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Valerie Francis

Knowhere Art Gallery

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DATE, 2021




OAK BLUFFS, MARTHA’S VINEYARD (DATE) – Knowhere Art is pleased to announce its art fair debut at Scope Miami, November 30 to December 5, Booth D03. The gallery will present new works by LeRone Wilson and Charly Palmer. Both artists made their Martha’s Vineyard debut this summer with Knowhere Art, which has two gallery locations in Oak Bluffs, MA, as part of separate group exhibitions that resulted in acquisitions by private collections across the country.


The two man exhibition will feature a new series of Wilson’s signature beeswax tondos that explore themes of history, nature and spirituality, and Palmer’s figurative canvases that draw from contemporary and historical cultural references. The artists celebrate Black life and ancestry.


Wilson has mastered the use of beeswax as his medium over two decades of working with the material. He creates his work by melting a mixture of beeswax, carnauba wax resin and powder pigment into one solvent - a process akin to how the bees create their hives. With an assortment of palette knives, he builds up and carves the surface in layers then fuses each layer with heat. The process is very physical and time consuming and results in a minimal, translucent and highly textured surface. The works reflect Wilson’s ongoing discovery of the historical significance of beeswax in practice as a contemporary art form and material in relation to its ancient African origins and its natural creators - the bees.


Palmer employs his graphic design background to create canvases that vividly capture images of recognizable personalities. He layers mediums and imagery to speak on past and present social issues that evoke a sense of hope. His album design cover for singer John Legend followed by his commissioned cover for Time Magazine in 2020 propelled Palmer prominently into the realm of figurative portraits. Palmer will present a series of large paintings of composite figures and recurring characters


LeRone Wilson (b. 1968; Chicago, IL) is a sculptor and painter living and working in New York. His primary medium is beeswax, the oldest form of painting, used by the ancient Kemetic people to create and preserve art. His sculpted encaustic paintings explore the complexities of the historical and cultural inferences of spirituality, history and identity

The foundation of LeRone’s ability to create starts with his ancestry - specifically, his parents. LeRone began to manipulate materials from an early age, observing and learning from his father, a mechanical engineer, who taught him to weld. Meanwhile, from his mother, a talented artist in her own right, LeRone honed an eye for color and composition.


Wilson obtained his BFA from the University of Chicago Illinois where he studied sculpture, painting and drawing under the great Kerry James Marshall, Tony Tasset, Julia Fish and Rodney Carswell. He first became interested in encaustic while in Chicago, building on his knowledge of welding and interest in combining his training in sculpture with painting. He settled in New York in the early 2000s where in addition to building his practice and mastering his medium, he continued to work as an art handler at top institutions like The Whitney Museum, The Smithsonian and the Studio Museum.


Wilson’s work has been shown in fairs, galleries and institutions across the country including SCOPE Art Fair, SPRING/BREAK Art Show, Intersect Aspen, N’Namdi, White Box, Rush Arts, Dallas Museum of African American Art and Knowhere Art. At the 2011 Art Basel, he was selected as the winner of the Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series Award, beating out over 4,000 artists that entered the national competition. His work is a part of multiple private and corporate collections including Love, Luck and Faith, Peggy Cooper Cafritz, Jerry Speyer, Beth Rudin Dewoody, Oxford Properties and The Studio Museum in Harlem. In 2020 - 2021, Wilson had a solo exhibition at Bill Hodges Gallery located in Chelsea, New York, was featured the the Uptown Triennial at Columbia University, and curated the Harlem Black Lives Matter Street Mural which will be featured at an upcoming exhibit at the Cooper Hewitt Museum in New York this spring.


LeRone works from his studio in the Bronx, New York.


Charly Palmer (b. 1970, Fayette, Alabama) is a graphic designer, educator and illustrator raised in Milwaukee. He relocated to Chicago to study Art and Design at the American Academy of Art and School of the Art Institute. As an instructor, he teaches design and illustration and painting at the post-secondary level—most recently—Spelman College. Currently, Palmer devotes his life to his creative goals and has established himself as a fine artist of note.


In his youth, Palmer was fascinated by illustrations in Ezra Jack Keats’ The Snowy Day for the random geometric shapes, the simplicity of layered textures and patterns, and the mix of bold colors.


Charly Palmer’s work is in private and public collections which include Atlanta Life Insurance, McDonald’s Corporation, Miller Brewing Company, the Coca Cola Company and Vanderbilt University. His previous work, His Story, belonging to the estate of Maya Angelou, was auctioned by Swann Gallery in 2015. Palmer’s work was commissioned for the 1996 Olympics and the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau. Palmer recently illustrated two children's books,There's A Dragon In My Closet and Mama Africa—a children’s book chronicling the life of Miriam Makeba--for which he received the 2018 Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award. In 2020, he designed the cover of TIME Magazine: America Must Change. He has exhibited at multiple galleries and institutions including Stella Jones Gallery, Akwaaba Gallery, Hammonds House Museum, Spence Gallery, African American Museum of Southern New Jersey. Palmer was also the 2018 recipient of the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Illustrator Award.


He currently lives and works in Atlanta, GA.


Knowhere Art is a contemporary art gallery for inspiring and informative story-telling. Established in 2019 by Valerie Francis and Ralph Groce III, Knowhere’s mission is to create an inviting and accessible art platform for artists, guests and patrons alike. Knowhere Art presents work from a diverse range of emerging, mid-career and established artists based both on and off the island of Martha’s Vineyard. Their focus is on historically under-represented artists


Knowhere Art has two locations in Oak Bluffs, Martha’s Vineyard. The flagship location is 91 Dukes County Road, Oak Bluffs. Center of Knowhere is 73 Circuit Avenue, Oak Bluffs.


For more information visit


Valerie Francis is the director and chief curator of Knowhere Art Gallery. After graduating from Hunter College with a BFA in Printmaking, Interior & Architectural Design, and an MBA in Marketing from Rutgers Business School, Francis amassed a wealth of experience in the global health and technology field with over a decade in the public health sector with Sanofi. Francis serves on the board for Artists for Humanity (Boston, MA), the Leo Project (Nanyuki, Kenya), and the Martha’s Vineyard Center of Visual Arts.


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Knowhere Art Gallery offers an avenue to explore the world through art as a means to find yourself and your path.



Knowhere Art Gallery offers an avenue to explore the world through art as a means to find yourself and your path.

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