Otto Neals, painter, sculptor, and print-maker was born on December 11, 1930 to Gus and Della Neals in Lake City, S.C. When Otto was four years old, his family relocated to Brooklyn, New York where he has lived ever since. Otto’s earliest art inspiration came from an older cousin who cared for him while his parents were in the fields.
Neals is a self-taught artist except for a brief course at the Brooklyn Museum Art School and at the Bob Blackburn Printmaking Workshop where he studied with Krishna Reddy and Roberto DeLomanica. The late painter and sculptor, Vivian Schuyler Key, was largely responsible for his introduction to stone carving when she presented him with his first stone carving tools.
In 1951, Otto took a job with the U.S. Postal Service. He spent more than 36 years there as an illustrator. Otto and four other artists founded the now-defunct Weusi Nyumba Ya Sanaa Gallery in the heart of Harlem where it attracted people from around the world. Otto continues to participate in the Fulton Art Fair, in Brooklyn, New York, which was founded by Ernest Chrichlow, Jacob Lawrence and others in 1958.
Audrey Anastasi is a co-founder and director of Tabla Rasa, the first art gallery in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. She was born in Baltimore, Maryland and raised in south Florida. Audrey moved to Brooklyn, NY where she graduated from Pratt Institute with a MFA.
Audrey taught figurative drawing, portfolio development and anatomy for artists at the Parsons School of Design from 1985 to 1994. She has been featured in Smart Money Magazine, the Lenny Lopate Show (aka: New York & Company) on National Public Radio (NPR), the New York Times, New York Daily News, amNY, Pratt Folio, Jewish Week, the arts & entertainment supplements of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle (InBrooklyn) and the Brooklyn Courier (24/7), Artworld Digest, Zeek (an online magazine of Jewish culture), Brooklyn Fine Arts (BFA) magazine and On the Issues Magazine.com, as well as the New York Observer.
Audrey has served as a member of the Brooklyn Arts Council’s Board of Directors since 2001. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Dance Theatre Etcetera (DTEtc.org) and was President of the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition (BWAC.org), the largest artist-run, visual arts nonprofit organization in Brooklyn from 1999 to 2004.