Brooklyn-based fine artist W. Henry Eccleston brings a multitude of talents and training to his vibrant art. Owner of the I Art I Gallery on Glenwood Road, Eccleston is a native of Jamaica, raised in the rough tropical launching pad of Trench Town, the area that nurtured dozens of world class artists and musicians, such as Bob Marley.
His artistic abilities were evident from early on, and a series of mentors helped ensure that he received the proper education. He won a scholarship to Jamaica School of Art, and graduated in 1974 from that prestigious school (now known as The Edna Manley College of The Visual and Performing Arts). He then began working for several international companies as both a graphic designer and illustrator. In 1974, he migrated to New York, where he did postgraduate work at N.Y.U and the Pratt Institute.
His paintings are characterized by a vivid Caribbean palate and an ability to capture a person's essence in broad, sometimes moody, impressionistic strokes. Many prominent collectors such as former New York City Mayer David Dinkins own a Eccleston piece, and his work has been displayed in venues from the Jamaica National Gallery, to the Javits Federal Building, Manhattan Community College, the African-American Museum, and his own I Art I Gallery in Brooklyn.
Eccleston's pictures have a universal appeal. He uses shapes that are both structural and organic, and an application of colors that stimulate the intellect and warm the heart. Employing a variety of media, pen and ink, pastels, acrylic, oils, silk screens and etchings, this artist refers to his work as the Trench Town Renaissance, flowing from a movement that existed before time. "I approach life from both sides of the spectrum. I try to use my ability to enter into a process that takes shapes, lines colors and composition beyond the intellectual dimensions: the Trench Town Renaissance processed through the Caribbean experience and recaptured in a European setting, evolving into pure art." Simply put, Eccleston asserts that his purpose is nothing less than "promoting an awareness of self-reliance and human dignity through its expression in the visual arts."
In addition to several scholarships in Jamaica, he has also received the Edna Manley Award for Excellence in the Arts and is a founding member and former president of the Association of Caribbean-American Artists, Inc. He has made frequent radio and television appearances, and can be heard bi-weekly as co-host of the "Midnight Rivers" program on WBAI in New York, for which he received a coveted National Golden Reel Award in 2003.