Dorian Sylvain


I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way—things I had no words for. --Georgia O'Keeffe

Dorian Sylvain is a painter whose color and texture explore ornamentation, pattern and design as identifiers of cultural and historical foundations. She is a studio painter and muralist, as well as an art educator, curator, and community planner. Much of her public work addresses issues of beautification, inspired by color palettes and patterns found throughout the African diaspora. Core to her practice is nurturing the next generation of “Cultural Keepers” to elevate neighborhood aesthetics and foster shared understanding.

For more than four decades, Dorian Sylvain has created and led public art projects in partnership with organizations such as the Hyde Park Art Center, National Museum of Mexican Art, DuSable Museum, Chicago Park District, and the Field Museum. Currently, Sylvain is continuing her work as a public-arts organizer in collaboration with the South Side Community Arts Center and Mural Arts

Philadelphia, overseeing the Public Art & Civic Engagement (PACE) Capacity Building Initiative grant. She is a 3Arts/Southwest Airlines Community Awardee, a MacArthur Foundation grantee, and the 2021/22 INVEST South/West Initiative Artist-in-Residence for Auburn Gresham.