African artist painting in south Mississippi

By David Elliott - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Laman Dabbi grew up in the Gambia in west Africa. He is a self taught painter who uses spectacular colors and images from his homeland to create unique paintings.

"In my art, I think about the environment in the Gambia. That's what I depict in my paintings," Dabbi said as he applied paint to a canvass inside a garage turned studio in South Mississippi.

Dabbi was brought to America by Fred and Karen Sock. The South Mississippi couple traveled to Africa and met Laman. They fell in love with his work and wanted to give him an opportunity to be discovered in America.

The Socks contacted organizers with the Peter Anderson Festival in Ocean Springs and submitted Dabbi's name as a potential vendor at the festival.

"They wrote us a letter saying Laman could participate," Karen Sock remembered. "We were delighted. We knew the scope of the event had the potential to change his life."

Laman Dabbi has spent the past few weeks creating art and getting ready to show and sell pieces at the Peter Anderson Festival scheduled for November 7th and 8th. You can also see his paintings at Negrotto's Gallery in Biloxi.

Laman Dabbi is full of energy and excitement over this opportunity to be in America. He's enjoying some good old fashioned South Mississippi hospitality.

"It's fantastic. Everyone is so nice. It's like my home," Dabbi said.

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