Charles White’s Students on Why They—and the Art World—Wouldn’t Be the Same Without His Work

Charles White, "Sound of Silence," 1978. Printed by David Panosh, published by Hand Graphics, Ltd. Color lithograph on paper. (The Art Institute of Chicago/Charles White Archives)

"But his impact extended beyond what White as an individual made himself. White was an instructor at the Otis Art Institute, where he taught a number of artists who have not only made names for themselves—in some instances, by continuing to work with the themes that White pioneered—but who now regularly break records at auction. Among them are megastars David Hammons and Kerry James Marshall, performance and video artist Ulysses Jenkins, and L.A.-based muralists Richard Wyatt Jr. and Judithe Hernández. All credit White with an undeniable influence on their work and life."