Hulis Mavruk was born in Southern Turkey in 1952. A self-taught artist, Mavruk has been painting since the age of 6, providing him with the means to continually refine his technique. In Turkey, he had a gallery and portrait studio on Incirlik Air Force Base, where U.S. Air Force officers actually paid him to do their portraits.
Mavruk's respect for the African American community dates from this period, when many of his customers were African American Air Force officers. Since moving to the United States in 1972, he has embraced the African American community by painting images portraying African American leaders, religious ideals, and family life. Mavruk believes that his work can inspire young African Americans to take pride in their heritage and try to emulate their leaders.