Akinsanya Kambon – a.k.a. Mark Teemer (born in Sacramento, CA, 1946). Akinsanya Kambon is a multimedia artist. He has a master’s degree in fine art. He is a prolific artist, and over his life has worked in all medias. Currently he is working in oil, watercolor, charcoal, pen and ink, pottery, ceramic, and bronze sculpting. Kambon’s artworks are influenced by his life experiences. This includes being stricken with polio at age three, military service – United States Marine Corps, political activist, college professor, public speaker, and extensive travels in Africa. Akinsanya Kambon is a revolutionary artist. His philosophy is “art is not for arts’ sake, but must be used to uplift humanity”.
Drafted to United States military service at age 19 to serve in the Vietnam War, Akinsanya Kambon returned to the U.S. in the height of the 60’s counterculture, the African-American Civil Rights Movement, and the Black Power Movement. He was then drafted into the Black Panther Party (BPP), and served as the Lieutenant of Culture for the Sacramento Chapter. In that position he served by interpreting and communicating the principles of revolutionary culture, and Black Panther ideology. His primary means of fulfilling this function was through promoting artistic expression, and socio-political education.
During this time Kambon (a.k.a. Mark Teemer) created the Black Panther Coloring Book, which portrays the police as pigs. He was then deplored by Vice-president Spiro Agnew, investigated by Senator McClellan’s Sub-committee on Un-American Activities, and placed in the J. Edgar Hoover FBI Security Index – #18 on the list of Subversive Individuals. As a result he lived many years of “life on the run”.
Working tirelessly in his community efforts, his message today is still “education”. In 1984 inspired by his BPP indoctrination to serve the community, Kambon founded the nonprofit organization, Pan African Art (PAA) in Long Beach, CA. Now celebrating 30 years PAA continues to provide free art, culture, and leadership programs to community youth. Kambon has traveled extensively in Africa since 1974. There he has lectured, held art exhibits, provided art/culture workshops to youth, met with top civic and military leaders, and studied under local artists.
The artworks of Akinsanya Kambon are thought provoking and captivating. He has unique mastery in use of color, form, and subject. His very impressive oeuvres are a beautiful tapestry of his knowledge, and life experiences enriching the lives of his viewers. The Kambon exhibition is a unique experience. As the contemporary cultural and political world changes, his works become a visual and artistic witnesses to humanity. They will become ever more valuable when viewed through this artist’s effort to chronicle aspects of a living, changing culture that he feels should be retained and preserved. In his words, “There is nothing more significant for me than using art to educate people on the African experience, history, and culture. Unapologetically he says, “It is o.k. for us to have artworks that are priceless – our experience is priceless”.
Akinsanya Kambon lives in Long Beach, CA. As a professor he taught for 26 years at California State University, Long Beach. He has now retired from teaching. Driven by his passion to create art he works daily in his private studio. Guests are welcome.