In the Spotlight! Jamaal Hasef Tolbert, Teaching Artist

2020-09-17  |  By Jamaal Hasef Tolbert, Teaching Artist for ArtsMatter

Today we chat with Jamaal, Teaching Artist for ArtsMatter at The LA Promise Fund.

Today we chat with Jamaal Hasef, Teaching Artist for ArtsMatter at The LA Promise Fund.

I am a visual artist, art educator and art advisor. I'm a Los Angeles native who is involved in my community and always looking to learn something new.

Why do you do this work? What do you love about it? I I actually do this because Art is my passion and also because I am needed. Growing up and attending grade school and college I never had a black art teacher. Representation is important and all students need a black teacher in their life.

What's one of your favorite memories during your work for the LA Promise Fund? Teaching Miss Becerra’s class animation. They struggled at first but then they pulled through and created amazing videos.

When you were a teenager, what did you want to do in life? I wanted to be an architect

If you could give your teenage self some advice, what would it be? Do not worry about what people think. Be you and be great!


What are three fun facts about you?

  • Music literally keeps me going throughout the day.

  • Food is my best friend lol. People watching is my favorite thing to do.

  • I'm just fascinated at human interactions.

What artist(s) inspires you and why? Theaster Gates and Jeff Coons. They inspire me because they both have figured out ways to manipulate the art world and get money respectfully. I also enjoy their artwork as they both create memorable works that hold your attention when seen in person.

 What is the one thing you are sure to do when we are on the other side of this Pandemic? Leave America for a couple of months to Ghana and Senegal.

See more of Jamaal's current projects as a working artist HERE and HERE.