Lonnie Powell is a graduate of Lincoln University, Jefferson City, Missouri where he was privileged to study under the guidance of the late James Dallas Parks whose influence spread well beyond the sphere of art.
Powell’s occupations have ranged from dishwasher at the Villa Capri Restaurant to Xerox Executive Sales Representative, but the vast majority of his career was as an art teacher in the Kansas City, Missouri School District.
Though he is not presently a member, Powell is a charter board member and a past board president of The Black Archives of Mid-America and a co-founder of Euphrates Gallery. He is a past president of the Friends of Bruce R. Watkins Culture Heritage Center. Powell is the founder and past president of The Light in the Other Room, a collaborative of African-American, Kansas City based artists.
Powell has shown in and around his beloved city of Kansas City, Missouri in many venues including solo and group exhibits at Ethnic Art Gallery, The Central Exchange, Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center and Museum, American Jazz Museum’s Changing Gallery, The Vine Street Studio, The 18th Street Studio, The Review Studio and many others.
He has exhibited at a number of area colleges and universities including Park University, Parkville, Missouri; Western Missouri University, St. Joseph, Missouri; Lincoln University, Jefferson City, Missouri; Rockhurst University, Kansas City, Missouri where he spent a year (1969-1970) as artist in residence; The University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, Missouri; Avila College, Kansas City, Missouri; William Jewell College, Liberty, Missouri; and Kansas University Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas.
Powell has had art accepted in competitions at The Portfolio Gallery, St. Louis, Missouri; The Atlanta Life Insurance Company’s African-American National Art Competition and Exhibition, Atlanta, Georgia; The Black Arts Festival, Dayton, Ohio; The Plaza Art Fair, Kansas City, Missouri; The National Watercolor Society, Brea, California; and The St. Louis Art Fair, Clayton, Missouri.
His art is in numerous private collections, as well as corporate and museum collections including: Sprint Corporation, H & R Block Corporation, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Fishnet Corporation, Andrews/McMeel Universal, Sports Association Management, Inc., Truman Medical Center, Kansas City Chiefs Arrowhead Art Collection and permanent collections at The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, American Jazz Museum, Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, and Mulvane Art Museum.
He has art in The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum’s traveling exhibition, Shades of Greatness, which tours galleries and museums across the country.
Powell is a Signature Member of The National Watercolor Society and his award winning watercolor, South Sun, toured the country in 2006 with The National Watercolor Society’s 85th Annual Traveling Exhibition.
Powell was named one of the “Ones to Watch” by Watercolor Magic Magazine in the December 2006 issue. In December of 2007, he traveled with members of Change the Truth to Kajjansi, Uganda to give a series of art workshops for children of St. Mary Kevin’s Orphanage.
In October 2013, Powell won “Best of Show” in Harlem X-Hibit on Black Art in America.
Missouri Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II and his wife, Dianne Cleaver, honored Powell with a Congressional Record Statement for his artistic contributions to the community and country in April 2015.
Powell received the ArtsKC Virtuoso Award in February 2020 for his volunteerism, his artistic contributions and his work within arts education and the Kansas City arts community as a whole.