Alvin D. Pettit, Painter-Sculptor
Baltimore, MD native, and Jersey City based fine artist, Alvin Pettit has firmly situated himself in the field of figurative sculpting and painting for over 25 years. Historical works of African-American artist, such as Barkley L. Hendricks, heavily influenced him as a teen. He also drew great inspiration from his father, Alvin Dwight Pettit Sr. a prominent Baltimore Civil Rights Attorney, who also pursued art as a hobby in his early years. His father’s paintings reflected the mindset of the Black Power Movement of the 1960’s and 70’s, which lead Alvin to recognize the importance of using art as a tool for social change.
After graduating from the Baltimore School for the Arts in 1988, Alvin relocated to New York to attend the School of Visual Arts, where he earned his BFA in 1992. His professional career began in 1994, after being hired as an assistant sculptor to world-renowned artist Jeff Koons. During that time, Alvin furthered his artistic training at the NY Art Students League in 1996. He continued to develop his reputation as a prolific artist and product designer by producing works for clients, such as: The Conan O’Brian Show, the Guggenheim Museum, Saturday Night live, Today’s Black Woman Magazine, the NY Museum of Natural History, Macy’s Parade, and Saks Fifth Avenue. Alvin was also an instructor at the Kubert School of Design in Dover, NJ from 2006 to 2010, where he taught painting and advertising.
In 2013, the Mayor’s office appointed Alvin to a directorship position at the Mary McLeod Bethune Life Center in Jersey City, NJ. Since then, Alvin has spearheaded the Center’s transformation from a blighted rental facility into one of the most highly revered Cultural-Community epicenters in Jersey City. Today the Bethune Center provides arts, wellness, and educational programming to all of Jersey City, and neighboring communities abroad.
Alvin sits on the board of the JC Arts Council, the JC Artist Certification Board, and the JC Public Art Advisory Board. Occasionally, he addresses African-American related issues as a guest commentary speaker with his father on the programs Real Questions, WEAA 88.9 FM and WOLB 1010AM in Baltimore. He continues to create commissioned sculptures, public murals, and paintings for various clientele.