Parrish G. Monk is self-taught African American visual artist whose mantra has become “I am an emerging artist, I’m still learning and still growing”. Monk has been a full-time artist since January 1, 2014, the first full day after his college closed its doors and he lost his job as a college professor and Academic Dean. However, Monk began seriously exploring his artistry in Spring 2012 when his wife was diagnosed with cancer. Despite the life challenges that Monk has faced he has quietly sold over 411 original paintings across the globe.
Monk has received numerous grants and awards and has had his work featured in variety of publications and galleries. The majority of his work can be viewed at Inspirado @the Madison Gallery in Covington Kentucky, Under the Stars Gallery in Batavia Ohio, and the Emerge Galleries throughout Georgia and South Carolina. Monk’s work has been sold to T.V. shows like HBO’s Enlightened, Hawaii Five 0, and Stars as well as to public spaces from New York to Miami to Dallas to L.A..
Regionally, Monk’s style of art work has been coined “Abfigminimalism” and he an “abfigminimalist” (see full explanation) and the founder of such movement as dubbed by gallery owners in the Cincinnati area. Monk does not create one thing in one style. He paints abstracts, figurative art, expressionist and minimalist pieces as well, hence the term 'ab + fig + minimalism'. Monk is a sculptor, fiber artist, crafter, jewelry maker, potter, woodworker, wood carver, and a fervent upcycler that re-purposes reclaimed materials.
While Monk is a full-time artist living and working in the Cincinnati Ohio/ Northern Kentucky area, he is a part-time adult educator teaching developmental math, Algebra, Finite math and business management courses to non-traditional adult students at Indiana Institute of Technology University. Like his late blooming art career, Monk was also a non-traditional student having acquired his first degree when he was 32 years old. Monk’s educational background (i.e., BA in Psychology, MBA in Human Resources and a doctorate in Education Leadership) have little to do with his artistry and more to do with his other passion and endeavors.
Monk is an aspiring author of critical reading books, young adult novels and literacy curriculum as well as a non-profit organization executive who founded INKAA Education Program, an organization that helps support and empower local artists and artisans.
Monk’s philosophy is evident in his day to day activities; most of which is spent either creating, handling art related business or helping empower other artists or the community. “Parrish, Doctor Parrish Monk, is the catalyst behind me and so many other getting into the art world and doing better than we would have done on our own. He is a phenomenal soul and a good man with a big heart and a crazy vision that most people easily buy into. He is definitely a leader but more than that he is a bridge builder. He helps connect the dots for people like me and has helped me to get into galleries and shows that I couldn’t have done on my own. Parrish is a cool person, a good person.” – Zach Tolbert, Visual Artists
As a father of three sons (24, 23, 11) one of Monk’s top priorities has been taking care of his youngest son who is Autistic. Monk cites this as a primary reason to have control over his own time, destiny, and resources which in turn encourages him to be an independent working artists and creative entrepreneur. Monk, when asked, says, “I didn’t chose this path. It chose me. I am trying to make this life and path that I am living work. That is why I have a strong work ethic and approach my artistry as I would any career. That is why I hustle and grind every day. I am working hard to become a better person, father, artist and humanitarian and just make this life work out”.
Extracted from an article written by Anne D. Westin-Meier, Artist on Art "Small Town Artist Creates Big City Idea" November 2015