By LILLIAN REESE — For the Green Owl Design team and Bulsby “Buzz” Duncan, true artistry comes through how one expresses themselves. With the studio’s newest art opening, the artist-firm duo will team up to exhibit how they combine modern design with contemporary art.
The event is being hosted by Green Owl Design, a Hyattsville-based interior design firm that has been advocating for safety, business growth and local art through artist receptions and beautification projects such as “Fight the Blight.”
The Green Owl team was introduced to Buzz Duncan by a mutual friend. Duncan said the relationship they have formed since has flourished.
Despite the seemingly obvious collaboration between the design firm and the local artist, this will be the first partnership, according to Erica Riggio, co-founder of Green Owl Design.
“Green Owl Design is featuring Mr. Duncan’s art for their quarterly reception. We always feature local artist’s works and hold a reception featuring their work. We have not partnered with Mr. Duncan in the past,” said an email from Riggio.
Duncan, a self-taught Jamaican-born painter, has become a prominent figure in the contemporary art scene in Washington, D.C. Duncan has displayed his acrylic paintings at Zenith Gallery, Agora Gallery in New York City and numerous other exhibits and galleries in the Washington, D.C. area.
With a degree in health science, Duncan said he was not always an artist. He became a certified personal trainer and head of fitness brand, Alpha Fit. He later met and became inspired by a local artist whose drive to create art encouraged Duncan to embark on his own artistic journey.
His emotionally charged pieces range from non-representative abstract paintings to graffiti-style works that address social issues. A portion of his text-heavy art focuses on police brutality, gun violence, mass incarceration, and references to Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin and Rosa Parks offer his reflective perspective on society.
“I want to show you the world through my eyes and my vision for the future,” said Duncan. On his website, Duncan states, “Once you view my art, you will see the world as I see it and hopefully it will inspire you to unlock your own creative energy.”
In 2017 the self-taught artist won first prize at Zenith Gallery and Busboys and Poets RESIST exhibit, a nationally judged show which honored resistance movements around the globe and challenged artists to reflect on the state of the world.
“My motto is ‘art is life … creativity is a gift,’” Duncan said in an email.
Despite his success representing social issues through his art, many of his pieces are not symbolic. Instead, he is able to tell the story by relying on bold colors, redolent textures, and pronounced lines.
Buzz is also a musician and a published author. He wrote and illustrated the children’s fitness book, “Jacob’s ABC’s of Exercise.”
Buzz has been painting and drawing for as long as he can remember. He said art was how he expressed his feelings and ideas while he was growing up.
“We have enjoyed working with Mr. Duncan. He is an extremely talented artist,” said Riggio.
All are welcome to attend the free reception at Green Owl Design’s studio, located at 5303 Baltimore Ave. #101, on March 7 from 7-9:30 p.m. Light drinks and refreshments will be provided.