The passion for art began at an early age. For Desmond Mason, art became a refuge, a channel through which he would overcome adversity and express himself.
I have always painted by emotion,” Mason said. “Art calms and blesses me. Art has helped mold me because it allows me to be free.
Born and raised in Waxahachie, Texas, the many challenges of Desmond’s early childhood were compounded by a scalding that badly scarred his legs. Those scars were deeper than skin, and as he came of age, they provided motivation to prove his resolve and satisfy his competitive spirit. A gifted multi-sport athlete, he became a high school basketball star and earned a scholarship to Oklahoma State University where he majored in Studio Art, studied art history and advanced his drawing and painting skills.
Under legendary OSU coach Eddie Sutton, Desmond continued to blossom as a basketball player and appeared in three NCAA tournaments. During his senior season, he received national recognition for both his basketball and artistic ability. Desmond was featured in Sports Illustrated and collected All-Conference and National Honors with the team advancing to the Elite 8 in the NCAA tournament.
In 2000, the Seattle Super Sonics drafted Desmond in the first round of the NBA draft. During Mason’s 10-year NBA career, he played for Seattle Super Sonics, Milwaukee Bucks, Oklahoma City Hornets and Thunder, and the Sacramento Kings. He won the NBA Slam Dunk competition in 2001. Desmond retired from basketball in 2009 and settled in Oklahoma City where he and his wife Rebecca and their two children reside today.
“The most important things in my life are my family and happiness,” Desmond said. “My children, Jada and Elijah are and have always been my inspiration. My wife Rebecca supports and motivates me daily while bringing peace, love, and happiness into my life. God blessed me with this artistic talent and I will continue to use it to make a difference.”
Desmond has sold more than 400 of his original pieces to collectors all over the world. Founded by the artist in 2004, the annual DMason Art Exhibition sells his art to benefit a variety of causes and charities. Well known for his philanthropy, in one 2-hour live auction event 23 paintings were sold and raised over $375,000. Desmond’s beneficiaries include the YWCA of Oklahoma City, NFL Players’ Association, Boys and Girls Club, JDRF Nationally through JLT, JDRF of Oklahoma City, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Fields and Futures, White Fields home for boys, A+ Schools, Allied Arts of Oklahoma City and many more. His artistic talents have allowed him to travel the world and hold solo art exhibitions in Mexico, China, Japan, Vietnam, South Korea, Puerto Rico, Dallas, Seattle, LA, Chicago, NYC, Las Vegas, Bahamas, Oklahoma City and one of the largest art events in the world Miami Art Basel. His client list includes, George Clooney, Howard Schultz, US Senator Herb Kohl, 28-time Olympic Medalist Michael Phelps, Cindy Crawford and husband Rande Gerber, Sports Announcer Joe Buck, OKC Thunder owners Clay Bennett, Bill Cameron, and Jeff Records as well as the Thunder’s GM Sam Presti, Mike Meldman of Discovery Land Company and many more. Desmond is ever mindful of the challenges faced by young people and is committed to using his artistic talents to help children, build a community and inspire others.