Willie Torbert was born in Buffalo, New York in 1959. He
studied art at the Pratt Institute, City College of New York
and Medgar Evers College.
As an artist who is also an educator, Willie Torbert taught
within the New York City Board of Education for ten years.
During his work with the New York Public School System,
Willie exposed his students to many facets of art through an array of mediums. When Willie moved away from his teaching
job to work on his art full time, he received an award of citation for his dedication and work with the children of the borough of Brooklyn from Howard Golden, the Brooklyn Borough President.
Willie works in a variety of media, including oil, ink, and collage
to produce singular and highly stylized representations of
African American life. Scenes of street life and images of jazz
and blues musicians, and heroic African queens and warriors often populate his work. In addition, he graciously acknowledges the almost unavoidable influence of other major black artists. Indeed, Willie has previously stated that "it changed my life" when he saw Romare Bearden's images of Harlem in an
exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum many years ago.
His publication credits include New York Newsday, Essence Magazine, Essence Art, Sony Entertainment, Mosaic Literary Magazine, Trend Publication, Amsterdam News Bayridge Press, and City Sun. He has exhibited his work in New York, Atlanta, Florida, Washington D.C., and New Orleans. His prestigious listings of commissions include Essence Magazine, Bacardi Rum, Thelma Hill Performing Arts, Harper Collins Publishers and
Henry Street Settlement.
The Nubian Women’s Art Circle honored Willie for his outstanding contributions to the advancement of the art of the African Diaspora.
lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
View Willie's Art