Patrick Campbell

We are pleased to use Patrick Campbell's painting The New Age of Slavery for our conference identity. Patrick has provided thoughtful, moving comments on his life as an artist and the context of his image. He can be reached on Facebook.

Patrick Campbell

Patrick Campbell


I was born in Maryland and raised in Washington DC. I am the fourth out of five boys my parents have. I've been drawing my whole life, I chose to go to Duke Ellington school of the Arts which was/is my passion. On October 10, 2004 i turned 14 years old, as a high school freshman. Two days later, I suffered a stroke that left him paralyzed on his right side. As an active teen who played 4 different sports and danced this was hard to handle not being able to do these things. But most of all, I had been right-handed and it rendered me unable to draw, for that matter write. 

I was wheelchair bound, I went through physical and speech therapy during my stay at the National Rehabilitation Hospital in DC. For a moment I had given up on drawing, my speech therapist encouraged me to draw Winnie the Pooh with my left hand and I refused at first. Finally, I tried and was so discouraged by how awful it was. I kept practicing though, and within a couple of weeks, I was able to draw cars in the parking lot with great accuracy. By the time I was discharged from the hospital 4 days before Christmas (2 months after his stroke), I could draw with my left hand just as well as I was drawing with his right, my dominate hand.I am no longer wheelchair bound but walking (with a limp). I graduated from High School and went all the way across the state to go to college with some stumbles I finally graduated from California College of the Arts with a BFA in illustration. Art has always been my way of expression, a passion of mine. 

The New Age of Slavery, 2014

People asked “How did you come up with this painting? Is there a specific message that you would like for viewers to take away from your paintings? Are or would you like to be a activist?“ and other questions. My answer to those questions is quite simple I was tired of the deaths of one ethnicity especially coming from a people who are supposed to protect us from crime and keep us safe. The art piece is connected by truth, past and present, hoping that these instances won’t happen again in the future.

I am African American, I’m not going to say that all the media attention to police violence against “black people” doesn’t affect me but it has been building up. It’s not just happening in the states but all around the world. History talks about African American and other entices getting killed; being sold into slavery etc., I just had enough of history essentially repeating its self, hence “The New Age of Slavery”

To illustrate what others are afraid of bringing to the forefront! I wanted to do movie posters, create video games but instead I felt compelled, to do this, not because it was/is happening now, because I felt like it was enough. People get tired of hearing or reading the same thing.  Racisim through out the world is real and its also stupid Still have people who are perpetuating the stereotype. We’re all humans no matter how important you think you are. People forget what they are told when there little “treat others the way you want to be treated”