The annual Atlanta Art Awards took place Sunday October 23rd of this year at the Fox Theatre in downtown Atlanta. The weekend was filled with great artists and performers. The winner of the weekend was visual artist Raphael Bahindwa who knew from a young age that he wanted to pursue art for a living.

“I feel like I always wanted to do this for a living. I have a very supportive family and friends, and I really enjoy showing them my work,” said Bahindwa. 

Bahindwa committed to that statement and left his home in Congo Kinshasa to come to Atlanta to pursue an art education, where he received a B.F.A from SCAD Atlanta earlier this year.  Since being in Atlanta, he has worked from. After coming to Atlanta he immediately began work on projects both in school and out of school

“I collaborated with different artists, from fine artists, to fashion designers, and even collaborated on some music scoring projects. Of course I worked on many personal projects, and some school projects. This year I actually had an honor to work on a commission for the mayor of Atlanta, Andre Dickens, and had the privilege to paint live at his private birthday party,” said Bahindwa. 

But all of Bahindwa’s hard work culminated in hearing his name called when he won the Atlanta Artist of the year award.

“It’s honestly very cool to be called Atlanta Artist of the year. It’s a different feeling, I can tell you that. This city keeps opening its doors for me, and I’m very grateful for the city of Atlanta,” said Bahindwa. 

Going against several artists in several different mediums Bahindwa knew very well what that meant.

“I can tell you that Atlanta has some super talented artists, from music to fine art, and going against those artists was a little scary, but awesome at the same time. In the end, it’s all about challenging yourself,” Bahindwa said.

The future is bright for Bahindwa. He is currently working on a series of works, which includes a series of work titled Little Kings, a series that represents non-privileged kids from the Congo DRC.