Heart of the Yam is a sculpture from my Leaf Series done in 2006. I am a gardener. Many of my forms are derived from my observations of shapes and textures seen in my garden. In the Leaf Series, I imagined what a leaf would look like if it took on three dimensions and rather than flat and linear became fleshy and contoured. I also expanded the scale of the leaves, giving them the dimensions of enormous fruits or even animals. My work continues to take its clues from the garden in subsequent series including the Places of Our Own and More Places of Our Own series which creates portraits of African American farms and gardens.

Syd Carpenter b. 1953

Photo by Matthew Bender

Working as an artist has been the source of all that has been meaningful and a source of joy in my life. Art is my common ground around which revolves my interaction with family, teaching and community. The enthusiasm and commitment I bring to my teaching is an outcome of the level to which I am engaged in my art while community involvement allows me to share the value I place on the visual with those who may otherwise disregard its impact upon their lives. Family is a constant source of inspiration both as image and encouragement. I don't believe artists make the decision to become artists. They are born. The hope is that they find the will to pursue their vision, an environment in which to develop , and a culture respectful of their contributions.

Syd Carpenter's work is in the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Atlantic Richfield Corporation, Nabisco Brands, the University of Illinois, Art in General, New York, Philadelphia Convention Center, Bell Atlantic Corporation, Canton Ohio Museum of Art, Erie Museum of Art, Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institute, Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute, Jingdezhen China,and in numerous private collections.