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Missouri Arts Council honors local African-American artist

The Missouri Arts Council is honoring three St. Louisans and one local hot spot with its 2018 annual awards.

The council chose Solomon Thurman for its Individual Artist award. Thurman is perhaps best known for a piece air travelers see every day: the 51-foot-long “Black Americans in Flight” mural at St. Louis’ Lambert International Airport. He created the work in 1990 with his mentor, the late Spencer Taylor.

Thurman, who has painted for 30 years, describes his work as conceptual realism and contemporary abstraction. His pieces often tell stories of the African diaspora in the United States.

Thurman and his wife Pat Thurman own the 10th Street Art Gallery at 419 N. 10th St., which they opened in downtown St. Louis in 2011.

There are six awards in all. The other honorees are educator Jeff Sandquist, Rolla; the Ragtag Film Society of Columbia, and Sharon G. Kosek of St. Joseph for her leadership in the arts. The awards will be presented Feb. 7, 2018, in the Capitol Rotunda in Jefferson City.

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