Award-winning painter of Dr. Anna Julia Cooper’s stamp visits campus

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Award-winning artist and author Kadir Nelson visited the campus on January 22. While on campus he spoke to all the art majors, participated in a met and greet open to the campus community and had lunch with administration and student leaders.

Nelson is noted for creating the artwork for the stamps featuring Saint Augustine’s University alumna Dr. Anna Julia Cooper, Mr. Ralph Ellison and Ms. Althea Gibson. He is also known for creating the artwork cover for Canadian rapper and songwriter Drake’s Nothing Was the Same album cover. Some of his most distinguished clients include the Coca-Cola Company, Sports Illustrated and, of course, the United States Postal Service.

Before a group of administrators, deans, students, faculty and students in the Prezell R. Robinson Library, Nelson shared wisdom and stories of success.

One story Nelson shared with the Falcons was how he was contacted to do the artwork for the late Michael Jackson’s album titled “MICHAEL.”

“Michael Jackson was recording in a studio in California that was created in memory of the late singer Marvin Gaye that featured some of my artwork,” Nelson said. “Mr. Jackson wanted to know who the artist was. Then one day, I received a telephone call that Mr. Jackson wanted me to create the artwork for his album cover.”

Kaili Nelson, a senior majoring in art from High Point, NC, stated the she enjoyed hearing Nelson’s words of wisdom and stories of success.

“He told us it is fine to wish upon a star, but we have to still remember that we must still continue to work hard.”

Nelson, who is also an accomplished author, wrote and illustrated “We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball.”

To learn more about Nelson, visit

Campus Events

Sunday, May 8: Baccalaureate Program; 6 p.m.; Saint Augustine's Chapel

Friday, May 13: Stone of Hope Gala; 7 p.m.; Sheraton Imperial Hotel and Convention Center, 4700 Emperor Blvd., Durham, NC; $100 per person

Saturday, May 14: Commencement; 9 a.m.; University Quadrangle