*LOS ANGELES, Calif — Internationally renowned artist Synthia Saint James returns to the African American Firefighter Museum (AAFFM) with her Fine Art Fundraiser on Saturday, February 16, 2013 from 1-5 p.m. The event will include a “Conversation with the Artist” from 1:30 – 2:15 p.m. featuring a short video on her career and a Q&A session with the audience.
In 2001, Saint James was commissioned by the International Association of Black Professional Firefighters to create a paintig honoring Black firefighters who lost their lives in the 9/11 attack. This began her deep connection with Black firefighters and their legacy.
She unveiled the painting on Nov. 11, 2001 at the memorial held for the victims and their families in Brooklyn, New York. The painting, “In Unity” now hangs on the walls of the Vulcan Station in Brooklyn. A limited edition fine art reproduction is proudly displayed at AAFFM and prints will be available for purchase at the art event.
Saint James is most celebrated for designing the first Kwanzaa Stamp for the United States Postal Service in 1997, for which she received a History Maker Award, and for the international cover art for Terri McMillan’s book Waiting to Exhale. Her incredible art has been cherished and collected by Johnnie L. Cochran Jr., Alice Walker, Glynn Turman, Brenda Russell, Jenifer Lewis and many more.
The AAFFM, a non-profit organization, is located at 1401 South Central Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90021. The historical building is the first and so far the only free standing African American Firefighter Museum in the United States. The first floor contains vintage photos and stories of pioneering African American Los Angeles firefighters. The Museum gallery is located on the second floor with additional pictures, artifacts and other memorabilia of African American firefighters, captains, chief officers and historical women fire service professionals from around the country. There is also a memorial tribute to the firefighters that perished during the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center in New York City.
Kathy Williamson, AAFFM
Synthia Saint James