an African-American painter, sculptor, graphic artist, illustrator, photographer and educator was born in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1907. He received his BA and MA degrees from Columbia University and also studied at New York University. Alston taught at the Harlem Community Art Center, Harlem Art Workshop, Pennsylvania State University and was associate professor of painting at The City University of New York. Alston worked as a muralist for the WPA / FAP during the Great Depression. His two-panel mural of that period, Magic and Medicine, can be seen at Harlem Hospital, at Lenox Avenue between 137th and 138th Streets. Two abstract mosaics, Equal Justice Under the Law, 96" x 432" on the first floor lobby of the Criminal Court and The Family 144" x 264" located in the first floor lobby of Family Court were commissioned from the artist by the Department of General Services / FA panel. Other works by Alston are in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art and in public and private collections throughout the county.
Alston was a member of the Board of Directors of the National Society of Mural Painters and an active member of Spiral, an artists' collaborative in the 60's. As an educator he influenced a number of artists including Jacob Lawrence and Romare Bearden. Alston was selected by the Museum of Modern Art and the US State Department to be coordinator of the children's creative center at the 1958 Brussels World's Fair. Alston died in 1977 in New York City.