John Baker is a Buffalo born and raised artist, curator, activist and educator, whose work explores the various triumphs and challenges of the African American experience.
He received his Bachelor’s in Art Education and his Master’s in Museum Studies from SUNY College at Buffalo. Professionally he has worked as art director for Gladys Records, graphic artist for several local organizations and is a retired art and photography teacher for Buffalo Public Schools. Additionally, Baker has directed and coordinated various community groups and organizations to hold activities, events and educational programs. As a curator and activist for artists, his focus has been on providing emerging artists from underrepresented groups the opportunity to gain exhibition experience and build public interest in developing talent throughout the community. He has advocated and curated a number of shows to share the value of art, art appreciation, inclusion and multi-cultural experiences. In 2017 Baker was elected to serve as president of the WNY Urban Arts Collective, a group created to provide support and representation for emerging artists and artists of color.
Baker’s acrylic on canvas representations of people, including family members, children and Negro League baseball players, are all representative of both his own personal experiences as well as the Black experience. His works are intended to evoke emotional responses from viewers, created to impact and inspire those that come across his works. Baker explains in his artist statement:
“Inspired by many people, places and things, art is my all-consuming passion, as an artist and a man, exposing my inner self to the masses. My work is born from my emotions, offspring of my life’s experiences, always changing, always revealing.”
His work has been featured in solo and group shows at several institutions throughout Western New York, such as the Albright Knox Art Gallery, Burchfield Penney Art Center, Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center, El Museo, Rich Products, and the Buffalo Niagara International Airport. He has also completed murals, commissions and public arts projects for the Buffalo Sabres, Mt. Olive Baptist Church and Mayor Byron Brown. Baker was also one of the selected artists for The Freedom Wall, a public arts project for the Albright Knox Art Gallery. He completed the project along with artists Julia Bottoms, Edreys Wajed and Chuck Tingley in 2017.
More information on Baker and his work can be found on his Facebook page.
 “John Baker Artist Statement,” Burchfield Penney Artist File.