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Jamar Roberts | Photo Andrew Eccles Jamar Roberts | Photo Andrew Eccles

Artist Feature: Jamar Roberts

Jamar Roberts graduated from the New World School of the Arts. He trained at the Dance Empire of Miami and as a fellowship student at The Ailey School. Mr. Roberts was a member of Ailey II and Complexions Contemporary Ballet. He first joined the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 2002.

“I’ve been drawing since as a far back as I can remember. It is a talent that has run in my family for many generations. I’ve never had any formal training, stylistically the work that I make now has come from many years of copying the work of other artists that I found inspiring. A few of my most immediate inspirations are Comics, graffiti, fashion illustrations, Egon Schiele, Quentin Blake, Shel Silverstein, Anime, choreography, graphic novels, Picasso Sketches — it all gets thrown into the pot in a way that feels less deliberate now than when I was younger.

The work that I present is never personal or biographical in any way nor is there ever an intentional concept or theme. Because of my busy schedule as a dancer in a company I rarely have time or energy to fully develop ideas, so the term “stream of consciousness” would best describe where the image comes from. Drawing for me feels more like problem solving or a game of crossword rather than an intense act of self expression. The only thing that dictates where one line goes is the shape of the line that came before it. It’s fun, I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

This is part of our ongoing Artist Features series, showcasing artwork in various visual and design mediums, made by dancers. Check back often to discover the diverse expressions of the movers you love.


Post by Kenna Tuski

Kenna Tuski, a Portland Maine native, graduated from SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance with honors in the spring of 2013. Kenna was given the opportunity to study abroad at Taipei National University of the Arts in Taiwan in her Junior year at Purchase. In 2013–2014 Kenna worked with pop singer Betty Who as her personal assistant and tour manager. Kenna danced with Nimbus Dance Works and was assistant coordinator of their 2013 Nutcracker Production. She has toured nationally and internationally with Shen Wei Dance Arts and in 2014 became a performer in Punch Drunk’s Sleep No More.

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