Garry Horton, better known as “Gee” is a Cincinnati hyperrealist artist.
If you’ve seen Gee’s work, you’ll find it hard to believe he’s self-trained, but he is. You may have come across his gorgeous art at Secret ArtWorks, the Mercantile Library where he’s the Artist-in-Residence, or on Plum Street’s Black Lives Matter mural.
Gee was a leader of the artist collective, Black Art Speaks, which created the Black Lives Matter! mural painted in front of City Hall in June 2020.
“Gee is a natural leader, role model and bridgebuilder and he is one of our community’s most active artist change agents,” says Colleen Houston, CEO and artistic director. “We are so grateful for his board leadership at ArtWorks and we applaud his role in the Black Art Speaks collective to paint the Black Lives Matter! Mural, to prominently elevate the voice of 16 local black artists who are united in working for needed change in our community.”
Gee’s contribution to the Black Lives Matters! mural is the “L,” using text from the renowned African-American poet Langston Hughes’ 1926 poem, “I, Too.
“The work represented the notion that being once denied a seat at the table is not the end of hope,” wrote Briana Rice, and Sarah Haselhorst, of the Cincinnati Enquirer in the feature about Gee and all the Black Art Speaks artists. “That things can change when hope is strong. It’s a sentiment Horton said that still rings true.”
Gee’s graphite and charcoal pencil drawings are extremely vivid. They often pay homage to his African roots and highlight themes of being a Black man in America.
joined our board of directors. He is always the first to volunteer and support any event or campaign we are participating in.
“ArtWorks has a special place in my heart,” Gee says. “The impact of our work throughout the Cincinnati arts community is amazing.”
Gee has emceed numerous events for ArtWorks such as Youth Apprentice Summer Celebration, Secret ArtWorks and an 2019 artist salon for local artists at Banz Studio. The charisma, fun, and zest Gee brings is the icing on the cake of any of our gatherings.
“I absolutely love working with our Youth Apprentices,” he says. “Their energy is just contagious! Not only does our work connect them to collaborative art projects around the city, it also connects them to a larger community of like-minded artists. And that’s where the real impact happens.”
Learn more about Gee and his work at geehorton.com.
ArtWorks is an award-winning Greater Cincinnati nonprofit that transforms people and places through investments in creativity. The organization creates jobs for youth, ages 14-21 with the majority from underserved households, providing competitive 21st-century career-readiness skills through mentorship by professional artists. Since 1996, ArtWorks has employed more than 3,600 youth and 3,200 creative professionals, and the organization has completed more than 12,500 public and private art projects that include 190 permanent outdoor murals, contributing to the region’s global reputation as an arts destination.