Students, educators, and the general public have expressed appreciation for our projects.
Hi Michele, I came to your exhibition last summer it was amazing! And really inspired me to write a dissertation on the Bristol Bus Boycott and the outcome of the event...
- Frizz crawford, Student, Instagram, January 2019
Michele Curtis is an incredibly inspiring artist who is not only immensely talented, but also has a brilliant way of communicating her project ideas, sharing creative skills and talking about the way in which art can help tackle social issues. During her session with us she supported a group of young people (NEETs) to understand the role of public art and develop ideas in order to create their own murals. Her motivational industry talk sparked discussions around representation, diversity and the use of art in engaging local community.
~ Grace Kress, Creative Director Paper Arts, January 2019
I can’t thank you enough for your fantastic presentation and help in delivering this conference!
~ Huda Elmi, Lead Organiser, Black Members National Education Union NEU, January 2019
Dear Michele, I am sitting in the University of Bristol staff lounge admiring your drawing. Thank you for teaching me about Roy Hackett. What a hero!
~ Maxine Sims, University of Bristol, December 2018
I really enjoyed meeting you and seeing your wonderful art Michele, thank you for coming into my school!
~ Laila Kaity, October 2018
This exhibition [ARTival 2018] has been the highlight of my trip from Abu Dhabi! Superb portraits and a great exhibit. Good luck and well done!
~ Teresa Powell, Exhibition attendee, June 2018
Exhibition [ARTival 2018] is amazing. It is our history and it is a breath of fresh air. Loved it. Well done. It would be great to have a book of everyone in the exhibition.
~ Unknown exhibition attendee, June 2018
An excellent choice of medium and most impressive. I look forward to seeing a publication of them shortly and the TV programme to come.
~ Jo Sharratt,June 2018
Fantastic! I loved it, need to put it in a book, no time to read all the profiles.
~ Wendy, June 2018
Amazing! Uncle Bill Smith would be so proud and our Caribbean elders.
~ Unknown exhibition attendee, June 2018
As the daughter of Bill Smith, one of the founders of the West Indian Association, I feel very proud of this exhibition. Thank you.
~ Exhibition attendee, June 2018
A great achievement and a source of enlightenment. It is so important to capture the communities’ history.
~ Jon Barr, Head teacher, St Barnabas C of E Primary School, June 2018
Congratulations, this is so inspiring and reminds me of how pivotal the people we grew up with were and are in our lives. Thank you for re-introducing us to our legends.
~ Bev Forbes, June 2018
Thank you for reminding Bristol that Black people are more than slavery and reminding me that I enjoy great privilege as a result of the work my grandparents’ generation did! There is still work to be done in Bristol!
~ Shanaz, June 2018
It's so important to record the lives of people from the Black community in Bristol who deserve to have their voice heard. Well done for capturing this history before the memories are lost.
~ Geoff Woolfe and Pat McLaren, June 2018
I walked a different way to work this morning and went past your Owen Henry [Mural]. It made me smile and feel uplifted. Thank you for the lovely art and history!
~ Chrissy Kelly, Bristol resident, January 2018
She draws people’s faces like she’s taking a photograph of their very soul. The winner of a prestigious art prize in her first year at college, she’s fast-becoming the official portrait painter of Bristol.
~ The Bristol Cool List: The 50 coolest Bristolians alive today, No# 36 Michele Curtis, The Bristol Post, January 2017
I’m a big admirer of Michele’s work and the way she captures the essence of Bristol’s Afro Caribbean community. I think this exhibition is a powerful reminder of the vibrancy of Bristol’s Black culture at a time when we’ve not had Carnival for two years and more poignantly, in the year that we lost one of the Seven Saints of St Pauls, Carmen Beckford.
I imagine that like me, most of the city’s Afro Caribbean residents grew up immersed in the sights and the sounds of Carnival. Yet its importance stretches far beyond the street parties, the procession and the incredible goat curry. It’s also about education, inclusion, community strength and welcoming diversity. It is central to the community and I am delighted to see the Carnival Commission making progress on their review of how we can bring it back to the streets of St Pauls in time for the 50th anniversary.
I look forward to reliving my youth with a bit of The Wild Bunch and others when I visit Michele’s new exhibition.
~ Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, July 2016
United Communities is a community-based housing association with a strong presence in St Pauls. Michele has proved herself as a well-respected member of the community and has helped to make several local projects a success. We commissioned Michele to paint two murals in St Pauls on properties that have been plagued by tagging. Michelle was able to work with residents on the street to come up with two designs, a safari and woodland and then involved local kids during the school holidays in helping to paint.
The walls were large so this meant a lot of planning in order to access the higher points and also work around the street layout i.e. incorporate a lamp post and alleyway at one location. Painting on the street and involving the kids meant that she had to carry out risk assessments and take responsibility for the health and safety of passers by during the painting sessions.
We had some lovely painting days where Michele was inspiring and patient, getting older kids to paint directly on to the mural- some were a bit nervous and she was very encouraging, under Michele’s watchful eye even three year olds were able to make their mark.
We have also supported Michele in her exhibition of The Seven Saints of St Pauls, this was well attended by the community and many people commented on how learning about these great local people has helped to instill a sense of pride in their community. We will continue to support the project, as three of the Seven Saints were instrumental in the setting up our Housing Association.
Michele has worked really hard on this project and local people, all of whom are very proud of what she has achieved so far, have embraced it. She is very skilled at getting people to work together and is committed to sharing skills and inspiring the next generation- on one of the murals she had a students from Colston’s Girls School gaining work experience with her. We are excited to see the Seven Saints of St. Pauls murals painted as a mark of respect to the elders who are being commemorated but also as a way of motivating new ‘Saints’ to emerge in the area.
~ Tamsin Evans, Communities Officer, United Communities Housing Association, February 2016
Michele Curtis represents power, strength, creativity and pride. Her art work is authentic and reflects our community’s truth and legacy. For the Mogul Minded Group’s first networking banquet Michele Curtis was a perfect panelist, sharing her amazing story and giving attendees advice and encouragement to follow their dreams was truly empowering and inspiring. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for Michele and we also look forward to the possibility of collaborating with her in the future too.
~ Charmaine Lawrence, Mogul Minded Group, November 2015
Truly inspiring, proud to see younger generations taking pride in their elders and championing their life inspiring achievements. Bring this to Liverpool please!
~ Anonymous visitor to the Seven Saints of St. Pauls’ Exhibition, June 2015
I was really excited to see your new exhibition for the Se7en Saints and can't wait to come and see the work you've done as I really enjoyed the last! My favourite was the portrait of Erna Reid-Bailey because not only is it a fantastic drawing but it was so interesting to hear about the history behind her. Like Erna I want to be a teacher so I found it encouraging to learn about her journey and work she has done in Bristol through your artwork...
~ Nadia Lloyd, Student, Colston’s Girls School, May 2015
The Iconic Black Bristolians Exhibition is not just a great piece of artistic creation but plays a key role in educating young and old alike on the cultural significance of the Black community in Bristol. The portraits are of some of the pioneers behind the St Pauls Festival and include Dr Paul Stephenson OBE, Carmen Beckford MBE, Leo Goodridge and Erna Reid Bailey as well as poet Lawrence Hoo.
The cultural significance is in that this is one of many unheralded stories from the Windrush Generation who arrived as invited guests to Britain from the Caribbean after World War Two. They have played an unheralded role in making Bristol one of the UK best cities, inspiring future generations in the music and arts, such as Massive Attack and Banksy and now promising debut artist Michele Curtis.
~ Roger Griffith, author of My American Odyssey: From the Windrush to the White House March 2015
Michele has been a real inspiration to the girls who are studying art and photography at Colston’s Girls’ School. She has presented to them in assemblies and discussed her personal story, which has helped raise their aspirations as young artists. The girls have been particularly inspired by her resilience and determination to succeed. Michele has also come in to school to help girls with their interview techniques by offering 1:1 interview practice. This has had a direct impact on their confidence and self belief. Michele is now working with a small number of pupils to help deliver bespoke work experience suited to their interests and aspirations. It has been great working with Michele and we look forward to this partnership continuing with exciting new project on the horizon.
~ A. Davies, Assistant Principal and Head of Sixth Form, Colston’s Girls School, February 2015
Thank you Michele for your enthusiasm and generosity in sharing your life and work with us. I think I can safely say we were all fascinated and inspired by both yourself and your work.
~ Shirley Davies, Lecturer of Art & Design, City of Bristol College, Ashley Down Centre, February 2015,
When I was first approached by Michele Curtis and asked if I would consider being one of the subjects for her new exhibition Iconic Black Bristolians, I was surprised and humbled at being considered as a subject for such a groundbreaking exhibition. It is an honour and privilege to have been drawn by such a great artist and included within the Iconic Black Bristolians Exhibition, along side such pioneering and inspirational elders of the community.
~ Lawrence Hoo, Poet & Activist, October 2014
It was a rare pleasure to celebrate and the lives of so many inspirational Bristoians while they are still with us.
The exhibition breaths life into the people and movements that have shaped Bristol for the better.
~ Gus Hoyt, Green Party Counsellor, October 2014