Internationally renowned artist Synthia Saint James returns to the African American Firefighter Museum in Los Angeles, with a fine art fundraiser on Saturday, Feb. 16,  from 1p.m. to 5 p.m. The event will include a “conversation with the artist” from 1:30p.m. to  2:15 p.m. featuring a short video on her career and a Q&A session with the audience.

In 2001, Saint James was commissioned by the International Association of Black Professional Firefighters to create a painting honoring black firefighters who lost their lives in the 9/11 attack. This began her deep connection with black firefighters and their legacy.

She unveiled the painting on Nov. 11, 2001, at a memorial held for the victims and their families in Brooklyn, New York. The painting, “In Unity” now hangs at the Vulcan Station in Brooklyn. A limited edition fine art reproduction is displayed at AAFFM, and prints will be available for purchase at the art event.

Saint James is most celebrated for designing the first Kwanzaa stamp for the United States Postal Service in 1997, for which she received a History Maker Award. She also designed the cover art for author Terri McMillan’s book, Waiting to Exhale. Her incredible art has been cherished and collected by Johnnie L. Cochran Jr., Alice Walker, Glynn Turman, Brenda Russell, Jenifer Lewis and many more.

The AAFFM, a non-profit organization, is located at 1401 South Central Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90021. The historical building is the first and so far the only free-standing African-American firefighter museum in the United States. The first floor contains vintage photos and stories of pioneering African-American firefighters of Los Angeles. The museum’s gallery, located on the second floor, has additional pictures, artifacts and other memorabilia of African-American firefighters, captains, chief officers and historical women fire service professionals from around the country. There is also a memorial tribute to the firefighters who perished during the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center in New York City.

For more information, visit, email or call (213) 744-1730.


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