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ART IS FOREVER
"NEVER GIVE UP"
These are the ever-lasting mother -to-son words spoken into the life of what would later become one of America's most gifted artistes, Lydell Martin. His signature pieces, which are rich with vibrant colors and diverse in bedazzled accents, have given personality to vases, plates and other inimitable items that have been received by an array of dignitaries and celebrities to include but not be limited to Tyler Perry, Aretha Franklin, Muhammad Ali, Harry Belafonte and even the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama.
These are major accomplishments for a self-taught artist who has been honing his craft since the tender age of 10. Martin learned early on, after moving to Atlanta in 1971 from Macon, Georgia that he would need to grab hold of something he could do well so that his gift could be nurtured.
"My move to Atlanta put me in company of other kids who were already focused on the things they knew how to do," Lydell reflects.
"For me, I knew I could draw. Even at the young age of 10, teachers were coming to me for my drawings."
As Lydell grew older, he learned to enhance his skills set by incorporating the use of the computer. He and his wife , Cepada, of 39 years started their art and design studio designing one of a kind awards for corporations. Lydell's first big break came when founder/executive director for the Trumpet Awards Foundation Xernona Clayton commissioned Lydell to paint the recipients for the 1996 awards which included Tiger Woods, Harry Belafonte, Kathleen Battle, Johnnie Cochran, amongst others. He also had the opportunity to have his vases merchandised in 450 J.C. Penney stores throughout the country.
Lydell's unique style has brought him much acclaim. Some of his commissions include Arista Records ( The Aretha Franklin Project ) , The National Conference of Black Mayors, American Red Cross, Spelman College, South Carolina State College.
He has achieved international acclaim when he was selected to represent the United States at the International Conference of Mayors in Africa. His most recent achievement is that of being selected by the City of College Park Georgia to create a super heroes series for the
youth of College Park Georgia.
WRITTEN BY ALONIA JONES