CINspirational People: Cedric Michael Cox
CINspirational People is a feature of Good Things Going Around profiling diverse people of Greater Cincinnati, what inspires them, and what is inspiring about them. You can read more profiles by clicking on the link at the top of the blog. Do you know someone to suggest? Please reach out. Thanks!
Today we are featuring Cincinnati artist Cedric Michael Cox, best known for his paintings and drawings, which fall between surrealism and representational abstraction, and have been exhibited locally and regionally. Cedric has had solo exhibits at the Contemporary Arts Center of Cincinnati (CAC), the Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center, PAC Gallery, and Weston Gallery in the Aronoff Center for the Arts. In support of his efforts in the visual arts and art education communities, the City of Cincinnati awarded him the Individual Artist Grant in 2009. He received a Congressional Award in 2010.
Cedric’s art has been featured in magazines, on television, and in the college textbook Drawing: Space, Form and Expression. In addition to his work being in
corporate collections, Cox executed two large-scale public murals for the city of Cincinnati. His recent exhibits include the Museum of Science and Industry Chicago, the Phoenix Gallery, Chicago, Sacramento’s Evolve the Gallery, the Harlem Fine Art exhibition, the Williamsburg Arts and Historical Center Brooklyn, NY, the National Arts League, Douglaston, NY and The Robeson Gallery at Pennsylvania State University.
GTGA: What is an accomplishment you achieved that you are proud of?
Cedric: My Career as a visual artist has had so many mile stones and memorable moments that to single out one achievement would be very difficult. I believe every small step is a leap to larger achievements. When I think of goals or achievements that were met I must look to the most recent awards and recognitions that I have received. This year I was awarded the Yeck artist in residence at the Dayton Arts Institute. Also this year I was selected to design and execute a mural for Amberley Villages 75th Anniversary. Other past achievements include my first solo exhibition at Five Myles Gallery in New York and my art work being exhibited at the Contemporary Arts Center where I currently have a permanent work on display, the Weston Art Gallery in 2010 and a congressional award for my commitment to arts and art education
GTGA: Tell us about someone who has been a positive influence in your life.
Cedric: God and family have been the most positive influence for me. My work ethic was installed through my upbringing.
In regards to my art and the creative process and journey, professor Tarrence Corbin was as mentor who was the positive influence that still leaves a mark on me and my work with quotes I like, “It’s not how much you do in one day it’s how well you do it” and “There is one four letter word that sets one artist from the next ………..WORK”, still echo in my mind when I create as well as when I teach. The connection between me and my students has been an important role in my life and how I live. Because I am achieving the dreams that I had as a child there is a deeply rooted channel that connects me with the students I teach.
When I paint, I want the child I once was to be represented in my paintings on a visceral level, and at the same time on an adult level. Terrance would also say “Just have fun”, and I try to do this with my career.
GTGA: What is a motto you live by and why or how has it impact you?
Cedric: Every moment and interaction is important and you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Because, I want my art to be appreciated by all people, I try to project a welcoming attitude towards life and experience and I invite others to share the experience with me. Embrace all and every moment is my motto.
GTGA: What is your biggest motivator?
Cedric: Passion and fear are my biggest motivators. Faith in God and my ability drives my passion to create. I know that I will work hard until I’m completely satisfied on whatever I’m trying to accomplish, but sometimes fear steps in. Fear is not a bad thing. Fear is based on past experience or a prediction of what might happen and it also evokes action, but if I plan and project positive procedures and solutions to ensure success, my passion will flourish.