[caption id="attachment_21" align="alignnone" width="460"] South African Artist John Adams works on his large portrait.[/caption]

As the news of Nelson Mandela’s passing from one life to the next spread across the globe, it got me thinking about the impact that such a great example of forgiveness and strength has had on the entire world. Not only did he provide inspiration in the political arena but he was often a catalyst for the creation art. Poems, novels, paintings, sculptures, stage plays…all celebrated the spirit of this amazing man.
Visual artists and graphic designers from around the world played a huge role in honoring Mandela last July on his 95th birthday by creating artworks which were displayed around Johannesburg. One of the largest works was an acrylic on canvas by South African Artist John Adams. The artist said the work had to be large (16 X 15 feet) to show the impact that the “father of our nation” had on the artist and all who lived during the time of Mandela’s release from prison.
"The moment he was released, schools were opened to everybody," said Adams, who is of mixed race and got new educational opportunities with the end of apartheid. "It was momentous to me because the extra bit of education really impacted my life dramatically ... I started really understanding what art is and the degrees to which you can really extend and improve yourself as an individual."
The painting features a waiving Mandela with the African continent in the palm of his hand. Surrounding the continent are celebrating, stylized figures rejoicing over his achievements. The painting was exhibited until July 24, and then auctioned off with the proceeds being donated to charity.

[caption id="attachment_21" align="alignnone" width="460"] South African Artist John Adams works on his large portrait.[/caption] As the news of Nelson Mandela’s passing from one life to the next spread across the globe, it got me thinking about the impact that such a great example of forgiveness and strength has had on the entire world. Not only did he provide inspiration in the political arena but he was often a catalyst for the creation art. Poems, novels, paintings, sculptures, stage plays…all celebrated the spirit of this amazing man. Visual artists and graphic designers from around the world played a huge role in honoring Mandela last July on his 95th birthday by creating artworks which were displayed around Johannesburg. One of the largest works was an acrylic on canvas by South African Artist John Adams. The artist said the work had to be large (16 X 15 feet) to show the impact that the “father of our nation” had on the artist and all who lived during the time of Mandela’s release from prison. "The moment he was released, schools were opened to everybody," said Adams, who is of mixed race and got new educational opportunities with the end of apartheid. "It was momentous to me because the extra bit of education really impacted my life dramatically ... I started really understanding what art is and the degrees to which you can really extend and improve yourself as an individual." The painting features a waiving Mandela with the African continent in the palm of his hand. Surrounding the continent are celebrating, stylized figures rejoicing over his achievements. The painting was exhibited until July 24, and then auctioned off with the proceeds being donated to charity.