An Artist For The Ages…How Dakoro Edwards Used Strokes Of Compassion, Tolerance, & Love To Create A MASTERPIECE LIFE

Posted by Duane Cummings on 08/08/2016

 

Last week my wife and I, along with hundreds of other people, had the distinct privilege of attending the grand opening of a new art studio here in the Atlanta area. The proprietor and host was the artist known simply as “Dakoro.” The occasion was truly "decades in the making" and the date held huge significance for him, because July 28th was the birthday of his late father Curtis T. Edwards.

The grand opening was the culmination of decades of hard work, sacrifice, and dedication to a dream that few others could see. Although people often want to label him an overnight success, Dakoro is far from that. Over the years, his artwork has been featured in popular restaurants, office buildings, celebrity homes across the country, and can also be seen in several television shows and movies.

Our relationship began in early 2016, when he was selected out of a pool of fifty artists to oversee the Global #aSensationalLife Art Project. So, we were definitely excited to be in attendance for his special occasion.

During the evening we met amazing people, viewed some thought provoking pieces of art, and ate lots of fantastic food. Towards the end of the night, we stood motionless as Dakoro conducted a live painting experience that was intoxicating to witness and seemed effortless to the hundreds in attendance.

"I’m sure to anyone who didn’t know him, they would think he’s always had a seat on top of the world…but oh how wrong they would be."

To say Dakoro had it tough growing up in Syracuse, New York would be an understatement. He saw his first murder when he was six years old, and was cutting hair by the age of eleven to earn much needed money for he and his family. Dakoro was always a bright young man, but found it difficult to shine in school. However, he did have many talents and two of those came out on the basketball courts of Wilson Park, and when he was “tagging” or spray-painting graffiti on the concrete canvasses of the city. To this day, Dakoro credits his involvement in art and basketball as two of the big reasons he “made it out” of such a difficult situation.

Although the journey has been difficult, Dakoro is quick to share that along the way he was blessed to have people who “spoke life” into him. As a way to pay honor to those family, friends, and mentors that helped him "rise up" in life, he now spends a great deal of his time, money, and energy paying it forward.

Through his art, he’s helped hundreds of troubled youth find their voice. Recently, Dakoro invited a fourteen-year old young lady, who had been going through a very difficult time, to join him in the studio and within a few minutes of participating in an interactive painting exercise, she opened up to him and a bond was formed.  

It’s a beautiful moment when you witness someone make the world a better place by using their gifts and talents. Not only does Dakoro reach out with his art, he can still be found helping people in need look their best, by using his clipper skills at no charge. So, whether you just want to spend some time with an incredible man, need a haircut, or wish to purchase a piece of art, if you happen to find yourself in Sandy Springs, Georgia, I hope you’ll stop by the studio and meet my friend Dakoro Edwards.

MEET MY FRIENDS MONDAY--- I’ve asked some of my friends if I could share their stories, in hopes of inspiring anyone who may be focused on crafting #aSensationalLife…and they happily agreed.

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Duane Cummings