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CLOSE UP // Derek Washington

NAME: Derek Washington.

CITY: St. Petersburg.

PROFESSION: Artist.

MAKING THE SCENE: Exhibiting new paintings at the gallery of the Performing Arts Building, Hillsborough Community College, Ybor City through Feb. 26.

BEST WORD TO DESCRIBE MY ART: BOOM!

WHY I DO WHAT I DO: I feel art is the measure of a society.

HOW I'VE CHANGED: Talent is a burden that bears responsibility. I'm accepting the responsibility whereas earlier, I was intoxicated by power.

ARTISTS WHO INFLUENCED ME MOST: George Clinton (funk musician), Amiri Baraka (militant poet), Richard Wright (author, Native Son), Scarface (gangsta rapper).

FIRST JOB OFFER AS A PRO: Mural at Young Middle School, Tampa.

PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENT: Being able to push the darkness away long enough to paint a few paintings that children enjoy.

MY NO. 1 GOAL IS to complete a film by the end of the year and TO LEAVE THIS AREA!

IN MY FREE TIME, I paint.

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