More About Wiley Henry


National winner
   ARTIST: To create masterful works of art depicting the lifestyles of the black family at home, church and social settings, and affect positive change in the arts community.
   WRITER: To reach the apex in journalism excellence and to utilize those skills to communicate the objectives and mission of those who seek my service. 

   1975-1980: MEMPHIS COLLEGE OF ART, Memphis, TN. Earned a Bachelor of Fine Art degree in Advertising Design. Concentrated on the fundamentals of design and production. Course work included magazine/newspaper layout, product/ad design, typography, and other vital points of design. Course work also included painting and illustration.

   1978: SHELBY STATE COMMUNITY COLLEGE, Memphis, TN. Concentration: Human Relations.

   1972-1975: NORTHSIDE HIGH SCHOOL, Memphis, TN. Awarded diploma. Major: art. Minor: biology.

Black Angel
COMMISSIONS: Portraits/Fine Art: Oil portraits of the Rev. Benjamin Hooks, Judges H. T. Lockard, Arthur Bennett, James Earl Swearengen, TV judge Joe Brown and the late Shepperson Wilbun Sr. (used in a scene in the movie The Client); former Shelby County Commissioner Minerva Johnican; Councilman Joe Brown; the late Rev. Lee Brown; entertainer Stevie Wonder; actors Willard Pugh (The Color Purple) and Clifton Davis (That’s My Mama); Memphis lawyer Charles Carpenter; a posthumous portrait of Madame C. J. Walker (Indianapolis, Ind.); the late activist Cornelia Crenshaw; Carolyn Jones (wife of Fred Jones Jr.); and Mayor Willie Herenton; a 21-charcoal portrait series of historical black religious pioneers and inventors; a 10-piece Christmas card series marketed in 250 K-mart stores and other outlets; a four-card Christmas series marketed regionally; 10 pen/ink drawings of historical blacks for Leader Federal Bank’s “African-American Check Series”; a 4’ x 10’ mural of Memphis Chicks baseball; a 6’ x 9’ life-size mural in the home of businessman Lynn Spearman; posters for the Tennessee Arts Commission (Juxtaposition ‘82), the Memphis Chapter LINKS, Memphis Urban League, WLOK Radio Station (Stone Soul Picnic - 2 posters), 6 posters for the annual Juneteenth celebration, The Kroger Stores (Our Family), and more.

PRIVATE/PUBLIC ART COLLECTIONS: Northern Telecom, Nashville, TN; Fogelman Properties, Memphis, TN; Sun Cards, Inc., Washington, D.C.; and other local and national collections.
2010 Juneteenth Painting

RADIO/TELEVISION/FILM: Invited guest on a number of TV and radio talkshows: WREG TV, Channel 3; WMC TV, Channel 5; WHBQ TV, Channel 13; WLOK Radio Station; WDIA Radio Station; on screen with entertainer Carla Thomas in documentary for the Memphis Arts Council’s Memphis City Schools, and more.

FINE ART PRINTS: A number of reproductions on a variety of subjects are sold nationally to art galleries and distributors.

PUBLICATIONS: Stories, mentions, and photographs of artwork have appeared in The Tennessean, The Nashville Banner, The Nashville Magazine, The Jackson Sun, The Jackson Journal, The Commercial Appeal, the former Memphis Press Scimitar, U.S.A. Today, Memphis Magazine, The Washington Post, Grace Magazine, the Tri-State Defender, and more.

   2010: Honorable Mention, presented at the 16th Annual Stone Awards
   2009: Memphis Living Legends award, presented by New Sardis Baptist Church
   2008: Included in the book Notable Black Memphians by author Dr. Miriam DeCosta-Willis
   2001: Resolution from Memphis City Council for writing and art
   2001: Resolution from State of Tennessee for writing and art
   1992 & 1989: Outstanding Young Man of America
   1986: Judge [Tennessee Vica Skill Olympics]
   1985: Awarded Innervisions grant from Memphis Arts Council
   1984: Memphis Arts Council's Artists-in-the-Schools
   1984: Served as artist in the Memphis City Schools demonstrating, lecturing and working with elementary students.
   1983: Judge [Regional Scholastic Arts competition], Memphis, TN.
             Judge [Memphis City Schools art competition] sponsored by WKNO TV Station.
   1982: Awarded the ESSA grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission for the Artist-in-Schools program in Jackson, TN.
   1981: Awarded the ESSA grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission for the Artist-in-Schools program in Jackson, TN.
   1979: Voted most artistic senior at the Memphis College of Art.
   1975: Selected the national grand prize winner for the Vollentine Boy’s Club art contest, Memphis, TN.; 
   1975: Won the Merit Scholarship to attend the Memphis College of Art.

   February 2004: “50 Years and Counting: Artists Respond to Brown vs Topeka,” National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis, TN.
   February 2004: “Off The Chains: Heartsoul Reaction I,” 387 South Main, Memphis, TN.
   February/March 2003: “Reflections in Black,” The Cheese Cake Corner, Memphis, TN.
   August 1998: “An Evening of Nostalgia,” Ramada Plaza Hotel, Columbia, S.C.
   1987: Blytheville Air Force Base, Blytheville, AR.
   1985: The Turner Clark Gallery, Memphis, TN.
   1983: The Parthenon Gallery, Nashville, TN
             The Tennessee Arts Commission, Nashville, TN
   1981: National Bank of Commerce, Commerce Square Gallery, Memphis, TN
   1979: Board of Education, Memphis, TN
             First Tennessee Bank, Memphis, TN
   1978: Memphis Area Chamber of Commerce, Memphis, TN
   1977: Christian Brothers College, Memphis, TN
   1976: Cossitt Goodwin Library, Memphis, TN
   1975: Board of Education, Memphis, TN

   • Received the Satterfield Award in 2000 for volunteer work at North Branch Library.
   • Wrote several op-ed pieces for The Commercial Appeal newspaper on the arts and African-American culture in Memphis.
   • Wrote and produced eight public service commercials on black art for local television station WREG, Channel 3, which aired daily for nearly two months.
   • Former vice president of the Memphis Black Arts Alliance, a non-profit arts group serving the Memphis community. Served eight years under four executive directors utilizing skills as an artist, writer, and designer of promotional material; developed material for promotions, proposals, and media kits for the continued advancement of the arts in Memphis and the Mid-South.
   • Developed and wrote all promotional material (brochures, flyers, logos, posters, radio spots, newspaper and billboard advertisements, sponsorship letters and proposals — the overall image of the trade show) for the 1996, 1997, and 1998 River City Hair & Beauty Extravaganza, a three-day trade show at the Memphis Cook Convention Center.
   • Handled all promotional material and public relations for the Golden Gate Business Expo ‘97 and ‘98.
   • Developed and designed the format of the monthly Golden Gate Gazette newspaper. Served as editor-in-chief with the responsibility of selecting and assigning stories (including layout and production, and editing the paper) to a staff of writers.

   • 2003 finalist in the A. Philip Randolph Messenger Awards for the NNPA (National Newspaper Publishers Association) competition.
   • 2002 finalist in the A. Philip Randolph Messenger Awards for the NNPA (National Newspaper Publishers Association) competition.
   • 2002 national winner in the 49th Annual Unity Awards in Media competition (Lincoln University of Missouri Department of Communications).
   • 2001 national winner in the A. Philip Randolph Messenger Awards for the NNPA (National Newspaper Publishers Association) competition.
   • 2001, 1999, 1998, 1997 winner in the Memphis Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists com -petition.
   • 2000 finalist in the A. Philip Randolph Messenger Awards for the NNPA (National Newspaper Publishers Association) competition.

   •Former deputy editor and senior writer of the Tri-State Defender, serving 28 years
   •Freelance writer: The Memphis Flyer, Grace Magazine and a number of organizations and nonprofits

   •“Wiley Henry is and has been a major player in the Memphis artistic community both as an artist and a strong advocate for the arts in this area.” — Kate Gooch, former president, Memphis Arts Council
   •“Memphis is full of young talented artists such as Wiley Henry. His work illustrates the spiritual side of us all.” — Dr. Willie Herenton, former mayor of Memphis
   •“Wiley Henry Jr.’s work and his commitment to this community are exemplary. At MCA we’re very proud of all that he has accomplished.” — Jeffery Nesin, former president, Memphis College of Art
   •“I find Wiley Henry’s work sensitive, and the expressions on his characters accurate in turns of realism.” — Julian Bolton, Shelby County Board of Commissioners 
   •“Wiley Henry Jr., a noted artist in this area, has become an accomplished writer as well.” — Audrey McGhee, former editor/publisher, Memphis Tri-State Defender newspaper

(For inquiries, Wiley Henry can be reached at 901-240-3469, or by email at