Photo by Andrew Potter

Photo by Barbara Barefield

Photo by Barbara Barefield

A. Spencer Barefield IV

A. Spencer Barefield IV grew up surrounded by art and music. He fell in love with clay at the early age of 4-years-old, when he accompanied his mother Barbara to Pewabic Pottery, where she worked as a studio assistant. At that time, he created a small bowl for the Empty Bowls Project, which encouraged artists of all ages to create bowls and use them at fundraising events to serve soup. Proceeds were then donated to feed those in need. Spencer's bowl was sent to the White House for a special exhibit about Empty Bowls.

As a teenager, one of his bowls was displayed in the Empty Bowl's exhibit at the Swords into Plowshares Peace Gallery. The seeds were planted, and he continued to study at Pewabic Pottery, where he learned how to throw on the potter's wheel. He studied art at the Roeper School, and for a short time at Cass Tech, where he won top awards from the Detroit Tigers (his first place artwork was printed on the baseball team's annual holiday card); and from the national Coca Cola "Art in Harmony" competition (where his work was displayed at the Wright Museum of African American History).

He has been a featured artist at Elegance By Design in Ferndale, and his work has been included in student-staff exhibits at Pewabic Pottery. He has studied at the Oakland Community College Royal Oak Ceramics Program under the mentorship of the late Professor Charlie Blosser. His drawings, paintings and computer artwork reflect a personal style that is quite extraordinary and tell surreal and intimate stories.

In June 2014, he his work was exhibited in a three-person show with Nora Chapa Mendoza and Barbara Barefield at the Lawrence Street Gallery in Ferndale, Michigan.