Sophia Dawson, born February 25, 1988, is a talented and self-motivated African American woman. She is a Brooklyn based artist who discovered her gift while painting a portrait of her father as she studied at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School for Music, Art and Performing Arts. At that very young age of sixteen, she witnessed that her work moved and touched people from all walks of life. She saw that art could be used as a tool to bring people together and to create change.
Sophia soon participated in Groundswell Community Mural Project, a non-profit arts organization, as a teen volunteer. In their afterschool program she had the opportunity to direct her artistic skills towards bringing about social change through designing and creating large-scale murals. The mural projects she participated in transformed various spaces throughout the borough. Sophia took on a leadership role among her teen group and was soon asked to join Groundswell’s team of professional artists. Since then she has worked as a teaching artist in a number of New York based art and cultural organizations.
Sophia received her Bachelors in Fine Arts at the School of Visual Arts in 2010 and her Masters degree in Visual Arts Administration at NYU in 2013. She has participated in group exhibitions in both New York and Los Angeles as well as solo exhibitions at the Corridor Gallery in 2013 and Rush Arts Gallery in 2015. Her work has been featured in the Brooklyn Museum, the Bronx Museum of the Arts in 2015 and published in Say it Loud magazine. Sophia also received commissions by performers such as Lil Mama and Tisha Campbell-Martin and has presented her portraits to Alicia Keys and Kehinde Wiley.
Sophia has given speeches, testimonies and lectures to youth and her peers about her experience as a young black artist and woman. In her talks, she educates on recent black history and emphasizes the importance of overcoming obstacles to achieve one’s goals. Through her art, she aims to raise awareness on the struggles of oppressed people throughout history.
At the age of twenty-five Sophia graduated from New York University with a Masters in Visual Arts Administration. She aims to start an art program that will create an atmosphere where minority youth can address, through art, the issues they face in society. Sophia is currently raising her six-year-old son and is determined to develop her career as a professional artist.