Artists Past & Present

Nijel Binns



Nijel Binns is accomplished in portrait sculpture, and painter in the realist tradition. Nijel was born in Battersea, England. After his introduction to painting and sculpture during high school in the United States, Nijel continued his education with independent study of great works of art. He received professional mentorship under master sculptor Felix De Weldon (best known for the Iwo Jima Monument), as well as mentorship under the senior African American sculptor Ed Dwight.


Nijel’s skill as a portrait sculptor was first acknowledged with a commission to sculpt pop icon, Michael Jackson in 1990 for the “Top Selling Artist of the Decade” tribute. Also that year, Nijel received a commission from Motown Records to create the gold plated, Maasai Princess bronze sculpture for singer Stevie Wonder.


Additional commissions for portrait sculptures followed including a wax portrait sculpture of the late astronaut Colonel Ron McNair for the Great Blacks in Wax Museum in Baltimore, MD, as well as the only life-sized bronzed sculpture of the famous child actress Shirley Temple for Fox Studios. There is also a life-sized bronze busts of Los Angeles’ retired Urban League President John W. Mack for the Los Angeles Urban League Headquarters, and a life-sized bronze bust of Councilman retired Nate Holden for the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles.

Nijel’s large bas reliefs are found at the John W. Mack Elementary School, and at the Charmette Bonpua Skate Park in Los Angeles. On a smaller scale, until recently, Nijel has produced yearly awards for the Los Angeles Urban League, the Lula Washington’s Dance Company, The Pan African Film Festival as well as medallic art for the In The Meantime Men’s Group in Los Angeles, and The American Society for Cell Biology in Bethesda, MD.


Nijel’s largest public monument to date is the 16 ft. tall, two-ton bronze “Mother of HumanityTM” monument. It is a tribute to peace, womanhood, and the singularity of the human family. The monument was unveiled on Mother’s Day, May 11, 1996 and is permanently installed at the Watts Labor Community Action Committee in Watts, CA.
Forthcoming state side commissions include a bronze memorial to fallen officers for the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, and a massive Mexican American All Wars Memorial in East Los Angeles. Long term International projects include a Patrice Lumumba monument for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and a Mother of HumanityTM project for Africa. Nijel Binns heads the L.A. based sculpting firm Nijart International.