Early in his career, Mr. Parish was part of a politically active group of black artists in Chicago. He continued painting after coming to Washington in 1988 to take a job with an environmental company as a computer graphics designer.
With a new artistic focus on lush landscapes inspired by his travels through Western Maryland, Mr. Parish attempted to exhibit and sell his work in local galleries.
“While people generally seemed to like my paintings, no one would show them,” he told The Washington Post in 1996. “Finally, someone told me I should open my own gallery and exhibit my work. I rejected the idea at first. Then I decided it wasn’t so bad and went into business.”
He opened the Parish Gallery in Georgetown in 1991. It became one of the country’s best-known black-owned art galleries, with a focus on works by African Americans and other artists of what is known as