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[lives & works - Wixom, MI ::: b. 1980 – Detroit, MI]


ONZIE NORMAN is a self-taught painter and wood sculptor from Detroit, Michigan. Onzie started in the field of carpentry in high school and later graduated from the Detroit Carpenters Apprenticeship School in 2003. This craft would play an important role in his artistic development. After a vision in 2013, Onzie began to draw, which lead him to begin experimenting with painting on wood. Onzie constructs his own canvas out of wood and uses acrylic, enamel, ink, paper, sand and resin to create one of a kind abstract paintings. Onzie has worked diligently towards building his art career, with multiple solo and group exhibitions including the Bombay Artesian Series, Art Prize, and the Essence Festival. Onzie’s artwork is in many private collections and recently his work has been acquired by NFL linebacker Deandre Levy, award-winning writer/public speaker Everette Taylor and American journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner Stephen Henderson.


The artist says of his work...


My art is my journey into the powerful energy of abstraction through forms, shapes, lines, and color. I create work inspired by indigenous people, African mask sculptures, and the neo-expressionism style that emerged in the late 1970s. My paintings are created with a blend of collage and paint. I primarily use acrylic, enamel, ink, spray paint, paper, and resin to create mixed media subjects on handcrafted wood canvases. Often viewers will see one of the eyes blotted out in my pieces which represents the history of ethnic groups that have been wiped out. My goal is to pay homage to the past while including contemporary styles using vibrant and bold colors. My art is a celebration of a culture where the past and present meet and ultimately will affect the future.


[download full CV below]



2003        Detroit Carpenters Apprenticeship School



2020        African American Art Exhibition- Actors Theater- Louisville Kentucky

                Black history exhibit- City Hall- Westland MI

                Visions of Detroit- Charles H. Wright Museum- Detroit MI

2019        Riverside Arts Center- This Aint Nothing New- Ypsilanti MI

                National Conference of Artists-Brillance/Heritage Annual Exhibit- Detroit MI

                Ann Arbor Art Center- Art Now Painting- Ann Arbor MI

                Galesburg Civic Art Center-Galex 53 Competition- Galesburg IL

                NCA national exhibition- Xavier University- New Orleans, Louisiana

                Artists of Colour Annual Exhibition, Illumination- Windsor, Ontario Canada

                National Afro- American Museum- Wilberforce Ohio- Art of Soul

                Devos Place- Shades of Blackness- Grand Rapids MI

                Norwest Gallery- The Burn- Detroit MI

                Ted X – Detroit MI

2018        Detroit Institute of Arts presents the Detroit fine art breakfast club exhibit – Detroit MI

                Palmer Park Art Fair- Detroit MI

                Belle Isle Art Fair- Detroit MI

                How to Draw a Straight Line- Arts Extended Gallery- Detroit MI

                Essence Festival- New Orleans, Louisiana

                Art Prize 10- Grand Rapids MI

                Mercedes-Benz Local Perspectives exhibit- Redford MI



2020        Woodbridge Art Installation- Detroit MI

2019        Art Explored Public Art Program- Royal Oak-MI

                Historic Reservoir Transformation Mural- Detroit MI

                Detroit Movement Festival Installation

2018        Detroit Movement Festival Installation

2017        Mack Alive / Ally Art Gazebo Installation- Detroit MI

2016        (Junction) Mack Alive Resource Community Center, Ambassador Art Collection, Detroit

2015        Mini Mural- University of Detroit Mercy



Private collection of NFL linebacker, Deandre Levy

Private collection of award-winning writer/public speaker Everette Taylor

Private collection of American journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner Stephen Henderson