Beard, Derrick, (Leaven Lock)
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"Leaven Lock" (Fake, Fraud, and Prison Industrial Complex) by Derrick Beard
24 x 20 inches silkscreen on black velvet, edition of 3, 2016
Derrick Joshua Beard was born in Chicago in 1958. He is the descendant of free Blacks who were artisans in Alabama, and interest in the arts runs throughout his family. Beard was identified as artistically gifted at an early age. He studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, and later received a scholarship to the Cranbrook Academy of Arts in Michigan, where he studied under Michael Hall. Hall's interest in folk art influenced Beard's own interest in the topic.
Beard received a bachelor's degree in Urban Economics from the University of Chicago in 1980. After graduation, he worked at a variety of jobs, including positions with an architectural firm in Chicago, a stock broker, and an engineering firm. He eventually founded his own construction and real estate firm in Houston, Texas. His company later expanded into Louisiana; work in the city of New Orleans increased Beard's interest in African American history.