HFAS 2015 - Artist Spotlight - Lyvan Munlyn


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Lyvan Alexander Munlyn has been a Scenic Charge for many popular movies like The Departed, Meet Joe Black, Spider-Man, The Stepford Wives, War of The Worlds and Shaft an number of other major motion pictures. His most recent accomplishments is as the Head Scenic charge for digital shorts on the set of Saturday Night Live. Still, despite his reputable contributions to the film industry, Lyvan’s paintings, particularly on canvas and so much more, stand as the impetus of his creative talents. Lyvan’s work is distinguished by an acute sense of sensation and atmosphere, evoking the aura of an immediate time and place with diverse palettes and intentional brush strokes.  His colorful and energetic pieces still the time and capsulize the essence of iconic moments—the sprawl of bustling inner cities and romantic settings, heightened in a vacuum of imagination. This ability to consolidate dynamic energy in a single frame is a skill Lyvan has forged since his youth.

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Born and raised in Washington, D.C., Lyvan formed an affinity for painting from very early in his childhood. As a young boy, Lyvan would study with Mrs. Bailer, his neighbor and only artist he had ever known, as she painted oil portraits on her nearby sun porch. By age 8, Lyvan’s parents took the initiative of enrolling him in art classes at the Corcoran Gallery of Arts. Lyvan’s formal art training began at the Duke Ellington High School for the performing Arts where he majored in Visual Arts, where his mentor was, Simmie Knox — the first African American artist to receive a presidential portrait commission—had great influence in his formulations in color theory. Lyvan thereafter went to the University of Maryland majoring in Medical Illustration for 2 years, and he furthered his education at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY where he majored in Film and Video.  Today, Lyvan operates under his very own Munlyn Studios, sharing the captivating allure of the movie screen with industrial, television, Broadway, and film industries alike for the past 25 years. His work has been featured in festivals such as the Harlem Fine Arts in Martha’s Vineyard, Chicago, New York the International Arts Festival in Brooklyn, Takoma Arts Festival in Washington, D.C. Whether it is through his professional life or his artistic expression, Lyvan has mastered a signature craft with brilliant and illustrious form. In it, he grants his viewers mere glimpses at the spectrum of his imagination—an endless stream of images that can only be described as scenic.

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