The Fair Housing Five

A new book for children

Illustrator- Sharika Mahdi-Neville

Sharika Mahdi-Neville, the oldest of five, grew up in New Orleans’ Ninth Ward. While her parents worked long hours to provide for their struggling family, she played a “second mom” to her younger sisters instead of playing with the other kids. Sharika has embraced art since childhood. She would spend hours listening to music and drawing the images she envisioned daily. Moving beyond drawing, she discovered painting in high school. Her art class became the platform on which she would stand to unite with the world-renowned art guild, Young Aspirations /Young Artists Inc, (YA/YA). YA/YA provided her with additional training and exposure to art. The Valedictorian of her high school class later earned an undergraduate and a graduate degree in Mass Communication from Louisiana State University.

Artist Sharika MahdiSharika spent the next several years working in the corporate arena. Although she flourished in the communications, marketing and public relations arena, she wanted to invest her full energy toward a career as an artist. The inspiration to re-emerge surfaced as she began working with successful artists at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage and the Essence Music Festivals in New Orleans. Her desire to improve as an artist grew strong as she continued to work closely with hair stylists, makeup artists and photographers while residing in Atlanta, GA. When she realized how passionate those people were about their craft, she was inspired to pursue her art career with an equal amount of passion.

Since her return to art in 2003, Sharika has participated in various art shows throughout Atlanta. Her work has been praised by many; including, Charles Bibbs, Maya Angelou and Marvin Dixon. She recently relocated to New Orleans to move forward with her inspirational and uplifting works of art.

Visit Sharika’s website here.