Artist Leonard Dawson Exhibit: “America the Beautiful”


America the Beautiful
Leonard Dawson Jr.

America the Beautiful is an art installation, so when viewing this display envision the show as a whole. When you proceed to examine each work individually understand that, although each piece can stand alone, it remains part of the whole. The message being expressed here is only a small glimpse into the larger misdoings and questionable behavior. This body of work is a sardonic illustration of America’s deeds and ideology. It earmarks moments, time periods, social encounters and deliberations. It offers accounts of those memories noteworthy of remembering, because they provide a time for reflection.It is neither meant to give any false impressions nor create animosity.  American the Beautiful is one individual’s interpretation of his observation of others’ interpretations.

More and more frequently, it seems as though the needs of the few outweigh the needs of the many. Fewer and fewer constituents are recognized as being worthy of respect or importance. This new ideology bears a resemblance to censorship and oppression. No need for wishful thinking: the time has come…….. time to stimulate discourse.

Throughout this presentation numerous icons/images are frequently repeated. They do not reflect nor have reference to any one person or group; they are vehicles-elements-entities of expression. In turn they would allow for the development of visual literacy and provide the wherewithal for understanding.

About the Artist:


Leonard Dawson, Jr.
Assistant Professor
Stillman College

Mr. Leonard Dawson, Jr. is a native of Markham, Illinois a suburban community south of Chicago. He attended Eastern Illinois University earning a B.A. in Art Education. Later he received his M.A. in Art Education at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. Mr. Dawson has over 20 years of teaching experience, working with students from elementary school, middle school, high school through college and adults in continuing education programs. He has developed and designed visual arts curriculum for both public and private institutions throughout his career. Self motivated and excellent problem solving skills are clearly demonstrated in his art. Mr. Dawson served in the military where his knowledge and skills were of great value. He provided the development and preparation of strategy briefings for the National Security Advisor to the President and Joint Chiefs of Staff. Leonard later returned to school at Arizona State University where he received his M.F.A. in Sculpture. Presently, Mr. Dawson is a professor of art at Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where he is also director of the college art galleries. His love of art is obvious through his love for teaching, his persuasive lectures engenders the same love for art in his students.