(artist and designer Synthia Saint James)
California Senator Mark Ridley Thomas has chosen to honor Synthia SAINT JAMES with the 2008 "Woman of the Year" Award from his 26th Senatorial District. The awards ceremony will take place on Monday, March 10, 2008 at the State Capitol Building in Sacramento, CA.
Synthia SAINT JAMES, international award winning artist and designer of the first United States Postal Stamp for the Kwanzaa holiday, has to date written and or illustrated 13 children's picture books, 3 poetry and prose books, 4 children's activity books, a cookbook, and a postcard book. She has garnered numerous awards including a Parent's Choice Silver Honor for her book Sunday, a Coretta Scott King Honor Award for illustrating Neeny Coming Neeny Going, and an Oppenheim Gold Award for the book To Dinner For Dinner, which she illustrated.
Her architectural designs include a 150 foot ceramic tile mural for Ontario, California's international airport, 6 - 9x4 foot elevator doors for a building in California's State Capitol's East End Complex, Sacramento, California, stained glass windows for the West Tampa Library in Tampa, Florida, and a 4x7 foot ceramic tile mural (inspired by Dr. Maya Angelou's poem On the Pulse of Morning, commissioned by Gibson, Dunn, Crutcher LLP for Cowan Elementary School in Westchester, California. She was also commissioned to create the 3x6 foot painting that hangs in the Women's Center of Glendale Memorial Hospital in Glendale, California.
SAINT JAMES has completed numerous commissioned signature images for non-profit organizations including the International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters (which hangs at the Vulcan Station in Brooklyn, New York), Children's Institute International, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, the Harlem Book Fair, the United Way, and the National Education Association. She unveiled the poster that she created for the Center for Disease Control at the United Nations on World AIDS Day 2005, unveiled the original painting that she created for the Metropolitan AME Church (Harlem, NY) at the Schomburg in February 2006, and unveiled the 20th anniversary painting for the 100 Black Men of America, Inc. in June 2006.
Her paintings grace the covers of over 60 books, including Terry McMillan's Waiting to Exhale, Disappearing Acts, Mama, and the Japanese translation of How Stella Got Her Groove Back, and Iyanla Vanzant's Acts of Faith, Faith in the Valley and The Big Book of Faith.
In reviews her artwork has been described as bullient, bold, creates paintings that remind one of Matisse cutouts in their clear line and intense color and joyful. She was honored with the 2004 Woman of the Year Award in Education by the Los Angeles County Commission for Women and she is a proud receipient of The HistoryMakers Award. Fall of 2006 she received both the MOSTE Inspirational Women Award and the Samella Award for her artistry, and designed the "We See You Award". SAINT JAMES is also one of the women included in Dr. Cynthia Jacobs Carter's National Geographic book, Africana Woman: Her Story Through Time.
She most recently completed signature paintings for the 10th anniversary of the African American Business Summit, the inaugural painting for the Leimert Park Village Book Festival, for Project Fatherhood for Children's Institute International. On June 21, 2007 she was honored by the Home Depot Charitable Foundation with a tribute held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
She travels nationally for speaking engagements, exhibitions and unveilings. SAINT JAMES, a self-taught artist, credits the creator and her ancestry (which includes African American, Native American, Haitian and German Jew) for her artistic gifts.
Woman of the Year:
The Woman of the Year event was started in 1987 by Assemblywoman Bev Hansen (R) and Assemblywoman Sally Tanner (D), who noticed that the California Legislature had no events planned for the month of March, Women's History Month. In celebration of the contributions to society made by remarkable women throughout California, Hansen and Tanner arranged to invite one woman from each Senate and Assembly district to come to the Capitol and be honored for their accomplishments. The women were to be recognized as Woman of the Year in a formal ceremony on the floors of the Senate and Assembly. This yearly event, sponsored and organized by the Women's Caucus, is greatly anticipated by all Legislators today.
FOR MEDIA INQUIRIES & OPPORTUNITIES PLEASE CONTACT:
Synthia SAINT JAMES