Wade A. Harrison

Born and raised in Toledo, Ohio, Wade Anthony Harrison was encouraged to express himself through art from the very beginning. From the bed sheets, to the walls, onto paper, he used his art as a way of expression and release of his emotions. During elementary school, he was directed/sponsored by his school principal to take art classes at the Toledo Museum of Art as a way to positively focus his energies. Growing up in the late 60’s and 1970’s, Wade became heavily influenced by the tide of the Black Power movement. Taking his self-awareness cues from his mother and coupling that with the creative talent of his photographer father, he gravitated towards those musical expressions that were revolutionary - namely, jazz, reggae, and hip hop. He consequently became infamous and influential in another revolution, the emerging Toledo graffiti art revolution, under the tag “Swade”.

Wade continued his art education at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, where he obtained his associates degree. Following a brief stint with an ad agency in graphic design, Wade concentrated more on his work as a fine artist. His style has since evolved into an exploratory freedom reflective of the music to which he listens. His oil and acrylic paintings, primarily portraits, are emotionally expressed in a depth of monochromatic tones and lively colors, meant to evoke the observer to feel and hear the sounds that complete the work.

Artist Statement

I am not a lyricist or a musician or a singer... I am an artist in love with these instances of self expression and choose to dialog through my paintings with others who share this love.  My paintings are the visual interpretation of my thoughts and feelings without words or sound.  I want to entice people to open their minds to my musical heroes not in the mainstream.  I want people to be able to hear and feel what I hear and feel and walk away feeling enlightened.