2011 M.Charles Kees
M.Charles Kees, a Vicksburg, Ms, native who were raised in Lafayette, La and a current resident of Decatur, were taught everything about art from his cultured grandmother, Ella Mae. She exposed her own children to art, music and poetry. And M.Charles' mother Laura Kees passed it on to him. Growing up in a Southern Baptiste household that sometimes included as many as 13 of his cousins and aunts. Along with his older brother and younger sister. He learned at a very young age to entertain himself; to defend his beliefs and to be the very best in order to be accepted.
He taught himself to play piano, paint, act, and dance. He found a special love in music and art. His mother exasperated her strength ensuring that M.Charles remained devoted to school, something he excelled at, but had no special interest in the teachings. He found solace in reading about Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, and Vincent Van Gogh. He believed that it wasn't just the art that made those men special; it was their narrative. By the time he was 11 years old he began to copy the masters. Often becoming frustrated because he felt it was not as good as theirs and in his own words “lacked soul.” It was his mother who encouraged him to paint because he loved to, not because it pleased anyone else.