensi will open Gallerie Ukwensi on April 20th 2018 in the historic Ghent area of Norfolk Virginia. Check out the event and show up if you can.
Visit the Gallery of Works by Ukwensi Chappell