The Washington Post’s obituary for Norman Parish tells the frustrating and surprising story of his taking his career into his own hands. Parish had moved to Washington, DC to work as a computer graphics designer at an environmental firm:
“While people generally seemed to like my paintings, no one would show them,” he told The Washington Post in 1996. “Finally, someone told me I should open my own gallery and exhibit my work. I rejected the idea at first. Then I decided it wasn’t so bad and went into business.”
He opened the Parish Gallery in Georgetown in 1991. It became one of the country’s best-known black-owned art galleries, with a focus on works by African Americans and other artists of what is known as the African diaspora.
Mr. Parish gave himself five years to make the gallery a success. Within that time, he was able to give up his day job in computers to devote himself to the gallery, which he operated with his wife, Gwen.
Norman Parish, artist and gallery owner, dies at 75 (Washington Post)