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Johnny Coleman

Installation artist, sculptor, and college professor Johnny Coleman was born in Saugus, Massachusetts on January 17, 1958. The son of Florence McCoy and John H. Coleman, he graduated from Redlands High School in Redlands, California and later earned his B.F.A. degree from the Otis Art Institute of the Parson’s School of Design and his M.F.A. degree from the University of California, San Diego.

Coleman is a tenured faculty member at Oberlin College where he teaches studio art and African American studies. His work has been exhibited in numerous galleries and museums, including Cleveland’s Museum of Contemporary Art, the David Zapf Gallery in San Diego, the Akron (Ohio) Museum of Art, and the William King Art Center in Abington, Virginia. His published works include “Landscapes of the Mind: Psychic Space and Narrative Specificity” in Space, Site, Intervention: Situating Installation Art from the University of Minnesota Press.

Coleman has received many awards and honors, including grants from the Ohio Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, ART MATTERS, and the Russell Foundation. In 1997, he was named Outstanding Alumnus of the Year by the Otis Institute of Art and Design. In 2003, he received the Cleveland Arts Prize for Visual Arts.

Coleman lives in Oberlin, Ohio and is married to Annette Macios. They have two children.

Accession Number

A2005.010

Sex

Male

Interview Date

1/12/2005

Last Name

Coleman

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Organizations
Schools

Redlands High School

University of California, San Diego

University of California-Santa Barbara

Otis College of Art and Design

Franklin Elementary School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Johnny

Birth City, State, Country

Saugus

HM ID

COL06

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Massachusetts

Favorite Vacation Destination

Oceans

Favorite Quote

Son, Experience Is An Excellent Teacher But A Lousy Surgeon. It Leaves Too Many Scars.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

1/17/1958

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Cleveland

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Soul Food, Mexican

Short Description

Installation artist and art professor Johnny Coleman (1958 - ) teaches art and African American studies at Oberlin College. His work has been exhibited in numerous galleries and museums, including Cleveland's Museum of Contemporary Art, the David Zapf Gallery in San Diego, the Akron (Ohio) Museum of Art, and the William King Art Center in Abington, Virginia.

Employment

Self-employed

Oberlin College

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
0,0:2769,41:3976,59:4544,67:5325,80:6816,119:7242,126:13490,213:17186,326:24754,437:56916,916:57972,940:59220,963:66516,1071:67188,1079:68340,1092:92452,1372:94627,1404:100369,1505:100717,1510:101239,1518:103153,1552:105154,1589:107329,1617:107764,1623:126265,1853:126720,1859:127084,1864:134756,1939:141980,2137:142668,2146:144216,2170:145592,2194:153180,2262:159116,2357:164750,2386$243,0:1701,25:2268,34:2592,39:6156,162:7209,185:7614,191:21434,388:25833,471:27244,496:30315,543:36159,635:51251,914:64470,1102:65010,1110:78285,1289:91687,1394:102585,1473:103977,1517:108849,1608:109980,1625:134330,1934
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Johnny Coleman's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Johnny Coleman lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Johnny Coleman talks about his immediate family and their move from Massachusetts to California when he was an infant

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Johnny Coleman talks about his grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Johnny Coleman talks about his parent's siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Johnny Coleman shares early memories of his childhood in Redlands, California

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Johnny Coleman recalls his early school days

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Johnny Coleman describes his exposure to art as a young child

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Johnny Coleman recalls the music in his childhood home and neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Johnny Coleman describes the smells of his childhood in Redlands, California

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Johnny Coleman remembers the smells of foods his mother cooked

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Johnny Coleman talks about organizations his family participated in

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Johnny Coleman remembers his time at Redlands High School in Redlands, California and his disinterest in school

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Johnny Coleman describes the house and neighborhood he grew up in

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Johnny Coleman recalls working at Redlands Community Hospital in Redlands, California and taking community college courses

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Johnny Coleman talks about his career with Thrifty Drug Store

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Johnny Coleman recalls influential courses and professors from his time at University of California at Santa Barbara in Santa Barbara, California

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Johnny Coleman remembers learning about black artists

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Johnny Coleman describes HistoryMaker Samella Lewis' encapsulation of black aesthetics

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Johnny Coleman talks about the roots of the black aesthetic in the Harlem Renaissance

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Johnny Coleman talks about sculptor Augusta Savage

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Johnny Coleman comments on the relationship between black artists, white patronage and the term "black art"

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Johnny Coleman recalls the impact of the Black Arts Movement in his youth

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Johnny Coleman talks about HistoryMaker Dick Gregory and other black cultural leaders

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Johnny Coleman describes finding his artistic voice

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Johnny Coleman remembers his experiences at Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design and the University of California, San Diego

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Johnny Coleman remembers early recognition for his artwork while earning his M.F.A. degree from University of California, San Diego

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Johnny Coleman describes his use of Toni Morrison's 'Beloved' in his installation piece, 'Rememory: a Response to "Beloved"'

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Johnny Coleman explains how materials from his installation piece, 'Rememory: a Response to "Beloved"' were to be reused after the show's closing

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Johnny Coleman describes works he made for Toni Morrison

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Johnny Coleman describes his trilogy of installation pieces inspired by Toni Morrison's 'Beloved'

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Johnny Coleman describes the use of sound in his installations and his goal of creating ritual space

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Johnny Coleman describes an installation telling the story of his brother being slapped by a white teacher

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Johnny Coleman talks about his Maroon ancestry

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Johnny Coleman describes an ancestor's escape from slavery and an installation piece created from the story

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Johnny Coleman talks about his past and future installation work and exhibitions

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Johnny Coleman talks about his teaching career at Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Johnny Coleman describes his studio class, Something from Something, and his seminar, Blues Aesthetic, at Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Johnny Coleman talks about his wife and children

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Johnny Coleman shares his future plans

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Johnny Coleman talks about his indirect route to becoming an artist

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Johnny Coleman reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Johnny Coleman reflects upon his hopes for his children's futures

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

2$3

DATitle
Johnny Coleman talks about the roots of the black aesthetic in the Harlem Renaissance
Johnny Coleman explains how materials from his installation piece, 'Rememory: a Response to "Beloved"' were to be reused after the show's closing
Transcript
Can you sort of walk us through the 20th century survey of African American art history. Was, I'd just like to have a better understanding of the roots of that kind of black aesthetic rhetoric, if we can call it that safely--$$Um-hm.$$--without, you know, denigrating it--$$Um-hm, um-hm.$$--at all but just to say the things that are being said in the 1980s, you know, they, they have earlier precedence.$$Oh, they sure do. I mean the things are being said (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) So where would you trace it to?$$I would trace it primarily back to, to the [Harlem] Renaissance and to Langston Hughes, you know, at one of, one of our native sons having come in high school from here at Central [High School, Cleveland, Ohio]. And Langston in terms of his love of black culture and vernacular speech and music, music, blues and jazz, and how black folks live and interact and wanting to reflect that on a personal level and on a cultural level, not so much as didactic, though he did write, you know, the, 'The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain' where he's talking specifically about, you know, who you're talking to and what are your reference and, and are you willing to, to identify yourself as, as a Negro artist in, in the lexicon of the day or black artist or do you simply want to be an artist. And he, he put a, a kind of binary in, in this kind of relationship as being an artist which he said he, he viewed as, I just wanna be an artist in an American sense, read: white. And he said that in opposition to an artist who had a strong relationship to community, to culture, to the language of black culture, to images, to history, to the way in which we are who we are not that's its monolithic but the range. And I would say that black aesthetic rests profoundly on his shoulders and some of the ideas that he was articulating along with others, Alain Locke, there in a big way. The Renaissance, you know, was a kind of a seedbed, it wasn't only located in Harlem [New York, New York] it was also happening in Chicago [Illinois], it was also happening in L.A. [Los Angeles, California], I'm talking about just creative expression within black folks. But as a, as an overall movement, it was certainly centered in Harlem and it was so rich and dense there across all the arts, all of 'em. But I think that in the '30s [1930s] is where this aesthetic really--$What happens to all that when the show closes?$$Well it's (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) You said you can't sell an installation?$$No, the, you know, I've been lucky with one, a very small piece was, was purchased out in California. But you can't sell an installation but they were never intended, they, that's a prayer for my daughter, it's a trilogy of prayers, each ones very, very specific and different. So what's gonna happen with it is I have it documented, I have the prayer that I'm speaking to her, physically speaking to her is both written and documented and recorded. She'll have all of that. She has all of, she'll have the locks from inside the boat, she'll have that little shoe form and she has all of the, now she's only five now but she'll have all of the necklaces, she'll have all my notes, the sketches, and that'll go into a book for her. And I've done several pieces for my son, all prayers that went into a book for him. And, you know, with the pieces that are yet to come, each one of 'em, '[A] Song for Ayo' is for Ayo [Coleman]. I don't know what Nyima [Coleman]'s book is titled but--$$Your daughter?$$My daughter.$$Okay.$$Those, that's what'll happen with those, you know. So for me they were prayers and for me the prayers function. And as far as materials, the boat is in a crate, the corn went to Habitat for Humanity, it went to, it was sewed into, into a, oh, gosh, I'm blanking on the term but it's, it'll help in fertilizing some soil. All the straw, there were a 140 some odd bales of straw there, all of that went to Habitat for Humanity. All of the beams which were beams from historic structures, either barns that I had been able to take down or beams that came out of structures that the others had gathered and I purchased ten, all of that's in my studio and is used in other pieces, it's worked into pieces of furniture that I build. But I got a gang of it (laughter).$$Okay.

Ralph Arnold

Artist Ralph Arnold was born in Chicago, Illinois on December 5, 1928. After graduating from Blue Island High School in 1946, Arnold attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign briefly in 1947. He later returned there before transferring and graduating from Roosevelt University in 1955. In 1976, Arnold earned his M.F.A. degree from the Art Institute of Chicago.

After leaving the U of I the first time, Arnold enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving in Korea from 1950 until 1952. After entering Roosevelt University, Arnold became involved with the Skyloft Players, a theater group, where he worked with Abena Joan Brown and Okoro Harold Johnson. After graduating, Arnold focused on his art, and in 1969, he was hired by Rockford College as an assistant professor of painting. From there, he taught briefly at Barrat College before being named chairman of the art department at Loyola University of Chicago. Arnold also served as an adjunct lecturer at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Arnold’s work crossed several genres, and could be seen in numerous galleries and collections. He created a series of collages entitled “Napoleon in Hawaii,” some of which were displayed in the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art in Chicago, and he had another piece on display in the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago. Arnold also had an interest in bookbinding. He was a member of the Illinois Arts Council for more than thirty years.

Arnold died on May 10, 2006 at the age of 77.

Accession Number

A2004.145

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/25/2004

Last Name

Arnold

Maker Category
Schools

University Seventh-Day Adventist School

Green Magnet Math & Science Academy

Austin-East Magnet High School

Dd Eisenhower High Sch (Campus)

University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign

Roosevelt University

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Ralph

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

ARN01

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Europe

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

12/5/1928

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken, Italian Food, Fried Potatoes, Ice Cream, Cake, Pie, Cobbler

Death Date

5/10/2006

Short Description

Mixed media artist and art professor Ralph Arnold (1928 - 2006 ) earned his M.F.A. degree from the Art Institute of Chicago, and taught art as an assistant, lecturer and department chair at several colleges and universities. His work crossed several genres, and could be seen in numerous galleries and collections.

Employment

Rockford College

Barrat College

Loyola University of Chicago

Art Institute of Chicago

US Army

Favorite Color

Blue, Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Ralph Arnold's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Ralph Arnold lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Ralph Arnold talks about his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Ralph Arnold talks about his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Ralph Arnold describes his adoptive parents and how his adoptive father joined a minstrel company

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Ralph Arnold recounts his adoptive father's career in amusement companies and as a janitor

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Ralph Arnold remembers his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Ralph Arnold describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Ralph Arnold remembers modern technology at the 1933 Chicago World's Fair

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Ralph Arnold describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood in Knoxville, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Ralph Arnold talks about his grade schools in Knoxville, Tennessee and Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Ralph Arnold remember teachers from his elementary school years

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Ralph Arnold describes his after-school activities in grade school

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Ralph Arnold recalls feeling like an outsider and his experience of racial discrimination in school, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Ralph Arnold recalls feeling like an outsider and his experience of racial discrimination in school, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Ralph Arnold remembers taking college courses in high school and his experience at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Ralph Arnold talks about serving in the Korean War just after the desegregation of the U.S. Armed Forces

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Ralph Arnold talks about his black staff sergeant in the U.S. Army during the Korean War

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Ralph Arnold recalls North Korean soldiers who asked about his treatment by white officers

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Ralph Arnold describes stories from the Korean War

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Ralph Arnold remembers soldiers in his outfit who died in the Korean War

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Ralph Arnold talks about returning to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign after the Korean War and being prevented from graduating

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Ralph Arnold talks about working with Skyloft Players and playing extra parts at the Lyric Opera of Chicago

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Ralph Arnold talks about his acting experience at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Ralph Arnold talks about Skyloft Players and notable members he met in the group

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Ralph Arnold describes prominent theater personalities and political figures in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Ralph Arnold talks about his commute from Robbins, Illinois to Chicago, Illinois, and his adoptive father's opinion of his theater work

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Ralph Arnold talks about earning his M.F.A. degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Ralph Arnold talks about his teaching career and becoming the department chair at Loyola University Chicago

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Ralph Arnold talks about his experience as the first black academic administrator at Loyola University Chicago

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Ralph Arnold describes his artistic style

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Ralph Arnold talks about his visual art works and shows

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Ralph Arnold talks about his interest in Napoleon and in collecting

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Ralph Arnold talks about originality in art

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Ralph Arnold shows one of his most recent art pieces

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Ralph Arnold reflects on his parents' opinion of his art

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Ralph Arnold describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Ralph Arnold reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Ralph Arnold talks about what he would do differently

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Ralph Arnold talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Ralph Arnold narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

6$8

DATitle
Ralph Arnold recalls feeling like an outsider and his experience of racial discrimination in school, pt. 1
Ralph Arnold describes his artistic style
Transcript
I went to Blue Island High School and--then--it's called [Dwight D.] Eisenhower [High School, Blue Island, Illinois] now, it was Blue Island then, and it had about fifteen black kids, and those black kids came from the grammar school in Robbins. I had gone to high school primarily, or grammar school in Knoxville [Tennessee] so by the time I got to high school, I had--I didn't know any of those black kids. You know, they grew up together, they knew who they were, and that sort of thing and I had--I made friends but it was not like, you know, growing up together and playing basketball with your buddies and stuff like that.$$So did you feel like an outsider sort of?$$For a long time and I was caught between two points, the white kids on one side and the black kids, I didn't know about the other and they didn't know me. You know, kids are strange. They, they gotta--we got to test each other before we--so I had a couple of interesting things. I think the incident that drove me to, perhaps to being who I am now, was when it came to--well, I'm jumping ahead--is the senior play, and they had listed try-outs for the senior play. Well, dumb me, I went to try out for the senior play and the drama coach says, "I'm sorry Mr. Arnold, we don't have any, any parts for a negro." What I did, I think, during my senior and junior year, was to do two things. I tried to convince the black kids that it was all right, and if it wasn't all right, they should try it anyway. So I joined all these things, the photography club, the all-guard club, the, you know, printmaking club, arts club and in every instance, I was the only black kid in that--in those clubs, and they would--black kids would say to me they didn't feel comfortable joining those all-white clubs, and they didn't think they could get in a lot of times because they were supposed to--they were supposed to have a grade level to get in some of those things, and I did. And I don't know how many different things I joined. My mother [adoptive mother, Bertha Harris Arnold] wouldn't let me go out for sports so I never got a letter. I got a letter for being the--for running the motion picture machine, but I didn't get a letter for track or football or any of those other things. Of course, I guess I wasn't the biggest of kids to--but football, I wanted football, but my mother wouldn't let me even try football.$So, in terms of your artwork itself, what is your, can you describe your work and what you attempt to do?$$Okay, it's mainstream. It's, has always been, experimental and mainstream. I do pretty much what I feel like doing and any themes that I want to do, like that big piece is a collage of mine. I started out doing collages because of Romare Bearden and my collages sometimes look like his, other times, they're so far remote from his and as they get more figurative. I had, I've done some figurative things and I find them quite satisfying but I get a lot of excitement out of working primarily with my hands rather than the paint brush. You know, I did a lot of constructions, building things. I was in, and I couldn't find, the Whitney Museum of Art [Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York] did a show entitled, 'Black American Artist' or something, 'American Black Art' and it was a national show and the curator went around the United States picking out people to be in the show and I was in the show with a lot of well-known black artists, Romare Bearden, [HistoryMaker] Richard Hunt, many others, and it was at a time when art was becoming polarized, you know. You did so-called black art which I found offensive because it's really African art, it's not black art. I mean, it's, it's an ethnic kind of art and it's pure and it's beautiful and then there are, no matter where you come from, the same kind of art that you would find in a Polish museum, Polish American artists that were influenced by their homeland but they were more American than they were Polish, you know, and if they went over Polish, it was watered down, it wasn't, it wasn't really honest as far as I was concerned. So, I think, what I tried to do was be as honest as far as I was concerned--

Della Hardman

Arts educator Della Hardman was born on May 20, 1922, in Charleston, West Virginia; her mother, Captolia Brown, was a teacher, and her father, Anderson Hunt Brown, owned a meat market in Charleston and later worked as a realtor for fifty years. Following the death of her mother, Hardman was raised by her aunt Della Brown, a teacher who always encouraged her young niece to pay attention in school, especially in history. After graduating from Garnet High School in 1940, Hardman enrolled in West Virginia State College, where she earned her B.S. degree in education in 1943. From there, Hardman continued her education at the Massachusetts College of Art, and earned her M.A. degree from Boston University in 1945. Hardman continued on with her education throughout her lifetime, earning her Ph.D. from Kent State University in 1994; she also attended numerous educational institutes both in the United States and abroad.

While attending college, Hardman worked throughout the summers at her father’s real estate office, where she was a licensed real estate broker in West Virginia until 1986. In 1952, Hardman took a position with the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University, where she remained for two years; from there, she began teaching art in the Boston Public Schools. In 1956, Hardman became an associate professor of art at West Virginia State College; she continued in that post for the next thirty years. During her tenure at West Virginia State College, Hardman also lectured at a number of other universities and art galleries. Concurrently, Hardman hosted The Black Experience on WKAZ in Charleston between 1978 and 1988.

Throughout the course of her life, Hardman served actively with a number of groups, including acting as a chairperson of the board of trustees of the Charleston Art Gallery, and being a member of the National Art Education Association (NAEA) and the National Association of Art Administrators. Hardman was recognized as an Alumna of the Year by her alma mater, West Virginia State College; as the Outstanding Art Educator by the NAEA; and was named commissioner of the West Virginia Arts and Humanities Council by Governor John D. Rockefeller.

Hardman traveled extensively around the globe, and was the proud mother of three, including HistoryMaker Andrea Taylor and grandmother of seven; she passed away on December 13, 2005, at the age of eighty-three.

Accession Number

A2004.134

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/19/2004

Last Name

Hardman

Maker Category
Middle Name

Taylor

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

West Virginia State University

Boston University

Garnet High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Della

Birth City, State, Country

Charleston

HM ID

HAR11

Favorite Season

None

State

West Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

Don't Move When You're Eighty.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

5/20/1922

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Martha's Vineyard

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chicken

Death Date

12/13/2005

Short Description

Art professor Della Hardman (1922 - 2005 ) was an associate professor of art at West Virginia State College for thirty years, and a frequent guest lecturer at a long list of universities and art museums.

Employment

Fogg Art Museum

Boston Public Schools

West Virginia State College

WKAZ Radio

Favorite Color

Lavender

Timing Pairs
0,0:311,4:659,9:1094,15:1616,22:2051,29:7978,61:8370,66:9154,78:12780,140:13172,145:16406,199:16896,205:17386,211:17974,219:21600,264:25610,272:29144,293:29942,321:32678,347:38344,392:38729,398:39499,447:40192,462:40808,471:41116,476:41732,487:42348,513:43118,525:43734,534:49170,604:49490,609:50050,617:57060,720:57320,725:58230,744:58555,750:59075,760:59530,769:60180,782:60505,788:68846,881:69660,893:70030,899:70326,904:70918,913:71954,936:72694,948:73656,964:74174,972:74692,980:77134,1036:77800,1046:78170,1052:79428,1072:79798,1078:80390,1088:80760,1094:81056,1099:81648,1108:88592,1156:92980,1256:94366,1286:98139,1376:98601,1412:99833,1433:100295,1450:101989,1483:104761,1533:105069,1538:105916,1552:106917,1566:114290,1663:115265,1680:119406,1725:119934,1735:120330,1742:120594,1747:120924,1753:124620,1837:124884,1842:125610,1857:126138,1867:126468,1873:127194,1884:133992,2049:139620,2068:142194,2122:142896,2134:148902,2257:161494,2522:161782,2527:162070,2532:162646,2542:165526,2631:166678,2658:167038,2664:167326,2669:167614,2674:169054,2710:169342,2715:172078,2762:176956,2791:180568,2856:180998,2862:185280,2893$0,0:1891,30:2377,38:2863,45:6670,141:7723,175:13312,280:57990,709:58585,718:60115,740:60965,752:61645,761:62070,767:65300,816:74742,922:77010,967:85344,1063:85740,1068:86433,1077:89205,1113:89898,1121:90393,1127:90888,1133:91581,1145:92076,1151:92670,1159:93363,1167:103140,1268:103484,1273:104430,1290:105118,1300:106494,1322:106924,1328:107440,1338:108128,1349:117760,1483:124664,1579:125368,1591:125720,1596:127656,1636:128096,1642:130032,1688:131264,1704:140960,1801:141385,1807:141725,1812:142830,1829:143595,1842:144020,1848:146570,1904:149460,1973:157576,2045:158044,2053:158356,2058:159604,2109:175074,2210:184824,2378:185164,2389:185640,2397:186116,2405:197230,2624:197690,2630:210670,2797:215600,2857:218085,2925:218425,2930:221230,2979:221570,2984:222080,2992:222590,3004:223100,3012:223525,3018:226160,3060:227095,3077:227520,3083:228030,3156:243738,3344:248486,3406:256224,3547:258650,3565
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Della Hardman's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Della Hardman lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Della Hardman talks about her maternal family background and the history of African Americans in Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Della Hardman remembers her maternal grandparents and an uncle's familial research

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Della Hardman talks about her mother's life and art

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Della Hardman remembers learning about her mother through memories shared by others in her community

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Della Hardman shares her paternal family history

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Della Hardman talks about her father

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Della Hardman talks about her father's real estate and business ventures

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Della Hardman recalls her earliest childhood memories of Charleston, West Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Della Hardman describes her paternal aunt's personality and influence on her life

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Della Hardman recalls a trip to Ghana with her father and her daughter around 1964

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Della Hardman remembers her father's successes

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Della Hardman talks about her father and brother's participation in civil rights activities

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Della Hardman remembers the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood in Charleston, West Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Della Hardman recalls music, sports and teachers in Charleston, West Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Della Hardman remembers attending the First Baptist Church in Charleston, West Virginia when it was pastored by Mordecai Johnson and Vernon Johns

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Della Hardman remembers notable West Virginians

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Della Hardman talks about James Produce Company, the oldest continuously operating black business in the U.S.

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Della Hardman talks about attending Boyd School in Charleston, West Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Della Hardman remembers her close-knit community, teachers and class trips during her time at Garnet School and Boyd School in Charleston, West Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Della Hardman remembers the March on Washington in 1963

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Della Hardman recalls being reared by her Aunt Della

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Della Hardman recalls an influential art teacher at Garnet High School in Charleston, West Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Della Hardman talks about her experience growing up black in Charleston, West Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Della Hardman recalls her experience attending Garnet High School in Charleston, West Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Della Hardman talks about her father and brother's avoidance of arrest while integrating parts of Charleston, West Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Della Hardman remembers her father's insistence that she attend West Virginia State College in Institute, West Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Della Hardman recalls others who attended West Virginia State College in Institute, West Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Della Hardman talks about learning black history from her aunt and father and hosting a radio program

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Della Hardman explains how she was able to interview Gwendolyn Brooks

Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Della Hardman talks about her radio show, 'The Black Experience' and how she finds interviewees

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Della Hardman recalls her summer college job and moving to Boston, Massachusetts to study art

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Della Hardman recalls her experience living in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Della Hardman talks about her marriage to her first husband, Francis Taylor

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Della Hardman talks about being hired to work at the Fogg Museum at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Della Hardman explains how teaching art at West Virginia State College in Institute, West Virginia led to her world travels

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Della Hardman remembers Hoyt Fuller

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Della Hardman talks about attending the World Festival of Black Arts (FESMAN) in Dakar, Senegal

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Della Hardman talks about attending Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC '77) in Lagos, Nigeria

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Della Hardman remembers travelling in South Korea as part of the Friendship Force International

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Della Hardman remembers her first husband's death

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Della Hardman talks about her art career and her experience teaching at West Virginia State College in Institute, West Virginia

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Della Hardman recalls spending her sabbatical year at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Della Hardman talks about the life and works of William Edouard Scott

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Della Hardman talks about taking her students at West Virginia State College to Europe

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Della Hardman talks about retiring from pottery-making and starting her radio show the 'Black Experience' in 1978

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Della Hardman explains how childhood visits to Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts led to her buying a home there

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Della Hardman talks about her trips to Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts as an adult and buying property on the island

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Della Hardman explains why she loves Martha's Vineyard and Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Della Hardman talks about writing for the Vineyard Gazette

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Della Hardman describes her stories in the Vineyard Gazette featuring HistoryMaker Bill Overton and HistoryMaker Robert C. Hayden

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Della Hardman talks about reuniting with Leon Hardman

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Della Hardman talks about her marriage to Leon Hardman

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Della Hardman talks about her children and grandchildren

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Della Hardman describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Della Hardman reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Della Hardman reflects upon her life

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Della Hardman talks about her family's support for her

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Della Hardman names notable and memorable students

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Della Hardman describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Della Hardman narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

12$9

DATitle
Della Hardman explains how she was able to interview Gwendolyn Brooks
Della Hardman talks about writing for the Vineyard Gazette
Transcript
The very first person that I interviewed was--she just died, poet laureate of Chicago [Illinois].$$Gwendolyn Brooks.$$Gwendolyn Brooks, the very first interview. And how did that happen? Well, the story about that is this. My husband, my first husband, Francis Taylor, died in 1978, and my brother [Willard L. Brown], incidentally died a month later. I'll never forget 1978. And my--the radio station [WKAZ-AM, Charleston, West Virginia] had offices in the building next door to my father's [Anderson Brown] building in downtown Charleston [West Virginia]. And they knew my husband 'cause he was a very popular musician in town. Everybody knew Francis Taylor. And after he died, they approached me and said they felt that they were not doing enough to meet the needs of the black community and would I be interested in hosting a radio show. Well, (laughter) I was shocked because I'd never done anything like that. I had been writing art reviews for the state's largest newspaper. And that's one thing. I'm supposed to know something about that, but to host a radio show, I'd never done anything like that. So I, I said, "Well, what makes you think I can do it?" And they said, "[HistoryMaker] Della [Hardman], you can do it." So it just so happened the person who lived across from me--by this time, I had married and had children, and I was living in Kanawha City [Charleston, West Virginia] in Charleston. And the person who lived behind me on another street, our backyards met, was a white neighbor. And she was very active in the West Virginia Writers Group [sic. West Virginia Writers, Inc.]. And she told me, she said, Della, guess who's coming to be our speaker? Gwendolyn Brooks. And she said, I think you should know about that. I said, oh, that's exciting. And I said, Gwendolyn Brooks--and this was the time that they were asking me about this radio show. I said, wouldn't it be great if I could get her to, to let me interview her. So she said, she's staying--and she told me where she was staying. And she was staying in a hotel close to where--you know, I could pick her up. And I knew how to reach her. I called Gwendolyn Brooks. And I said, "Ms. Brooks, you don't know me, but we have a mutual friend, Hoyt [W.] Fuller." Does that name mean anything to you?$$Oh, it means a lot. He was--$$Hoyt was a good friend--(simultaneous)--$$--the editor of Black World and Negro Digest, right?$$--of mine. Okay, I said, "We have a mutual friend in Hoyt Fuller," and I said, "Hoyt is a very good friend of mine." I said, "I've been asked to do this radio show ['The Black Experience'], and I'm sure (laughter), I'm--I've never done this before." And I said, "If you don't mind being my guinea pig, I'd love for you to be my first interviewee." And she said, "Well, certainly." So I picked her up and took her to the radio station and did this interview.$Now, you are a reporter. You write a weekly column, in--what's the name of the paper?$$The Vineyard Gazette.$$The Vineyard Gazette, and you cover Oak Bluffs [Massachusetts], which is part of--correct me if I'm wrong, but Oak Bluffs is a historic--I mean part of it is a historic black community basically--(simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Yes, historically--$$--in Martha's Vineyard [Massachusetts].$$--I think more blacks have been here. But now blacks are everywhere, like everything else. Yes, there's an interesting story about my becoming a part of the Gazette staff. I had a major heart attack in 1998--was it '98 [1998]; can't even remember that, in '95 [1995]. And it as in '95 [1995], and I was going to take a writing course because I'm thinking about these memoirs and that biography and someone was offering a, a writing course that I thought would add a great deal to what I wanted to do. So I took the writing course. And while there, you had to read whatever you had written. And someone was in the class who worked for the Gazette and she went back and told [Richard] Dick Reston that she thought she'd found someone who might want to replace Dorothy West. Now, can you imagine that? So Dorothy was not well, and had not written a column for some time. She was a friend of mine. And I knew her quite well. So when I was approached, I said, well, there're two or three things I have to consider here. The first thing I have to do is discuss this with my cardiologist because I've had a major heart attack. And if there's anything I do not need it's stress. So they said, well, talk to him, and, you know, think about it, and let us know. So I talked to my cardiologist in Boston [Massachusetts] and we discussed it. And he said, "Well, [HistoryMaker] Della [Hardman], since it's only for, once a week, and if you'd like to do it, why don't you give it a try. And if you find that you can do it without pressure, go ahead. And if not, you know, don't. You don't have to commit yourself." So when I went in to talk to them about it, I had written a piece. They printed the piece that I wrote. And that's how I got the job. And I--that was, let's see. I talked to Dorothy about it, and she was very pleased. I said, "Dorothy, I've never done anything like this." I used to write the art reviews for my school paper, for maybe the state's paper, the state's largest newspaper, The Charleston Gazette and the Sunday Gazette Mail [Charleston Gazette-Mail]. I said, but I've never done anything like this. She said, "Oh, Della, you can do it. And you'll enjoy it." Well, I'd had that radio experience [program, 'The Black Experience'] which was a little bit similar. So at any rate, to make a long story short, I've done it now--I said, Dorothy did it for thirty years. And I said, I'll do well if I can make it to thirty months. And I've done it now since, since Dorothy died. So I've enjoyed it, and I do the column every week. And from time to time, there will be other stories that I do as well. And this, two weeks ago, I had three things in the paper, including the column. And if they print everything that went in yesterday, there'll be three this week. So I enjoy it because I, as I say, I like to be busy, and I like to know what I'm doing when I wake up in the morning and I've got to work out a schedule now that's going to allow me to fit other things into my schedule, and especially, do I want to just take a certain day that I'm gonna do nothing but write on those projects that I'm working on for me.

Nick Cave

Art professor and performance artist Nick Cave was born February 4, 1959 in Fulton, Missouri. His mother, Sharon, raised him and his seven brothers. As a student at George Washington Carver School in Fulton, Missouri and at West Junior High School in Columbia, Missouri, Cave showed creativity and artistic ability at a young age. Graduating from Hickman High School in 1977, he enrolled in the Kansas City Art Institute where he continued to express himself through both visual art and performance art. In 1979, Cave met Alvin Ailey and spent that summer and several summers thereafter in New York, New York studying with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. After graduating from the Kansas City Art Institute in 1981, he designed displays for the department store, Macy’s, and worked professionally as a fashion designer, while continuing his passions as an artist and dancer. Cave earned his M.F.A. degree from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan in 1988.

Joining the faculty of the Art Institute of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois, after his graduation from Cranbrook, Cave has built a reputation as an educator and performance artist, especially with his ritualistic costumes called “Soundsuits.” These sculpted, full body “soundsuits” are layered and textured in metal, plastic, fabric, hair, and objects designed to rattle and resonate in concert with the movement of the wearer, usually Cave himself. The suits represent Cave’s feelings about the isolation and insulation attendant to being a African American man in America. One of Cave’s well-known projects is Drop: Soundsuits in Degrees of Observation, a performance parade featuring ten dancers and sixty “Soundsuits.” In 2007, he planned an event in Chicago involving three dance companies, musicians and over 120 sculptured suits.

As the director of the graduate fashion program at the Art Institute of Chicago, Cave enjoys working with students and sharing his knowledge and experiences. His works of art have been shown at the Los Angeles Art Show in Los Angeles, California and the Seattle Art Museum in Seattle, Washington. Exhibitions of his assemblage sculptures in The Arts Connexion in Amsterdam, Holland, and Kestener Museum in Hannover, Germany have earned Cave an international following.

Nick Cave was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 22, 2004.

Accession Number

A2004.104

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/22/2004

Last Name

Cave

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Cranbrook Schools

George Washington Carver School

West Junior High School

Hickman High School

Kansas City Art Institute

University of Missouri, Kansas City

Search Occupation Category
Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Any

First Name

Nick

Birth City, State, Country

Fulton

HM ID

CAV02

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - $500 - $1,000

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Missouri

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

2/4/1959

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Crab (Soft Shell)

Short Description

Performance artist and art professor Nick Cave (1959 - ) was known for his "Soundsuits," suits that ritualize Cave's feelings about the isolation and insulation that characterizes being a black male in America. Cave was a part of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago faculty for nearly twenty years.

Employment

Macy's Department Stores

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
0,0:502,8:1158,17:14774,271:15134,276:15566,283:16286,294:17078,313:18086,330:22501,360:23023,367:24067,387:24415,392:26764,442:41884,595:46100,646:47604,672:52586,762:61464,861:61854,874:65968,921:66616,933:79361,1196:83508,1205:86370,1234:86937,1243:94480,1343:95272,1359:95976,1375:102000,1446:104132,1479:113340,1619:114718,1630:121750,1674:123297,1695:124116,1700:128323,1710:128933,1722:129543,1734:130092,1744:130702,1760:131556,1781:143330,1901:156138,2160:157062,2174:157326,2179:158448,2204:164478,2229:165198,2267:168798,2323:171174,2376:179661,2499:180464,2514:186640,2534:188296,2562:194746,2668:197378,2711:210355,2856:211700,2864:213510,2877:214203,2885:214995,2896:217173,2933:223526,3007:224150,3018:226958,3072:231402,3146:236599,3224:237012,3236:239077,3295:239549,3304:241610,3311$0,0:784,10:1470,18:2254,29:25490,266:27020,302:27615,310:28805,326:29230,332:36866,381:37580,390:38498,402:39518,413:39926,418:40946,430:44280,461:44868,468:46534,504:47318,513:49180,562:50356,576:54374,639:54766,644:56922,671:58392,687:60270,698:61152,708:61740,716:63112,729:64778,746:66444,766:72152,823:75826,868:76814,889:77498,901:78182,911:80158,950:83198,1010:84414,1028:84870,1035:85174,1040:86770,1072:97211,1126:97495,1131:97779,1136:98063,1141:100025,1156:101300,1174:103255,1200:103595,1205:107890,1226:108690,1236:111890,1274:112890,1285:127118,1383:128334,1401:128714,1407:129474,1414:130006,1423:136564,1500:137028,1505:140906,1531:141842,1547:145310,1577:145955,1583:146987,1589:154030,1635:154654,1644:154966,1649:155668,1660:157280,1666:159296,1700:162740,1756:163328,1765:164336,1778:164672,1783:165176,1791:166268,1808:170804,1880:171728,1894:172568,1906:173492,1920:179532,1954:179784,1959:180477,1971:184140,1995:187404,2028:188058,2036:192736,2076:193210,2083:193842,2093:194316,2100:197826,2131:201090,2157:201450,2162:206040,2214:209838,2258:210182,2263:216126,2306:216618,2311:220191,2350:222347,2395:222655,2400:225855,2435:227045,2453:236065,2554:239910,2580:241800,2589:242448,2603:244160,2611:245280,2619
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Nick Cave's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Nick Cave lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Nick Cave talks about his maternal family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Nick Cave talks about his mother and maternal family

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Nick Cave lists his brothers

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Nick Cave talks about his paternal family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Nick Cave describes his paternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Nick Cave talks about his father and his extended family in Missouri

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Nick Cave describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Nick Cave recalls the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood in Missouri

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Nick Cave recalls his childhood personality and growing up in black neighborhoods in Fulton, Missouri and Columbia, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Nick Cave recalls his early artistic influences, including his uncle who was an oil painter

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Nick Cave describes the music he listened to as a child and his experiences at George Washington Carver School in Fulton, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Nick Cave talks about his interests in art as a youth

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Nick Cave reflects upon his move from Fulton, Missouri to Columbia, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Nick Cave talks about his schooling in Columbia, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Nick Cave remembers his high school years and being sheltered as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Nick Cave talks about his high school activities and a teacher who motivated him

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Nick Cave talks about leaving home for the Kansas City Art Institute in Kansas City, Missouri

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Nick Cave describes his arts involvement as a student at David H. Hickman High School in Columbia, Missouri

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Nick Cave recalls his time at Kansas City Art Institute in Kansas City, Missouri

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Nick Cave talks about beginning to dance with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and his impressions of New York, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Nick Cave recalls his time in New York, New York and his family's acceptance of his work

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Nick Cave talks about dancing for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Nick Cave talks about dancing for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Nick Cave talks about creating performance work as a student at Kansas City Art Institute in Kansas City, Missouri

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Nick Cave talks about the importance of being accepted into Kansas City Art Institute and designing clothing for a department store

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Nick Cave recalls the months after earning his B.A. degree from Kansas City Art Institute in Kansas City, Missouri

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Nick Cave recalls getting a job at Macy's as visual director

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Nick Cave talks about the type of clothing he designed while working at Macy's in Kansas City, Missouri

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Nick Cave recalls his time at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Nick Cave remembers being the only black student at Cranbrook Academy of Art as a graduate student in the late 1980s

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Nick Cave reflects on how studying at Cranbrook Academy of Art allowed him to ground his work without outside influences

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Nick Cave talks about being offered a teaching position at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Nick Cave describes how he began to create Soundsuits

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Nick Cave talks about ceasing to make Soundsuits in the early 1990s and further describes his thought process in making them

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Nick Cave talks about a Soundsuit exhibition and performance to debut in full in 2007

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Nick Cave talks about who is involved with the Soundsuit performance project and his hopes for future work

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Nick Cave talks about teaching at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Nick Cave describes his philosophy and role as a teacher

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Nick Cave describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Nick Cave talks about why he finds it important that art objects have a history

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Nick Cave talks about his mother's support of his art career

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Nick Cave reflects upon his life and talent

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Nick Cave reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Nick Cave describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

2$1

DATitle
Nick Cave talks about the type of clothing he designed while working at Macy's in Kansas City, Missouri
Nick Cave talks about a Soundsuit exhibition and performance to debut in full in 2007
Transcript
Can you describe your clothing? I mean or the clothing you were making at this period of time?$$Well the clothing that I would do for the--I would work--again I was working with a group of artists that also did clothing and art as well. And so what I did primarily was just really outrageous costumes. I would always close our show because all my stuff was always just outrageous and just crazy. But I was the only one that would get the clients. And the stuff that I'd make for my clients would be very conservative. You know beautiful, but very conservative clothing but you know I just always did just crazy stuff, but that's what I was interested in.$$Okay. By crazy what, what would you mean, would you give us an example of a crazy piece?$$Well you know like my Soundsuits. You--just sort of stuff out of like I may take, I don't even know what I can't really describe it. It's something; you know I don't know how to describe it.$$Well, well just start with the shoes and work your way up or start with a hat and (simultaneous)--$$Oh we just like make you know I would make let's see sometimes I would make a dress---let's say I would make this dress and you know it would be, it would be more about architect. So it would be like more three-dimensional. And all of a sudden you may have like a chicken sitting on the top of this box that's attached to the back of your dress. And then the butt may be cut out. So just all of this sort of stuff that would be more about reaction and, and--$$That's outrageous. I'd, I'd say that's outrageous.$$I mean so that's the kind of stuff that I did you know statements based around fashion and, and, and you know concerns in that, in that manner or things that wouldn't be practical things that you necessarily couldn't really walk in, so limited movement. But you know again sort of you know these puns on fashion and, and things of that sorts. So that's what I would do. I sort of did what I wanted to do. I didn't give a shit at what type of response I would get or whether or not it was negative or positive. I just want a response. So I just sort of did things that would allow people to talk about or that would put my name in the paper. But not for that reason but that's what would happen. That's because based on that type of work. But then my clients were like amazing. They were just like very conservative and I would just do very conservative stuff for them. But people you know, we live in a world where you know people are not necessarily sort of stimulated by much. So the fantastic people are drawn to that. So they were drawn to me based on the way that I, that, that I would think. And yet what I would make for them would be totally the opposite, but you know that was great and fine too. So I did you know work for Dillard, I mean for Macy's for about thirty years. Quit the job because then I was able to find--to do freelance window display for two stores in Kansas City [Missouri] that paid three times as much as my salary was at Macy's. So basically I just worked two days out of a month and then the rest of the time I was just in my studio working.$$Well you can't beat that can you?$$So that was fantastic. But then that wasn't enough for me and then I decided that it was time to go to graduate school.$--We were talking about this performance for 2007. With the ninety Soundsuits and it's gonna be a collaboration between yourself and several dance groups you were mentioning off camera I don't think we were rolling when we were talking about--$$Right. Right. Well actually the project is actually in process right now. The first exhibition is just opened this summer in Helena, Montana, which is an exhibition that consists of forty Soundsuits which is then coming here in '06 [2006] to the [Chicago] Cultural Center [Chicago, Illinois] which will then be an exhibition of fifty Soundsuits and so what I'm working on right now is a two part project. One part being a fifty Soundsuit exhibition that then will be supported by ninety Soundsuit performance. So in total it will be 140 costumes and the reason for that is that when I do performance work, my audience always wants to have this closer encounter with the Soundsuits or if I'm doing an exhibition, they wanna see the performance side. So what I decided to do was create this project where there's these two components under one umbrella which is Soundsuits. I know that this project is the foundation for my future but my mission for this project is for me to provide a platform for other artists within the performing arts to meet their endeavors. So for me it's not really about me. It's really about me creating opportunities for other people using my work as a vehicle for that. So, so that's really sort of my sort of goal in this project. The purpose for this project is that it's a project that will speak about diversity. It will touch on a broad range of cultures from around the world based on shapes, form, the way in which surfaces are embellished, based on the particular types of performances that will be established. So it's really a performance piece that's really about sort of celebrating diversity and bringing us together as a nation. You know my audience for this performance will be you know people from south side to north side to east to west under one sort of in one arena and that's really my goal. That's really what I wanted my work to do. So it's on a much higher, my purpose is so much greater than being an artist. It's not, I just been chosen to do this work. I mean I truly feel that this is my next assignment.$$Okay so.$$Where I have to deliver this deed in order to move on to the next assignment so.$$Okay. So art is a vehicle towards a larger end?$$Yeah.$$Of cooperation and participation?$$Well I think art is my--art for me is, is the vehicle for me to deliver messages that are of a greater purpose.

Edward Parker

Master artist, educator, and entrepreneur, Edward Everett Parker, was born in Pittsburgh's Hill District on Bentley Drive on February 7, 1941, to Augustine Washington and David Nathaniel Parker. When Parker was in elementary school, his parents moved Edward and his brother David to Toledo, Ohio, where he studied at the Toledo Museum of Art. Parker attended Lincoln Elementary School and graduated from Scott High School; he earned his bachelor's degree in art from Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio, and his master's degree in Art Education, with an emphasis in sculpting, from Ohio's Kent State University. Parker also completed additional graduate level work at the University of Illinois and in Ife, in West Africa.

Parker taught art education in the Cleveland Public Schools, where he served as the head of the art department at Audubon Jr. High for a number of years. Parker later attained the position of professor and arts coordinator at the Western Campus of Cuyahoga Community College where he taught for nearly twenty years. Parker founded and acted as the director of the Snickerfritz Cultural Workshop for the Arts, Inc., located in the Edward E. Parker Creative Arts Complex in East Cleveland, Ohio. The complex, which also includes gallery and classroom space, meeting rooms, and a number of small businesses, is housed in a converted nursing home that sat vacant and dilapidated for seventeen years before Parker purchased and rehabilitated the facility.

Parker's artistic achievements include numerous one-man and group shows in Ohio and other states, and commissions from Cleveland's Cuyahoga Community College and Florida Memorial College. Parker's vision as an artist has long been informed by African American history and culture; his better known works include a life-sized sculpture of the Chicken George character from Alex Haley's Roots and a celebrated series of African American clown sculptures and prints. After the 2008 election of Barack Obama as the forty-forth President of the United States, Parker sculpted Obama's likeness and displayed the bust in his Snickerfritz Art Gallery. In addition to his work in the arts, Parker also served on the Board of Trustees for the East Cleveland Library.

Accession Number

A2004.073

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/14/2004

Last Name

Parker

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Scott High School

Lincoln Elementary School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Edward

Birth City, State, Country

Pittsburgh

HM ID

PAR03

Favorite Season

All Seasons

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

Africa

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

2/7/1941

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Cleveland

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Greens

Short Description

Art professor, cultural heritage chief executive, and sculptor Edward Parker (1941 - ) has taught at the Western Campus of Cuyahoga Community College for nearly twenty years. Parker is the founder and director of the Snickerfritz Cultural Workshop for the Arts, Inc., located in East Cleveland. His artistic achievements include numerous one-man and group shows in Ohio and other states.

Employment

Audobon Junior High School

Cuyahoga Community College

Snickerfritz Cultural Workshop for the Arts

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
0,0:2688,67:23352,468:25704,507:32190,515:44250,679:53972,817:57206,886:75102,1105:81150,1194:86022,1274:87786,1301:101820,1468:112090,1603$0,0:1350,18:1650,23:2100,30:24075,433:47500,629:48060,665:48480,673:48900,680:53100,784:61780,951:66470,1066:75322,1129:89180,1392:123844,1796:127580,1803:127892,1808:133430,1904:138110,2008:140762,2047:151916,2252:159898,2271:160879,2282:186030,2602:186670,2611:219255,3078:219855,3089:226992,3162:227296,3188:227752,3195:264674,3775:270794,3909:282014,4177:282354,4183:287792,4197:306750,4486:307342,4495:309710,4557:310340,4565
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Edward Parker's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Edward Parker lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Edward Parker talks about his family history

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Edward Parker describes his childhood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Edward Parker describes his childhood activities

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Edward Parker talks about growing up in a Pittsburgh housing project

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Edward Parker talks about moving from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Toledo, Ohio as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Edward Parker describes his childhood education in Toledo, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Edward Parker describes his childhood speech impediment

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Edward Parker talks about his education

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Edward Parker talks about studying art in Nigeria

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Edward Parker describes the beginning of his teaching career

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Edward Parker talks about his early success as an art teacher

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Edward Parker talks about his art career

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Edward Parker talks about his family life

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Edward Parker describes how he came to teach at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Edward Parker describes his clown series

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Edward Parker describes his creative process as an artist

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Edward Parker describes his art series on clowns and Malcolm X

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Edward Parker talks about his art shows

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Edward Parker describes his artistic vision

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Edward Parker describes the benefit of owning his own gallery and studio space as an artist

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Edward Parker talks about his commissioned works and representing his own art

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Edward Parker describes his life philosophy and legacy

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Edward Parker talks about African American influences on his art

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Edward Parker talks about the state of black art

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Edward Parker talks about the losses he experienced in a fire

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Edward Parker concludes his interview

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Edward Parker narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$2

DAStory

9$2

DATitle
Edward Parker describes his childhood speech impediment
Edward Parker describes the beginning of his teaching career
Transcript
It was just something that I could--I remember my first studio was behind my parents' [Augustine Washington Parker and David Parker] furnace. And during those days, the furnace, you had to feed coal, put coal in the furnaces. The furnace had to stay--be--kind of be away from the wall so I created my studio space behind the furnace, and it was a good, a good way of getting away from things because you know I said I had that speech impediment. So I could just go down there and hide for hours and just create, draw and paint, sculpting didn't come until later.$$What was the, the speech impediment like? Was it stuttering?$$Stuttering, profuse stutterer.$$But you overcame that.$$Yes. You can come over--you can overcome a lot of things.$$How long did that take?$$How long did it take? That's why I have very little patience with people that say they have handicaps, you know. Because you can overcome anything if you believe in it and trust in yourself and the Lord, you know, you can overcome anything. How long did it take? From, from kindergar--from whenever I started speaking until I was maybe a junior in college. A long time to have people poke fun at you and laugh at you, your peers are the worse people, right. Yes, but when I got to college I had a teacher who kind of worked with me. And I always felt--when I--you know since I've gotten older and done research on stuttering, you know, I think that the reason why people stutter is because they think faster than their speech pattern. So one thing one has to do is learn how to slow down and think twice before you act once.$All right so once your formal education is complete, you have a chance to apply the knowledge that you've acquired. The sculpting and the three R's. So can you tell me about your experiences as an educator now you've learned from all these other great teachers? Where are you when you begin to teach other students?$$I, you know I think teaching is, is, is so important. Number one thing in terms of importance. I mean the, the teacher because things that you say could impact the student for the rest of their lives. I mean when I was a stutterer (unclear), I had one teacher tell me and, and you remember Weekly Readers, that kind of thing? I think we did that in social studies, I don't think it was in English. And I had a teacher tell me anyway sit down 'cause you can't read no way. I was trying to collect my energies and thoughts. I had difficulties with words, you know like took a lot of wind like W's and D's, like do you want or what are you saying, those kind of things. And this woman told me to sit down 'cause I couldn't read anyway. And those the kind of things that for me that made me stronger; to fight harder, or to go out and beat up somebody, you know what I mean? Payback so to speak. But education is so important. And when I started teaching, my first teaching job was teaching the non-educable, the people that were not supposed to be able to learn, people who couldn't talk. And I'm here to tell you out of my 12 students, all of them learned their ABC's, even the ones couldn't talk. When I say who wants to say their ABC's? They would stay up and run--stand up and grunted, you know, 'cause they were so into. I taught 'em how to count by shooting dice or crap as it were. Because I bet you didn't know that if you throw some dice out and it has seven, what would be on the bottom side? So if you have a one on the top side, what's on the bottom side? Those are the kind of things I taught them through counting. So if you have a one on the top side, you have a six on the bottom side. If you have a two, you have a five. It all adds up to seven. So that's how I got them to count.$$Okay, and is this in Cleveland [Ohio]?$$This is in Toledo [Ohio].$$In Toledo.$$At, Larklane or Heffner. I was a teacher at Heffner school for retarded kids. And did that for a year and, and incidentally you know the, the whole thing is kind of backwards. I remember applying for a job in Toledo teaching in the Toledo public schools. And the man that were interviewing me, said we'll hire you if you cut off your beard and mustache. And for the life of me I couldn't understand that. So I had to, you know, being, being a hot--I was a hot rebel, so to speak, I said if you--if I cut off my moustache, it be like taking the Negro National Anthem away from me. You know so I lost that job 'cause I refused to cut off my beard and moustache. And start teaching retarded kids, which enabled me to have more patience anyway. So when I started teaching. But I did that for a year, teach at--taught at Heffner school for retarded kids, which is a great experience because like I said, it taught me a lot of patience and when I started at regular school situation, had all the patience of Job. So whatever they did, it was all right. But one thing I always remember doing in my early teaching career was getting my rest. Because I said I have to be rested to go into--my first teaching job in Cleveland was at Audobon Junior High. To go into Audobon and to teach these kids you had to be rested because any time you're teaching 30, 35 kids--overcrowded, you know way overcrowded, you, you got all these different personalities and all these different kind of issues. So the best I could do was to be well rested. And in fact my student and I had such a great rapport, is that I would tell them don't bring no nonsense in here 'cause if you come in here tired, I would rather you lay your head down and go to sleep. 'Cause if I come in here tired, I wanna be able to do the same thing and I want class to go on as normal, and it did. 'Cause I would do it on purpose sometime, go in there and just lay my head down. And somebody would take over the class, we just have a beautiful time.$$Now this is in the 1960s by the time you're teaching in Cleveland?$$No, this was in-- I graduated, when did I graduate, '65 (1965). This was '66 (1966), '67 (1967).$$Okay.$$(OFF CAMERA DISCUSSION)$$Okay so 1966, '67 (1967) is the, the start of your teaching career in Cleveland.$$At Audobon in Cleveland.$$In the public schools.

Geraldine McCullough

Renowned sculptor and painter Geraldine McCollough was born Geraldine Hamilton on December 1, 1917 in Kingston, Arkansas, and raised in Chicago from the time she was three years old. McCullough attended the Art Institute of Chicago for undergraduate and graduate studies, receiving her B.A. degree in 1948 and her M.A. degree in art education in 1955. As a student, she earned a John D. Standecker Scholarship, a Memorial Scholarship and a Figure Painting Citation.

After completing her graduate studies, McCullough taught art at Wendell Phillips High School in Chicago. She also began exhibiting her paintings at various national galleries, receiving first prize in 1961 at the Art Exhibit of Atlanta University. With help from her husband, Lester McCullough, she took up welded sculpture and made her sculpting debut in 1963 at the Century of Negro Progress Exposition in Chicago. She received the George D. Widener Gold Medal for Sculpture in 1965 for her steel and copper structure, Phoenix.

In 1967, she became the chairperson of the Art Department at Rosary College (later Dominican University) in River Forest, Illinois. Upon her retirement from the school in 1989, she was given an honorary doctorate.

McCullough’s various works were informed by African ritual art to European and American influences. She was a distinguished guest artist of the Russian government and her work was exhibited at such respected institutions as the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. and the National Woman’s Museum.

McCullough passed away on December 15, 2008 at the age of 91.

McCullough was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 12, 2002.

Accession Number

A2003.052

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/20/2003

Last Name

McCullough

Maker Category
Organizations
Search Occupation Category
First Name

Geraldine

Birth City, State, Country

Kingston

HM ID

MCC02

Favorite Season

May

State

Arkansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Favorite Quote

The Dao That Has Been Spoken Is Not The Dao.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

12/1/1917

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Death Date

12/15/2008

Short Description

Art professor, painter, and sculptor Geraldine McCullough (1917 - 2008 ) was an award winning sculptor and painter whose works were informed by African ritual art and European and American influences. From 1967-1989, McCollough was the chairperson of the Art Department at Rosary College (later Dominican University) in Chicago.

Employment

Wendell Phillips High School

Rosary College

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
0,0:160240,1605$0,0:188200,1337
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Geraldine McCullough's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Geraldine McCullough lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Geraldine McCullough describes her grandfather, Jesse C. Duke

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Geraldine McCullough talks about her grandfather, Jesse C. Duke, escaping the Ku Klux Klan

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Geraldine McCullough talks about her mother's education and her parents' migration to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Geraldine McCullough describes her uncle Charles S. Duke's contribution to architecture in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Geraldine McCullough describes visiting the Field Museum of Natural History

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Geraldine McCullough describes her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Geraldine McCullough describes her father, Hugh Hamilton

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Geraldine McCullough describes her father's occupation and his personality

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Geraldine McCullough talks about moving to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Geraldine McCullough describes the sights, sounds, and smells of growing up on Chicago's South Side

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Geraldine McCullough describes her personality and interest in drawing as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Geraldine McCullough remembers her elementary school experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Geraldine McCullough describes attending Hyde Park High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Geraldine McCullough shares her views on religion

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Geraldine McCullough talks about the Baptist church she attended as a child

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Geraldine McCullough describes her art teacher at Hyde Park High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Geraldine McCullough talks about getting married

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Geraldine McCullough describes attending the School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Geraldine McCullough describes teaching art at Phillips High School in Maywood, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Geraldine McCullough talks about becoming a sculptor

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Geraldine McCullough talks about learning to weld

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Geraldine McCullough talks about learning to make jewelry

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Geraldine McCullough describes leaving Rosary College to become a full-time artist

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Geraldine McCullough talks about winning the Widener Gold Medal in 1965

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Geraldine McCullough describes the symbolism of the Phoenix in her artwork

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Geraldine McCullough talks about drawing inspiration from non-Western art

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Geraldine McCullough talks about dream and reality in her artwork

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Geraldine McCullough describes the unconscious organization of space in her art

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Geraldine McCullough talks about abstract art and realism in her art

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Geraldine McCullough talks about her artistic process

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Geraldine McCullough talks about the interpretation of her artwork

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Geraldine McCullough talks about the Black Aesthetic

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Geraldine McCullough describes her art piece "Echo"

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Geraldine McCullough describes the art business

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Geraldine McCullough talks about governmental support of the arts

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Geraldine McCullough talks about her friend, Margot McMahon Burke

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Geraldine McCullough talks about art training

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Geraldine McCullough gives advice to young artists

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Geraldine McCullough talks about her public art

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Geraldine McCullough describes her hopes and concerns for the black community

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Geraldine McCullough describes her favorite sculptures

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Geraldine McCullough reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Geraldine McCullough describes how she would like to be remembered and her family

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Geraldine McCullough narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

5$2

DATitle
Geraldine McCullough talks about becoming a sculptor
Geraldine McCullough talks about drawing inspiration from non-Western art
Transcript
So now, how did you become a sculptor?$$Well, my paintings began to get third-dimensional and I started doing little tiny sculptures. I have a friend that lived in St. Charles of Aurora [Illinois]; we had met at a camp I used to go to all the time, Silver Pines Camp, and they had--and she was an artist, a painter, and we were up at camp together. I--we both had taught in their craft shop, and so she invited me out to meet this scout that was going around looking at various works to come out and have--had all my little paintings together. And I had been working on these little soldered sculptures--just fascinated with it, but the solder had acid in it, and all my fingers--I had little patches on each finger (laughter); acid just would not get--anyway, I took three of these little--just pick--I was almost outta the door when I went back and got them, and so the scout was there and I showed him the works and--all right--and I said, "And also I have these little--three little pieces of sculpture." "Hey, we'll take all you have." It was a Proctor Mons (ph.)--Proctor Monson (ph.) Museum [Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute] in Ithaca, New York. And for a while, I was (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous)--Can you spell that?$$(Laughter)--I can't hardly say it (laughter); you embarrass me (laughter). But that (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous)--It begins with a P, right?$$Hmm?$$It starts with a P at least, right?$$Proc--that part I know--Proctor--Will--it's three (simultaneous)--$$Proctor or something.$$Proctor Williams. But it's a very well-known art institute in Ithaca, New York.$Tell me, what other themes have inspired art work from you?$$Well, I guess at Sepik River [in Papua New Guinea]--let's see--$$And why that particular one--Sepik River? I know we discussed it before we started taping, but--$$Oh, well, I had almost all I could take with western art--of four years of it at the Art Institute, and very, very little with oceanic art or, or with (unclear) primitive art which I might object to. And there were other into art--Vastic (ph.), Mayan; we had a little--two sentences like put everything on, on the bulk (ph.)--I meant on the western concept of, of art where they had began to make things very realistic. And they--at first, like with children, man began to--when they started to illustrate paint, it was a flat second-dimensional, and then as we all know--painting-wise, not sculpture--because Greeks and the Romans had done that. But their religion was that God was a perfect-lookin' human being, you know, and he had all the proportions he had set out, the beauty--had to be this tall and that way--this and that. And then I'd look at Benin art; that would be so powerful, you know, African art and Mayans--how they could tell a story--it's a symbolism; and then I started reading and found that art is not reality, it has its own reality; it's like a dream, it isn't there and it is there.

Ausbra Ford

Ausbra Ford's academic and sculptural work has been the result of his adept merging of scholarly research with an artist's creativity. He was born in Chicago on February 28, 1935. He attended Coleman Elementary and DuSable High School before studying sculpture at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he earned a B.A. in 1964 and a M.F.A. in 1966.

From 1964-1968, Ford taught art courses for elementary schools in both the Gary and Chicago public school systems. He then served a brief stint as an associate professor at Southern University in Baton Rouge before returning to Chicago to become a full-time Professor at Chicago State University. In support of his interest in the funeral art of Afro-Americans, Ford received a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship as well as a grant from Chicago State University to conduct research on the funerary art of West and Central Africa. Subsequent grants from the Chicago State University Foundation allowed him to continue pursuing his work in the field.

Ford's writing on funerary art has been published in journals such as World Anthropology and the Morition Press, and in the books Two Centuries of Afro-American Art and African Influence in Funeral Art of Haiti.

He has lectured at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art and the Chicago Field Museum, as well as numerous colleges around the country. Ford sits on the Board of Directors of the DuSable Museum; is the President and one of the founders of the African American Visual Arts Roundtable; and is a member of both the Kemetic Institute of Northeastern Illinois University and the Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations. His work has been exhibited both locally and nationally, in one man and group shows. Ford's pieces are part of the permanent collections of Chicago State University, the University of Suwon in the Republic of Korea, the Southside Community Art Center in Chicago, the DuSable Museum of African American History, Northeastern Illinois University and Chicago's Hilton Hotel.

Accession Number

A2002.078

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/17/2002

Last Name

Ford

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Du Sable Leadership Academy

Colman Elementary School

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Ausbra

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

FOR04

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Africa, Brazil

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

2/28/1935

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chicken

Short Description

Sculptor and art professor Ausbra Ford (1935 - ) has taught at Chicago State University and lectured around the country. In support of his interest in the funeral art of Afro-Americans, Ford received a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship as well as a grant from Chicago State University to conduct research on the funerary art of West and Central Africa.

Employment

Chicago Public Schools

Southern University

Chicago State University

Gary Indiana Public Schools

Favorite Color

Orange, Light Tan

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Ausbra Ford's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Ausbra Ford lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Ausbra Ford talks about his family

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Ausbra Ford describes the building where he grew up

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Ausbra Ford describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Ausbra Ford describes his father's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Ausbra Ford talks about his father's trucking business

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Ausbra Ford talks about his father leaving Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Ausbra Ford describes some of his father's stories

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Ausbra Ford talks about his father's business philosophy

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Ausbra Ford describes his mother's escape from Georgia and move to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Ausbra Ford describes his mother's personality

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Ausbra Ford describes his maternal grandmother's personality

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Ausbra Ford shares his grandparents' stories of the trauma of slavery and lynching

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Ausbra Ford describes his reactions to hearing family stories of lynching

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Ausbra Ford describes his childhood in the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Ausbra Ford describes his childhood in the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Ausbra Ford describes the development of the Bronzeville neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Ausbra Ford describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Ausbra Ford talks about the gangs in Bronzeville during his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Ausbra Ford describes his experience at Coleman Elementary School

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Ausbra Ford describes what kind of student he was at Coleman Elementary School

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Ausbra Ford talks about his aspirations to become an artist or architect

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Ausbra Ford describes his parents' response to his decision to become an artist

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Ausbra Ford describes his experience at DuSable High School in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Ausbra Ford describes his experience at DuSable High School in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Ausbra Ford talks about athletics at DuSable High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Ausbra Ford talks about how DuSable High School prepared him academically

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Ausbra Ford talks about his high school teacher, HistoryMaker Margaret Burroughs

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Ausbra Ford talks about graduating from DuSable High School in 1953

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Ausbra Ford talks about his service in the United States Air Force during the Korean War

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Ausbra Ford talks about his experience at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Ausbra Ford talks about his relationship with HistoryMaker Dr. Margaret Burroughs

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Ausbra Ford describes the beginning of his academic career

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Ausbra Ford describes his study of funeral art in Africa, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Ausbra Ford describes his study of funeral art in Africa, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Ausbra Ford describes his experience teaching at Northeastern Illinois University Center for Inner City Studies

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Ausbra Ford describes his growth as an artist

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Ausbra Ford talks about the importance of AFRI-COBRA and the art scene in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Ausbra Ford talks about his experience teaching at the Kemetic Institute and Chicago State University

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Ausbra Ford talks about the importance of the collective in his art and teaching

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Ausbra Ford describes his first trip to Egypt in 1987, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Ausbra Ford describes his first trip to Egypt in 1987, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Ausbra Ford talks about his second trip to Africa in 1988

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Ausbra Ford talks about the influence of traveling to Africa on his art

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Ausbra Ford describes his two sculptures on Oshun

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Ausbra Ford talks about his interest in mixed media sculpture

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Ausbra Ford talks about the experience of traveling to Brazil

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Ausbra Ford talks about the relationship between African and Brazilian art

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Ausbra Ford talks about the creation of the African American Visual Artists Roundtable

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Ausbra Ford talks about his success with the African American Visual Artists Roundtable

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Ausbra Ford talks about his experience with the committee to provide art to the Harold Washington Library in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Ausbra Ford talks about his experience with the committee to provide art to the Harold Washington Library in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Ausbra Ford talks about the present support of visual arts in the black community

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Ausbra Ford reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Ausbra Ford talks about how he would like to be remembered and his parents' pride in him

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Ausbra Ford talks about his family

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Ausbra Ford narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

8$4

DATitle
Ausbra Ford talks about the importance of the collective in his art and teaching
Ausbra Ford describes his two sculptures on Oshun
Transcript
Yeah it's an interesting thing about the way you speak of your, your work and your experiences you--many artists talk about their vision on something and what they're creating and you, of course, you, your work is unique, their yours on a level, but you, you always speak about in, in a collective way like you're part of something bigger, I mean, you know, you, you've done more talking about the influences of other on your than you have about what you, your own, you know--(unclear)--$$It's, it's that--I, I think it's that African thing, man you know it's that, the collective is as so, so very important, you know, and matter fact it was like the first piece that I did for Inner City Studies [Northeastern Illinois University Center for Inner City Studies in Chicago] I had one name on it, and they renamed it. I, I didn't get upset 'cause hey shoot does it work. Fine, that's probably the way it was meant to be. Sometime it has two names. I said I could care less, but it's, it's the feedback, the input from other folk, which is so important, and this is a problem that we have so much in Western culture and Western art. You know, everything is "I" and, and I keep drumming it and drumming it, and drumming it into those student's heads and everything else. The whole thing is the community, the collective us and Africa. That's why we in trouble now. That's why the continent's in trouble 'cause people doing all these crazy things, and it's all about I and forgetting about everybody else and its un-African. And it's not gon' straighten out, and we're not gonna get the continent straightened out until we get our whole thing and get back on like Jake [HM Jacob H. Carruthers] said, "We get back to fundamentals." And when we get back to fundamentals, things are going to straighten out and things can happen. And I just keep saying this is part, this is why we have problems. You just don't have to look at Africa, you can just look here in the United States and see part of our problem here. We don't own nothing. We don't want to do anything. We just falling apart. We got more money. We got more, we got better jobs and everything else, and we are worse off than we ever were. I said we let the family fall apart and once you let that family fall apart and the collectiveness in terms of the community fall apart you got deep troubles. I said and real deep, and I started giving examples, and they say "Hey Ford I agree with you. You right there and everything else." And this is the whole thing that we gotta understanding. I said, "Look we went through slavery. We went through the middle passage and went through slavery, and we didn't fall apart. Look at us now," I said, "just look at us now." We in pathetic shape, and you know when, when you deal with Jake and the rest of 'em you got statistics. You can, you can drop all that stuff off and that's what Andy [Anderson Thompson] does, you know man Andy drop all that stuff off, he say hey get an understanding. This is time to talk, the right talk and get ourselves together as a people, whereas we are not used by every ethnic group that comes along and this is our problem. Everybody has used us, and that's why the continent is in that shape. Everybody wants something from us without paying. I said and that's why we're in that shape, you know, and, and then their eyes get bigger and the next thing you know they reading the African books, they getting into it and everything else and wanna hold a conversation and then the spiritual stuff comes up and all this other kind of jazz, which makes it interesting, you know, and so you making people, you making real human beings out of real African people. And this is what I love about teaching here is that I can, I can touch somebody, you know.$Now, we're in a unique position today to do something unusual that we don't do. We've got two pieces directly behind you that are on camera and I think we might even be able to focus on them, and, and perhaps you can tell us about those. Because you're an artist, you know it's hard to talk about art without looking at it, but, you know, and the ideas that go into the art work. So, maybe if we can maybe talk about the piece to your left over your left shoulder.$$And that's Oshun 'cause that's from, that's from the Bra, Brazilian thing 'cause I recall it and that's after Dr. Anderson Thompson. You know he coined the phrase the African-Brazilian Connection. And I've gone to Brazil doing stuff and I've become very, very influenced by that also and they work together. And that is we call an Orisha called Oshun, and Orishas are aspects of nature, and they're saints really. And Oshun was, was the Oshun River, and she was very, very, very, very powerful, very, very beautiful. She had curative properties and everything else and so that's a sculpture. So, they have colors. Each Orisha has colors, foods, and everything else that relates directly to them. And they come out, and they, they come out dancing, they come out dancing and this is what she's in a move position of moving forward because she's in a position of dancing, and dancing brings in the spirit entity of that, of that particular Orisha and other Orishas, and this is how the ceremony really starts and everything else. So, and you will see orange and with her being the Orisha in terms of the Oshun River, and I was at the Oshun River when I was in Africa and everything. Matter of fact I used to hang around all the time, you know. A beautiful town, Osogbo [Nigeria], but at any rate this is where she's from, so she was very beautiful, and she was also vain. She was, she loved to look at herself and everything else. So, a lot of times she has a mirror, and you'll see that in the hand. And so she was very, very important and very, very powerful. She has the beads in front of her face. It's called a veil of beads and only those who are associated with and those who are associated with royalty have the right to wear the veil of beads in front of the face. Literally what it does is protects the, the viewer from what we call the spiritual energy of the person or the ashe. That a king's ashe is so powerful that it would harm the average person. So, they have the beads in front of the face to protect you from seeing his face. And so, therefore, if this Orisha is associated with in any way with royalty and everything else then therefore you will see the beads in front of the face. So, that's the one over there and so you can see she's got her mirror in her hand, and, and she's ready for action.$$Okay, now there's one too over your right shoulder. Maybe you could describe that one for us?$$I forgot which one is that.$$OFF-CAMERA MALE VOICE: You can look.$$I can look, okay, shoot all right, shoot. Oh, you know what that one is that's Oshun also. The, the, the wall piece and Oshun is, and let me mention this, Oshun is one of my Orishas. I'm very, very involved in it and everything else. And your Orisha is on your head. And Oshun is, she's not the number one Orisha, but she is one of my Orishas. So, therefore, it is only normal that you would do one of your Orishas and so she's the Orisha of love, curative powers, the water, which water is always important and etc. So, this is what's happen, so I've used plexiglass on her and you can notice the veil of beads coming in front of the face and everything else with the gold mask, so orange, gold are her colors and everything else. And if you look real close you can see the fish on the, on her dress, and her dress is shaped almost bell shaped and that's a symbol. Everything in Africa means something. So, that's symbol in terms of the first mound of the world, where the first, the first mound of earth began. The world was surrounded with water, and what was out was this mound of earth and so therefore the skirts symbolize this mound of earth and therefore you get that kind of bell like shape and everything else. So, that's what she has. So, everything on there, you know, researching down to, you know, very much and I do the Brazilian thing the same way as I do the Kemetic thing is. I'm always in touch with the priests, so when they come in town from Brazil they come in and look and you know give me a yeah or nah on it and everything else and matter of fact they, you know, gave me a, you know, go ahead on all the stuff that I've done. You know, they read the shelves and they tell you whether you can go on and do the work or not.

David Driskell

Artist and scholar David Driskell is regarded as one of the world's leading authorities on African American art. Driskell was born on June 7, 1931 in Eatonton, Georgia. Educated in North Carolina's public schools, he earned his undergraduate degree at Howard University and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Catholic University in Washington, D.C. Driskell also pursued post-graduate studies in Art History at the Netherlands Institute for the History of Art in the Hague and studied African and African American cultures independently in Europe, Africa, and South America.

In 1976, Driskell opened his groundbreaking exhibition, "Two Centuries of Black American Art", at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The show prompted the creation of similar shows around the country. Driskell also penned the show's catalogue, an invaluable text to art scholars who previously had very little information available on African American artists.

Since 1977, Driskell has served as cultural advisor to Camille and Bill Cosby and curator of the Cosby Collection of Fine Arts. He placed works of African American artists on the set of "The Cosby Show". This is credited with creating a new class of African American art collectors.

Driskell has contributed significantly to the study of the role of African American artists in society. He has written five exhibition books, co-authored four others, and published more than forty catalogues from exhibitions he has curated. Driskell has lectured extensively in North America, Europe, Africa, and South America and has taught at numerous universities.

In 1998, the University of Maryland established the David C. Driskell Center for the Study of the African Diaspora. The Center honors Driskell's career as artist, educator, philanthropist, collector and art historian.

Accession Number

A2001.022

Sex

Male

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

6/23/2001

Last Name

Driskell

Maker Category
Schools

Catholic University of America

The Netherlands Institute for Art History

Talladega College

Howard University

Search Occupation Category
Archival Photo 2
First Name

David

Birth City, State, Country

Eatonton

HM ID

DRI01

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Falmouth, Maine

Favorite Quote

Don't let anyone tell you that you can't be anything you want to be.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

6/7/1931

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Gumbo

Short Description

Art professor, curator, and fine artist David Driskell (1931 - ) was one of the world's leading authorities on African American art. He wrote five exhibition books, co-authored four others, and published more than forty catalogues from exhibitions he curated. In 1998, the University of Maryland established the David C. Driskell Center for the Study of the African Diaspora, which honored Driskell's career as artist, educator, philanthropist, collector, and art historian.

Employment

Cosby Collection of Fine Arts

Talladega College

University of Maryland (1812-1920)

Bowdoin College

Favorite Color

Blue

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of David Driskell interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - David Driskell identifies five favorite things

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - David Driskell talks about his mother and her background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - David Driskell talks about his siblings and father

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - David Driskell discusses the education of blacks within his community

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - David Driskell shares memories of his time in Edenton, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - David Driskell reflects on growing up in Edenton, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - David Driskell describes his childhood personality and interests

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - David Driskell discusses his father's religious orientation

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - David Driskell reflects on growing up as the son of a preacher

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - David Driskell share a story about his name

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - David Driskell talks about the connection between his father and African traditions

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - David Driskell talks about his mother and her ability to make predictions

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - David Driskell details his decision to attend Howard University

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - David Driskell discusses the support he received from his sister and mother

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - David Driskell identifies several individuals who were supportive of him

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - David Driskell deliniates his living arrangements while at Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - David Driskell discusses his undergraduate major and James A. Porter

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - David Driskell talks about the undervalued contributions of James A. Porter

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - David Driskell discusses the environment and inspiration of the Barnett Aden Gallery

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - David Driskell reflects on the relationship that existed among artists

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - David Driskell talks about Louise Jones and his trip to Skowhagen

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - David Driskell details his first teaching experience at Talladega College

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - David Driskell shares details about how he met his wife

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - David Driskell talks about returning to Howard University and turning down Fisk University

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - David Driskell explains how he was recruited to Fisk University

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - David Driskell the history of Fisk University's art collection and his curation of the collection

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - David Driskell talks about his schedule and the value of Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - David Driskell details the efforts to curate and conserve Fisk University's art collection

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - David Driskell discusses the role of white patrons

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - David Driskell talks about black arts education at various universities

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - David Driskell discusses the University of Maryland African American art history program and the faculty he recruited

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - David Driskell compares current efforts in African American studies with past efforts

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - David Driskell talks about his training in conservation and preservation

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - David Driskell talks about curators of African American art

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - David Driskell discusses the AfriCobra movement

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - David Driskell talks about art collectors and art agents

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - David Driskell talks about the market for African American art

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - David Driskell discusses his curatorial relationship with the Cosbys

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - David Driskell discusses his relationship with the Cosbys

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - David Driskell shares a story of a Henry O. Tanner painting and the Cosby family

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - David Driskell talks about his book on the Cosby collection

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - David Driskell talks about his art collection

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - David Driskell discusses his current endeavors

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - David Driskell reflects on his mentors and considers his legacy