Luluwa and Akila (The Sisters of Cain & Able) by Jesse Henry, 1978, Oil on Canvas, 50 x 45.5 inches
Jesse Henry, born December 4th, 1955, at New York City’s Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, has been drawing and playing music for most of his childhood. His family moved from Harlem to Mount Vernon, NY in 1964, where he explored, photographed, and drew nature. These disciplines directed him to an intense study of the elements of art and the elements of music. In 1969 after attending the Black Panther Party meetings in Harlem and Mount Vernon, he began to paint and draw political cartoons as an activist.
Henry received a BFA from Howard University in 1981 and a master’s degree from the College of New Rochelle in 1989. He Is the first African American male to teach art to K-12 graders in the Mount Vernon Public School system from 1984 to 2021. He has also taught art in the Washington, D.C. public school system, and served as an instructor of painting with the D.C. department of corrections in Lorton, VA. His work has extended throughout numerous murals along the east coast, and he has exhibited both nationally and internationally, being represented in private and public collections all over.