Born and raised in Oakland, Calif., Milton Bowens, is the fifth boy of ten children and also the youngest of the ten, that’s the origin of his unique signature Milton 510. Milton’s artistic promise began at the age of five with nothing more than a few pencils and cut up brown paper bags stapled together and used as sketch paper, thanks to his mother’s ingenuity of making the best of lean times. Milton never lost sight of his humble roots. Discreetly placed on many of his collage works is a piece or strip of brown paper bag a subtle reminder it doesn’t take much to spark creativity.
In 2010 Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, appointed Milton as the Arts and Education Spokes Person for Sacramento’s Any Given Child partnership with the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts Washington D.C.
Milton’s formal art education took off while he attended the Renaissance Art School in Oakland during his junior and senior high school years. Milton is a nationally recognized artist and activist, who has been creating powerful work for the past 20 years. With his unique brand of mixed media paintings, enveloping the viewer as witness, participant and long lost relatives. They become reflections on family, life and culture. Having one of his jazz collections “Afro-Classical” used as a part of course study on the Harlem Renaissance at Cornell University since 2009.
His work was recently featured in Transitions Magazine which is published by Harvard University. Milton 510’s art sparks conversation on art, history and the times in which we live today his work promises to be as direct, open, and honest as artistically possible.
Milton’s relentless quest for knowledge, exploring innovative artistic techniques and a deeper understanding of art, art history and the role it plays in the preservation of culture is never ending. Milton continues to give back to the community whether he’s providing art workshops to members at the local Boys and Girls Clubs of Sacramento or through his many lectures, workshops through Twin Rivers Unified School District, For Art Sake, Sacramento Unified School District and St. Hope Academy just to name a few of the many K-12 schools where he often teaches through his art.
He also continues to educate through art at several colleges and universities, with Los Rios Community College District and California State University Sacramento just being two of the higher education institutions that continue to ask Milton back because of the great response of the student body and faculty from his lectures and workshops.