"Remake of Egon Schiele's Woman in Green Stockings," 2008


Justin Fair is a Baltimore native who works by day with the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development in the rural counties-small cities program.  He recently earned his Masters in City and Regional Planning at Morgan State University. In his 'off-time,' he is board chair with MissionFit, a non-profit that uses the power of training and exercise to empower Baltimore’s youth to achieve health, belonging and success. If that wasn't too much to-do, he is co-founder and vice-president of Unmatched Athlete, a non-profit that plans pickup games for LGBTQ+ youth sports across the Baltimore-DC corridor.

A man of many hats (obviously), Justin is a self-proclaimed know-it-all who immediately files everything away, including where he put his glasses. By night, he dreams of becoming a bodyweight warrior, and is a proud housing advocate and visual artist under the name, Soulstrong. Justin is passionate and excited to overlay his interests of community development, fitness, and the arts, with being mindful and building family.

Recap

Ask Justin about all-things public art and urban design; he'll nerd out with you. Prior to his community planning work in Baltimore and his community development across rural communities across Maryland, he worked with the Hyattsville Community Development Corporation. With the HCDC, he led economic and arts programs where he managed a portfolio of light-development projects, business consultations, public art commissions, databases, and engaged daily with the community, including the Annual Downtown Hyattsville Arts (and Ales!) Festival. Prior to his work in Hyattsville, he received his Bachelors of Arts in Theatre and in Studio Art from University of Maryland-College Park. With a background getting his hands dirty, it's no wonder that he paints and draws in his free time at night, and has been known to dabble in movement-focused performance art.

Flash back even further, and Justin grew up as a skinny, high-pitched, asthmatic, artistic kid! All grown up, he's slightly bigger and finally fits into his clothes! With a focus on community development and an innate passion for empowerment and spirituality, he is charged with advocacy projects like Unmatched AthleteMissionFit, and volunteering with his synagogue. He aims to help kids of all ages discover the joy of community and self through the body and the spirit.

Justin and his family live in Southwest Baltimore on the County line. Follow Justin on Twitter @soulstrong.

Curious to see his art-in action? Browse his dry media, acrylic painting, and seasonally freelances video performance art on Soulstrong.com. While there, you can also browse his prolific photography and online musings.

Artist Statement

Justin Fair's dry media drawings phrase dark themes with an optimistic silver lining. With a rich palette of innate tones and textures, he explores primal human concepts, like conflict-of-character, childhood joys and spiritual awakening (examples include 2011’s "Jumpers", 2012’s "Play", and 2011’s "Shechinah", respectively).With works like "Sick" (2009), "Catharsis" (2011), and "New Life" (2014), Mr. Fair channels heartfelt concepts stemming from fearful isolation, question, and unknown opportunity into narratives of conquering fear, earnest devotion and capturing joy. His work is autobiographical and an exploration of discipline or the lack there-of.

Gallery