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Willie Cole

Sculptor Willie Cole was born on January 3, 1955 in Somerville, New Jersey. In 1958, he moved to Newark, New Jersey, where he took art classes at the Newark Museum, and later attended the Arts High School of Newark. Cole went on to receive his B.F.A degree from the School of Visual Arts in New York City, New York. He continued his art education by attending classes at the Art Students League of New York.

After graduation, Cole worked as a freelance artist and graphic designer. In 1988, he completed his first major art installation, Ten Thousand Mandellas. The installation led to his first major gallery show, which took place at Franklin Furnace Gallery in New York City, New York in 1989. The following year, Cole served as the artist-in-residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York. In 1997, Cole created the piece, Stowage, garnering him a solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Cole had a number of solo exhibition shows that followed, including a show at the Bronx Museum of the Arts in 2001. In 2010, an exhibition show of his work took place at the James Gallery of the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. In 2013, Complex Conversations: Willie Cole Sculptures and Wall Work opened at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan, before the exhibition began travelling across the country.

Cole has received many awards for his work as an artist, including the Penny McCall Foundation Grant in 1991, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Grant in 1995, the Joan Mitchell Foundation Award in 1996, the David C. Driskell Prize in 2006, and Timehri Award for Leadership in the Arts in 2009. In 2004, Cole received the Lamar Dodd Fellowship at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia. Cole served as an artist-in-residence at several institutions, including the Pilchuck Glass School in Seattle, Washington, the Contemporary in Baltimore, Maryland, the Capp Street Project in San Francisco, California, and the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.

Cole has one son.

Willie Cole was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 3, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.053

Sex

Male

Interview Date

02/03/2017

Last Name

Cole

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Arts High School

Quitman Street Community School

Somerville Elementary School

Robert Treat Academy Charter School

School of Visual Arts

Art Students League of New York

First Name

Willie

Birth City, State, Country

Somerville

HM ID

COL28

Favorite Season

Winter

State

New Jersey

Favorite Vacation Destination

My Mind.

Favorite Quote

It Doesn't Matter When You Get On The Bus, Just When You Get Off.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New Jersey

Birth Date

1/3/1955

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Newark

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Sunflower Seeds

Short Description

Sculptor Willie Cole (1955 - ) was most known for his found object assemblages, which featured steam irons, high heeled shoes and plastic water bottles. His work addressed themes of domesticity, femininity and racial identity.

Employment

Queens Economic Development Corporation

American Cyanamid Company

Freelance Graphic Designer

Freelance Illustrator

University of Delaware

Favorite Color

Orange and Green

Timing Pairs
0,0:3182,25:3772,35:10320,121:11112,130:12696,154:19282,246:19986,255:20338,260:21042,319:21394,325:23418,358:24122,367:24650,382:25266,391:27290,451:31320,461:32040,472:32840,485:33560,495:33960,501:40515,564:40910,603:41226,644:44070,686:47704,755:54608,816:59266,865:59884,872:61635,895:63180,925:69680,963:72320,1029:72800,1037:73120,1042:73840,1052:78590,1096:78950,1101:80210,1132:80570,1137:81200,1144:90333,1315:98260,1441:105784,1601:111994,1686:112568,1700:112896,1705:113962,1723:124682,1868:126698,1909:129166,1921:129478,1926:130024,1934:131272,1996:142930,2151:145435,2172:146260,2186:147835,2215:148210,2221:154760,2304$0,0:515,12:1096,20:1428,99:4665,184:5080,190:5661,199:5993,204:10030,233:14826,270:17270,283:18146,312:18511,318:21212,401:21650,417:27521,481:29731,499:30253,554:41424,673:42048,689:42828,720:46144,775:51790,829:57068,930:66300,1055:71694,1162:72303,1184:72738,1191:80550,1276:80874,1281:81360,1289:94270,1499:94714,1509:95380,1521:96194,1535:97970,1579:98266,1584:100412,1648:105496,1692:106310,1706:110437,1778:114410,1834
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Willie Cole's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Willie Cole lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Willie Cole describes his father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Willie Cole describes his father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Willie Cole describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Willie Cole talks about his maternal great-grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Willie Cole describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Willie Cole remembers working at American Cyanamid Company

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Willie Cole describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Willie Cole describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Willie Cole remembers the Stella Wright Homes in Newark, New Jersey

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Willie Cole talks about his early interest in art

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Willie Cole talks about his early art forms

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Willie Cole describes his schooling in Newark, New Jersey

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Willie Cole remembers his home life

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Willie Cole talks about his childhood friends

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Willie Cole remembers the riots of 1967 in Newark, New Jersey

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Willie Cole remembers Amiri Baraka's influence in Newark, New Jersey

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Willie Cole talks about the alumni of Arts High School in Newark, New Jersey

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Willie Cole describes his experiences at the School of Visual Arts in New York City

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Willie Cole talks about his early career as a graphic designer

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Willie Cole talks about his black magazine illustrations

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Willie Cole talks about his interest in commercial art

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Willie Cole remembers the Art Students League of New York

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Willie Cole talks about his theater training

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Willie Cole remembers the Negro Ensemble Company

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Willie Cole talks about his role at the Stepping Stone Theatre Company

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Willie Cole talks about his decision to focus on the visual arts

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Willie Cole talks about the birth of his son

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Willie Cole remembers selling mail order pamphlets

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Willie Cole recalls his attempts to sell illustrated children's stories

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Willie Cole recalls his day jobs in New York City during the 1980s

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Willie Cole talks about the Works Gallery in Newark, New Jersey

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Willie Cole remembers his first professional art shows

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Willie Cole talks about his residency at the Studio Museum in Harlem

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Willie Cole describes the origins of his sculptural practice

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Willie Cole recalls his experiences at the Studio Museum in Harlem

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Willie Cole talks about becoming a single parent

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Willie Cole talks about the meanings of his steam iron sculptures

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Willie Cole recalls the start of his mask making practice

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Willie Cole recalls the impact of his residency at the Studio Museum in Harlem

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Willie Cole talks about his sculpture, 'House and Field'

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Willie Cole recalls the start of his shoe sculptures

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Willie Cole talks about his studio spaces

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Willie Cole describes his shoe sculptural practice

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Willie Cole talks about his spirituality

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Willie Cole describes his method for sculpting with shoes

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Willie Cole talks about his floral motif sculptures

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Willie Cole talks about the theme of his shoe sculptures

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Willie Cole talks about the influences on his mask sculptures

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Willie Cole recalls his awards and honors

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Willie Cole talks about his monumental woodcut, 'Stowage'

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Willie Cole remembers Robert Blackburn

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Willie Cole talks about his piece, 'Man Spirit Mask'

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Willie Cole remembers his artwork inspired by September 11th, 2001

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Willie Cole describes his work about President Donald John Trump

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Willie Cole remembers receiving the David C. Driskell Prize

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Willie Cole talks about his love of music

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Willie Cole talks about his art dealer and marketing

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Willie Cole recalls the start of his work with plastic water bottles

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Willie Cole talks about his plastic bottle sculptures

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Willie Cole talks about his animated character, ShooFly

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Willie Cole reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Willie Cole reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Willie Cole shares his advice for aspiring African American artists

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Willie Cole narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Willie Cole narrates his photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

8$12

DATitle
Willie Cole describes his shoe sculptural practice
Willie Cole recalls the start of his work with plastic water bottles
Transcript
With the shoes you begin doing the work in '93 [1993] and it has evolved over time? What are the, what are the, kinds of artistic expression that you are developing for the shoes? What are you making?$$Currently what I'm making with the shoes?$$Starting back from you know, as you (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Well with, with all the work, and I kind of discover this, or maybe begin to apply this with the, with the irons, but I'm telling myself that I am working to exercise the memory in these items, whether it's true or not I always start with that, with that premise, so all my shoe pieces, I feel their, their personality, the woman that wore them is in this shoe still, the spirit of that person is in this shoe or on the shoe, so I put those together to, you know, bring that forward, I mean definitely with the masks and things.$$So you, you describe having organized the shoes by color and plus whatever their similarities are. So there's, there's that, but you're bringing more than one pair of shoes into it, so what is that spiritual relationship that you are defining I guess, from multiple pairs of shoes to put them into a mask or--?$$Oh I feel--my sister [Debra Cole (ph.)] would call it, let go and let God, but you know I don't use that kind of language, but so for me it's just about being open to the inspiration, don't have a preconceived notion of what you're doing, just you know, you've got a pile there. Like when I finish a piece I'm always amazed and my friend [Lawrence Ramsey], the African art dealer, told me I have to freak myself up first before I can freak the world out, so I'm just looking to get that moment that just blows my own mind and it comes through play because you can't play unless you're relaxed, so you know, the pieces to me kind of, they tell me what to do, what piece to pick up. I create certain limitations because when I was a painter I worked in limitations from reading about the Impressionists and the point was rather they worked from following the illustrator, Maxfield Parrish, I would always limit my color palette to just the primary colors and never used the color black; so that idea fused in with a little bit of Buddhism has led me to these ideas about oneness and you know just everything is a multiplication of a single element.$You've been working with plastics, plastics, plastic water bottles (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Plastic water bottles, that's right.$$When did you start doing that?$$I started that about three or four years ago.$$So that would be around 2014?$$Yes, yes.$$And how did that begin?$$Well in New Jersey there's a place called Grounds for Sculpture [Hamilton, New Jersey]. It's a big outdoor sculpture park. They had three buildings with galleries inside and I was invited to do a show there, a one person show, so in my mind I thought it was an outdoor show, but when I had the meeting they wanted me to be inside in one of the galleries, so then I say, "Well, is there a budget for this show?" And they say there's no budget, so that's how I came to water bottles. During that meeting I was drinking a bottle of water and the next day I'm at a friend's house in Union, New Jersey, Ted Davis [ph.], sitting by his pond drinking water and I'm squeezing the bottle and I'm realizing all these lines and ribs on the bottle, on bottles like the one I have, they are to make the bottles collapsible so I can manipulate the image of the bottle by manipulating these lines. I was able to make a fish, so I'm looking at the fish in his pond so that kind of led me to make a fish. That night I dreamed about a chandelier made of the water bottles and there was a Buddha in every bottle, so that's what I made for that show ['From Water to Light'], the Buddha chandelier. It just started from there. It played in well for me because of my interest in health and the environment, but also because a few years earlier I'd received an award for recycling from this county, Morris County, New Jersey because of my work with the shoes and the irons they saw me as a recycler, so now I'm really recycling something that affects the environment.

Walter C Jackson

Sculptor Walter C Jackson was born on January 21, 1940 on his grandparents’ farm near Durant, Mississippi. He moved with his parents and brother to Jackson, Mississippi at the age of six, where he attended Smith Robertson Elementary School and Lanier High School. Jackson earned his B.S. degree in art education from Jackson State University in 1963, and went on to earn his M.F.A. degree from the University of Tennessee in 1971.

From 1963 to 1968, Jackson headed the art department at Douglass High School in Memphis, Tennessee. He joined the faculty of the University of Tennessee in 1971, serving as an assistant professor of sculpture until 1980. Jackson then became an adjunct assistant professor at York College of The City University of New York for two years, beginning in 1984. After two years, Jackson left to join the Bronx Museum of Arts. In 1989, Jackson was named as an artist in residence at the Bronx River Art Center. He worked at the Convent of the Sacred Heart before returning to the Bronx River Art Center as its executive director from 1995 to 1998. He has presented exhibitions of his works at galleries and museums throughout the United States including: The Sculpture Center in New York City; P. S. 1 in New York City; Pittsfield Museum in Pittsfield, Massachusetts; Roswell Museum in Roswell, New Mexico, The African-American Museum in the Hempstead area of Long Island, New York and the Mississippi Museum of Art in Jackson, Mississippi. Jackson’s works are included in the collections of the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Tennessee Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art, Roswell in New Mexico. Jackson’s work reflects the melding of the folklore that was a major part of his experiences growing up in the rural south with the industrial and technological promise of the urban.

Jackson is the recipient of many grants and awards including: NEA Artist In Resident Grant, New York Foundation for the Arts, and a NY State Council for the Arts (CAPS) Grant. Jackson was selected for an artist-in-residence fellowship at the Studio Museum in Harlem in 1982, and the artist-in-residence fellowship at the Roswell Museum in 1994. He also completed the workshop residency at the Museum of Holography in 1987.

Jackson lives and works in rural, central New York State.

Walter C Jackson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 16, 2016.

Accession Number

A2016.058

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/16/2016

Last Name

Jackson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Middle Name

C.

Occupation
Schools

University of Tennesee

Jackson State University

Lanier High School

Smith Robertson School

First Name

Walter

Birth City, State, Country

Durant

HM ID

JAC36

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Mississippi

Favorite Vacation Destination

My studio

Favorite Quote

It Is What It Is Until You Change It.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

1/21/1940

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

German chocolate cake

Short Description

Sculptor Walter C Jackson (1940- ) served as an assistant professor of art and an artist in residence at several universities and museums, and his work is included in public collections at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the Studio Museum in Harlem and the National Civil Rights Museum.

Employment

Bronx River Art Center

Sacred Heart, 91th Street

Bronx Art Museum

York College City University of New York

University of Tennessee

Douglass High School

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
0,0:1330,14:7146,73:8106,86:12855,115:13615,135:13995,140:14755,149:15325,157:16560,173:17320,182:18935,217:20530,228:41400,381:41776,386:42528,395:45848,416:46304,426:46836,435:55160,520:56084,529:58178,547:58534,552:59157,561:59691,569:60314,577:62361,626:62717,631:69868,706:73322,736:80406,852:80866,858:81326,864:82614,882:86703,912:87027,917:88161,938:90753,984:91320,999:107830,1139:111414,1178:112023,1186:115677,1249:118113,1294:123584,1341:129330,1393:130342,1409:130894,1416:131906,1430:133286,1455:135790,1472:136385,1480:136980,1488:137320,1493:139530,1529:139870,1534:142570,1541:143173,1552:143910,1567:146858,1598:147998,1618:152802,1679:155956,1759:156371,1765:160052,1798:160268,1803:160916,1819:165138,1892:165442,1897:166126,1906:166658,1915:167114,1925:168254,1952:177736,2043:178168,2048:178816,2055:182106,2104:187168,2134:204582,2264:208010,2285:208682,2294:210870,2313:211194,2318:213850,2337:214202,2342:218325,2390:218665,2395:223850,2490:228100,2552:230055,2604:232095,2641:232775,2651:236851,2663:239140,2672:247608,2797:250790,2846:251650,2857:256100,2888:258000,2911:262080,2950:262340,2955:262665,2961:263770,2989:267976,3026:273386,3094:273634,3099:275760,3111:282710,3173$0,0:264,9:1056,21:1584,29:24920,261:27240,272:31106,280:31496,286:33212,311:33602,317:36183,327:37548,348:39823,380:44960,440:48758,468:49086,473:50480,497:50972,507:53186,534:53924,544:54498,555:55318,569:55728,576:56548,586:60020,595:65244,631:65556,636:66102,644:66492,650:66960,658:70216,678:70528,683:70840,688:71620,699:79374,777:80030,787:82430,796:91073,871:91405,876:108842,1000:109280,1007:110083,1020:115380,1068:115660,1073:119184,1096:123000,1136
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Walter C. Jackson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Walter C. Jackson lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Walter C. Jackson describes his father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Walter C. Jackson describes his father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Walter C. Jackson describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Walter C. Jackson remembers his father's military service in World War II

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Walter C. Jackson describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Walter C. Jackson remembers the process of preparing and preserving a hog

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Walter C. Jackson describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Walter C. Jackson talks about his early religious experiences

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Walter C. Jackson recalls his early schooling in Jackson, Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Walter C. Jackson talks about his childhood friends

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Walter C. Jackson recalls his early artistic influences and creating art as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Walter C. Jackson remembers his early interest in music

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Walter C. Jackson recalls developing his painting style

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Walter C. Jackson remembers receiving a full scholarship to Jackson State College in Jackson, Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Walter C. Jackson describes his coursework at Jackson State College

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Walter C. Jackson remembers musicians Dick Griffin and Freddie Waits

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Walter C. Jackson talks about the assassination of Medgar Evers

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Walter C. Jackson talks about his involvement with the Civil Rights Movement in Jackson, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Walter C. Jackson remembers being hired as an art teacher at Douglass High School in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Walter C. Jackson talks about desegregation at Douglass High School in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Walter C. Jackson remembers helping students cope with the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Walter C. Jackson talks about the impact of desegregating schools

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Walter C. Jackson remembers applying for graduate school

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Walter C. Jackson talks about his early experiences at the University Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Walter C. Jackson remembers being accepted into the sculpture department at the University of Tennessee

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Walter C. Jackson talks about his method of creating a sculpture

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Walter C. Jackson describes his technique and the theme of his work

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Walter C. Jackson talks about his residency at the Studio Museum in Harlem in New York City

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Walter C. Jackson recalls the artists at Studio Museum in Harlem in New York City

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Walter C. Jackson talks about his approach to teaching

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Walter C. Jackson remembers his work at the Museum of Holography

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Walter C. Jackson talks about teaching art workshops at the Bronx Museum of the Arts in New York City

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Walter C. Jackson remembers being commissioned for a sculpture at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Walter C. Jackson talks about his exhibit at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Walter C. Jackson describes his studio spaces in New York City

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Walter C. Jackson remembers Elizabeth Catlett

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Walter C. Jackson describes his artistic influences

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Walter C. Jackson talks about his political art series 'Illusion of Containment, Linked'

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Walter C. Jackson recalls his activism in New York City

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Walter C. Jackson talks about the evolution of his work

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Walter C. Jackson talks about his work during the President George Walker Bush administration

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Walter C. Jackson describes his contribution to the 'The Politics of Racism' exhibition

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Walter C. Jackson talks about his Dogon tapestry series

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Walter C. Jackson describes his current creative process

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Walter C. Jackson talks about his focus on enjoying the art process

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Walter C. Jackson reflects upon the legacy of his work

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Walter C. Jackson shares his advice to young artists

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Walter C. Jackson narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$6

DAStory

3$6

DATitle
Walter C. Jackson describes his technique and the theme of his work
Walter C. Jackson reflects upon the legacy of his work
Transcript
Your work you describe as abstract, so how, what is your thought process when you are deciding on a piece you know that that--what it, from creative idea to execution of an abstract piece. What are you, what are you thinking?$$I'll a- there're a number of things that I, I'm kind of interested in. Work, my work for me is kind of like the totemic elements that kind of defines to some extent a time or period. And that it's just one thing in a long stream of stuff, so I, I tend to think of it as kind of a passage, a place in time. And as you move from one part to another part or you move to this, through this thing. I also think of it as sometimes physically as a passage in terms that a lot of my stuff is kind of opened where space becomes a very important part of it. As you can either move through it or you can at least see through it or which deals with this kind of continuation in a sense. And that operates on a lot of levels for me. It's the physical level of the thing and it's also the, the kind of personal level of development. And there're a couple of things that I'm interested in, I mean several things, one of them being and one of my influences is African sculpture. And the thing that attracts me about it especially work of the Dogon, the thing that attract me about a lot of African sculpture is that there seem to be a kind of interior energy in the piece. That yes it's a static thing but not really 'cause it has the potential fo- to grow or develop into something. Or actually to move and I've always liked that about it, that quality you know I thought I'd like for my work to have that kind of energy. That I don't necessarily want the pieces in the section jetting all over the place and just, but I want it to sat there with the sense that it could ha- that something could happen to it. It could explode, it could do a lot of things, get up and walk away, so that was always an important part.$$From the, from the early days?$$From the early days of the sculpture and the idea of totems or icons were always important to me. And it was a matter of kind of fusing all of that in, into a statement. And I thought well what I wanna do is to kind of do forms, do shapes, define space in a way that someone either could physically (unclear) interact with that object. With that space as they move through, around the piece, they come--become to some extent a part of that piece. That the piece doesn't just exist by itself, but that the viewer becomes to some extent a part of it. And as a result of that some of the earlier things to kind of bring in that interaction. I actually did a whole series of pieces that involved lights, movement, touch switches and things. That I did a series of let at--excuse me of electronic pieces at one time, and using a lot of proximity switches or lights that interacted with sound and the voice. And things that reacted to touch, especially light and pieces, so that there would be the kind of really physical interaction. I don't do as much of that now 'cause I told myself that the work actually can do that without the electronics; and just let it do it on its own as it manifests.$When you look at the body of work that you've created over your life, what is the legacy that you hope it represents?$$Well I--there, I guess one of the things that I hope it represents in, which is the recurring theme in all the work, is a connectedness. I, I would hope that it would suggest healthy--but you think about the relationship and the importance of the past with the present and the potential for the future. That all of that that these things exist and that everything is kind of a part of a ongoing continuum and that somewhere along that line you, you make a statement which is basically a totem of your time, and that someone might look at that and be able to make that connection with things that are past, and hopefully see some suggestion with some of the things to come. I like to think what I'm doing now especially has been positive and that the work suggests the kind of hopefulness. That's pretty much it (laughter).$$Do you have any regrets?$$None. Would I've done a few things differently? Possibly yes, but regrets, no. No, I'm able to look back on it and all the good, all the bad; and I'm pretty happy.

Thaddeus Mosley

Sculptor Thaddeus Gilmore Mosley was born on July 23, 1926 in New Castle, Pennsylvania. After graduating from high school, he enrolled in the U.S. Navy. Mosley graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a double major in English and journalism in 1950.

Mosley began working for the U.S. Postal Service. During the 1950s, while at the Postal Service, Mosley began writing freelance for The Pittsburgh Courier and for several other national publications. At this time, he also began making sculptures. In 1968, he had his first solo exhibit at the Carnegie Museum of Art. He credits sculptors Constantin Bruncusi and Isamu Noguchi as his earliest influences. His commissions include, Three Rivers bench in 2003 for the David L. Lawrence Convention Center; Legends at the Susquehanna Museum; and an exhibition at the Cue Art Foundation Gallery. His most famous sculptures are the 14’ cedar Phoenix located at the corner of Centre Avenue and Dinwiddie in Pittsburgh’s Hill District and the “Mountaintop” Limestone at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Library in the Hill District at Herron and Milwaukee Streets.

Mosley wrote Thaddeus Mosley: African-American Sculptor with a narrative by David Lewis that was published by the Carnegie Museum of Art in 1997.

Mosley was named the Artist of the Year and was awarded the Governor’s Award, the Cultural Award, and the Service in the Arts Award by the Pittsburgh Center of the Arts. Mosley has been an officer for the Pittsburgh Society of Sculptors and a board member of the August Wilson Center for African American Culture.

Mosley was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 11, 2008.

Accession Number

A2008.102

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/11/2008

Last Name

Mosley

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
Schools

University of Pittsburgh

West Side Elementary School

New Castle Junior/Senior High School

George Washington Intermediate School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Thaddeus

Birth City, State, Country

New Castle

HM ID

MOS05

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

New York, New York

Favorite Quote

There's No Vice Like Advice.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Pennsylvania

Birth Date

7/23/1926

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Pittsburgh

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Seafood

Short Description

Sculptor Thaddeus Mosley (1926 - ) created pieces that were commissioned by Pittsburgh cultural institutions like the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, the Susquehanna Museum and the Cue Art Foundation Gallery.

Employment

United States Postal Service

U.S. Navy

Pittsburgh Courier

Favorite Color

Blue, Green

Timing Pairs
0,0:420,7:4452,178:8904,261:23856,578:24192,583:34843,677:35248,683:36301,707:48046,887:49180,906:53570,913:119050,1746:120095,1762:121520,1776:132552,1888:163475,2293:170110,2324:175340,2368$0,0:2465,39:10115,166:35547,533:36371,543:42654,618:43478,629:45435,648:65555,812:65930,818:72455,926:72980,934:77555,1024:93980,1235:100976,1324:129175,1638:129940,1645:155944,1978:156756,1991:157336,1997:177024,2242:180682,2285:185992,2342:202278,2509:219402,2704:220314,2725:220770,2732:231222,2843:245650,3072:253398,3144:255990,3188:259734,3258:269890,3370
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Thaddeus Mosley's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Thaddeus Mosley lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Thaddeus Mosley describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Thaddeus Mosley talks about his mother's upbringing and employment

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Thaddeus Mosley remembers his maternal great-grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Thaddeus Mosley describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Thaddeus Mosley remembers his paternal aunt

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Thaddeus Mosley talks about his father's literary interests

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Thaddeus Mosley recalls how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Thaddeus Mosley describes his parents' personalities and activities

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Thaddeus Mosley describes the No. 5 Mine community in Elbon, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Thaddeus Mosley recalls his family's move from Elbon, Pennsylvania to New Castle, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Thaddeus Mosley describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Thaddeus Mosley describes the sights and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Thaddeus Mosley recalls his early educational experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Thaddeus Mosley remembers segregation in New Castle, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Thaddeus Mosley describes his early interest in drawing

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Thaddeus Mosley recalls his early musical interests

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Thaddeus Mosley talks about his high school activities

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Thaddeus Mosley remembers the servicemen at Naval Station Great Lakes in Lake County, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Thaddeus Motley recalls the African American athletes he met in the U.S. Navy, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Thaddeus Mosley recalls the African American athletes he met in the U.S. Navy, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Thaddeus Mosley talks about segregation in the U.S. Armed Forces

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Thaddeus Mosley remembers his neighbor who wrote Western fiction

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Thaddeus Mosley recalls his experiences in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Thaddeus Mosley remembers coaching basketball in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Thaddeus Mosley talks about the Japanese holdouts after World War II

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Thaddeus Mosley recalls his experiences of segregation in restaurants

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Thaddeus Mosley remembers enrolling at the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Thaddeus Mosley talks about the economy in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Thaddeus Mosley talks about the economy in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Thaddeus Mosley remembers the Pittsburgh Courier

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Thaddeus Mosley recalls his interest in magazine journalism

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Thaddeus Mosley talks about his various occupations

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Thaddeus Mosley describes his early career at the U.S. Post Office Department

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Thaddeus Mosley talks about the Nunn family

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Thaddeus Mosley remembers photographer Charles "Teenie" Harris

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Thaddeus Mosley describes the development of his artistic interests

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Thaddeus Mosley talks about his early sculptures

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Thaddeus Mosley recalls the theft of his sculpture of Dizzy Gillespie

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Thaddeus Mosley talks about the concepts of weight and space in sculpture

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Thaddeus Mosley describes his work schedule

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Thaddeus Mosley recalls his early art exhibitions

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Thaddeus Mosley describes his interest in African tribal art

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Thaddeus Mosley talks about the Black Arts Movement

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Thaddeus Mosley describes his sculpting materials and process

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Thaddeus Mosley talks about the dearth of wood carving instruction

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Thaddeus Mosley compares wood carving to jazz composition

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Thaddeus Mosley talks about playwright August Wilson

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Thaddeus Mosley describes the diversity of his sculptures

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Thaddeus Mosley reflects upon his career as a sculptor

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Thaddeus Mosley talks about the importance of education

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Thaddeus Mosley recalls his exhibition opportunities

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Thaddeus Mosley describes the origin of the Pittsburgh Crawfords

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Thaddeus Mosley remembers the Negro League baseball players of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Thaddeus Mosley reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Thaddeus Mosley describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Thaddeus Mosley reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Thaddeus Mosley describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Thaddeus Mosley narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

9$3

DATitle
Thaddeus Mosley describes the development of his artistic interests
Thaddeus Mosley talks about the concepts of weight and space in sculpture
Transcript
So you would develop--you'd write your story, develop your own photos--$$Um-hm.$$--and get 'em over there [to the Pittsburgh Courier; New Pittsburgh Courier] (laughter).$$Yeah.$$That took twenty hours a week, right?$$Yeah.$$So, so now how did--now when did you start doing artwork? Now what, what inspired you to do artwork?$$Well growing--I've always liked art, you know. And one time when I was young I thought I'd like to be a painter, you know like most people think about stuff. But by going to Carnegie [Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania] and stuff, but what really propelled me was in the early '50s [1950s] when the Scandinavian, Scandinavian designs first came out, well I bought some of the furniture, and all the brochures had--and also the photo display, furniture displays, they had decorative sculpture, birds and fish and stuff. So I decided I could do that and I started making some of my own. And then I got really reading about Brancusi [Constantin Brancusi] and I never--I didn't know who Brancusi was. I didn't know what African art was. But I was taking a class in Western civilization and I guess in my sophomore year, might have been my junior year. And I don't know if you know Horace Parlan, the piano player. He's very--he lives in Denmark, but he played with Mingus [Charles Mingus] and played with Lou Dawes [ph.]. He played with a lot of people. But he was at Pitt [University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania] the same time I was and we were in the same class. And we were looking at taking this class and they were talking about African art influence on Brancusi. The first time I'd ever really noticed an African art. And that became one of my big influences insofar as art was concerned. But doing art was when I decided to make some of my own decorative stuff from looking at the Scandinavian displays. And I bought Scandinavian art in the early '50s [1950s].$$Okay. So Brancusi was influenced by African sculpture.$$Yeah, yeah.$$And you know, I think a lot of people have heard this, Picasso [Pablo Picasso] was actually influenced by African art too.$$Well, Picasso--painting, but, but sculpture wise, Brancusi, Jacques Lipchitz. Everyone from around that period where African tribal art was what really turned in my mind, the Western art, totally around, you know, was the, the big catalyst.$When you started sculpting, I mean how long did it take you to, I guess get to the style you pres- I mean--or I might, I might be being presumptuous here, but do you have like a style that you developed?$$Yeah.$$And when did you develop your signature style of sculpting?$$Well I would imagine I didn't get to where I am now 'til about in, in, in the, in the late, in the '60s [1960s]. I had a show at the Carnegie [Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania] in '68 [1968]. So the idea of the weight and space philosophy, I didn't do that 'til the late '60s [1960s] I would imagine.$$Okay, so you call it the weight and space.$$Weight and space. It's a spatial concept where the thing may look like it's floating; the heaviest part is up and not down. So it's just called weight and space.$$So these, these pieces are I take it they're balanced where they--$$Well they're fitted together and then there, and there, there's some balance, yeah.$$I mean I, what I'm getting at is what makes 'em stay up if they look like they're kind of off, you know?$$Well they have a center of gravity and, and they're either pinned or fitted so that they're stable, you know. And they have a broad enough base that it, it, it supports, it supports.$$Okay. Now do you, did you develop that concept yourself?$$No, it is, it is a rather common concept, but just done in different ways, you know. It's like if you want to say in jazz, swing there's not just one swing, although say like Armstrong [Louis Armstrong] was like the first great swing and everything set the style for swing and also style for solo style. But there's a lot of other styles beyond you know, what Armstrong 'course got from Pittsburgh [Pennsylvania]. Eldridge, they called Little Jazz, came--patterned himself after--$$Roy Eldridge?$$Roy, Roy Eldridge. He was a north sider, not too far from here he lived. And then Dizzy, Dizzy Gillespie copied, patterned himself off of Roy Eldridge. So that--you have that. So it isn't just a one--a one id- one idea of a concept there; it can be many ideas that spring from. There's a lot of people that do weight and space. Particularly Brancusi [Constantin Brancusi], weight and space (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) So is it analogous to jazz in the sense that--$$Not really. The, the, the only analogy to jazz would be the people who are more--that improvise more in art. They don't do models, they just may start with an idea. And of course there's a lot of artists that name the things from jazz, but you know, it, it's more a, as I say, like Stuart Davis, (unclear), there's a book called 'Seeing Jazz' ['Seeing Jazz: Artists and Writers on Jazz'], and it's a lot of artists from every stripe down to people like Raymond Saunders, [HistoryMaker] Sam Gilliam and, and there's people that painted or sculpted with, with, with maybe rhythmic or feeling of jazz and so forth, you know.$$Now do you, do you--well I heard that you actually sculpt with music on. You play with music (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Not often, no.$$Oh, you don't? Okay.$$Because I don't know, I play, I play music before I start working. But once I start working, I don't hear anything because it's a pounding sound (laughter). You're not gonna listen to music while hammering--hitting a mallet and hitting a, hitting a, using a mallet to hit a gauge or a chisel, no.

Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly

Sculptor Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly was born on September 11, 1937 in Crenshaw, Mississippi to Mattie Louise Williams and Floyd Pitchford. Jolly received her B.A. degree from Roosevelt University in 1961 and her M.A. degree from Governors State University in 1974, both in the State of Illinois.

From 1961 to 1965, Pitchford-Jolly taught at the University of Chicago Laboratory School. She worked as teacher and director at the Chicago Youth Center Head Start from 1965 to 1969. Pitchford-Jolly then worked as program director at the Chicago Commons from 1969 to 1974. In 1974, she worked as a professor of ceramic at Chicago State University and the education coordinator of the Suburban Health System Agency until 1981. From 1981 to 1985, she was a self-taught ceramic artist and sculptor at the Press Artisan 21 Gallery in Chicago, Illinois. Pitchford-Jolly received an award in the Best Of Category at the Museum of Science and Industry in 1984. In 1986, she was recognized as a Top Ten Emerging Black Chicago Artist. A year later, Pitchford-Jolly worked as a curator at the Saphire and Crystals Black Women’s Art Exhibition. Her profile was featured in Today’s Chicago Woman Magazine and worked as an artist-in-residence for the Lakeside Group in 1988. Her work was also featured in the 2005 Chicago Woman’s Caucus for Art. In 2008, Pitchford-Jolly and David Philpot’s clay pots and carved wooden staffs were showcased in the “Kindred Spirits” Exhibit at the Noyes Cultural Arts Center. Her art is also exhibited and sold at the Esther Saks Gallery and was seen in Columbia Motion Pictures film, Date Night 7.

Pitchford-Jolly served on the board of directors of Urban Traditions in 1984 and the Chicago Cultural Center in 1986; a board member of the African American Rountable in 1985; and on the Exhibition Committee at the Chicago Cultural Center. In addition, Pitchford-Jolly volunteered at the Southside Community Art Center. Also, she is the founder of the Mude People’s Black Women’s Resources Sharing Workshop.

Pitchford-Jolly lives in Chicago, Illinois.

Pitchford-Jolly was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 15, 2008.

Marva Pitchford-Jolly passed away on October 21, 2012.

Accession Number

A2008.086

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/15/2008

Last Name

Pitchford-Jolly

Maker Category
Middle Name

Lee

Occupation
Schools

Francis Parkman Elementary School

Northern Illinois University

Englewood High School

Roosevelt University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Marva

Birth City, State, Country

Crenshaw

HM ID

PIT02

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Mississippi

Favorite Vacation Destination

Guadalajara, Mexico

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

9/11/1937

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chicken

Death Date

10/21/2012

Short Description

Sculptor Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly (1937 - 2012 ) was a tenured professor of ceramics at Chicago State University. She was recognized as one of the Top Ten Emerging Black Chicago Artists of 1986, and her works have been exhibited numerous times.

Employment

Suburban Cook-DuPage County Health Systems Agency

Chicago State University

Head Start

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly talks about her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly recalls the community of Crenshaw, Mississippi, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly recalls the community of Crenshaw, Mississippi, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly remembers her paternal grandfather

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly remembers the Great Depression

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly describes her parents' courtship

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly describes her father's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly describes the smells and sounds of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly describes the sights of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly remembers her home in Crenshaw, Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly describes her early experiences of religion

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly remembers her childhood activities

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly describes her relationship with her twin sister

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly remembers her schooling in Crenshaw, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly recalls her bedtime routine

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly remembers her first grade teacher

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly describes her early interest in art

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly remembers her childhood friends

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly describes race relations in Crenshaw, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly remembers her mother's death

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly recalls moving to her aunt's home in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly remembers moving to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly remembers Englewood High School in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly remembers Englewood High School in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly describes her black history education

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly remembers her counselors at Englewood High School

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly describes her graduation from Englewood High School

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly recalls working at Mercy Hospital and Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly remembers Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly recalls transferring to Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly talks about her marriage

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly talks about her art and music collection

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly remembers the atmosphere of Roosevelt University

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly describes her work in community organizing

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly recalls joining the faculty of Chicago State University in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly remembers teaching at Chicago State University

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly talks about the South Side Community Arts Center in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly describes the Sapphire and Crystals art collective, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly describes the Sapphire and Crystals art collective, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly describes her involvement in arts organizations

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly talks about her philosophy of art

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly describes her story pot about Hurricane Katrina

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly talks about her artistic inspiration

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly describes her story pots

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly recalls her travels in Africa

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly describes her residency in Zambia

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly talks about her sculpture, 'Old People Say'

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly remembers the sale of an early story pot sculpture

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly talks about the spiritual component of her artwork

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly reflects upon her life

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly talks about her friends and family

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly shares the 'Women of the World' story pot sculpture

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly talks about her youngest brother

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$6

DAStory

5$3

DATitle
Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly remembers teaching at Chicago State University
Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly describes her story pot about Hurricane Katrina
Transcript
And I worked as a part timer until '89 [1989], but a lot of different things were happening. But that's the only thing you need to know. And we were changing presidents, you know. We had a couple of them during that period of time. Ayers [George E. Ayers] was, was one, and he left, and then we had some interim folks, you know. Chicago State was a mess. Let's just put it like that. And I didn't--I was debating whether or not--I have a tendency to really get hooked into things. So I was debating whether or not I am going to get hooked into teaching at Chicago State, I mean, because tenure track, I don't know what people think tenure track is, but that's a lot of work and a lot of documentation. So I just kept saying no. I just kept saying no. And in 1990, when Dolores Cross [HistoryMaker Dolores E. Cross] came, that's when the talks got really, really serious. We didn't have a lot of--people didn't know this, but the bulk of Chicago State's faculty was also white up until the early '90s [1990s], you know. And then it was about 60/40 [percent], maybe, black/white. It, it made a flip-flop, but even now. I think there are some advantages to it; I mean, I really do. I think that students really ought to be exposed to a lot of different kind of teachers. And the ones that--we kind of hung on to the ones that want to be there. The ones who don't are gone, you know. They kind of get tenure, and then they go someplace else. But when she came and talked to me about it, you know, I began to soften a bit, you know. And I thought, oh, man, here we go. But, you know, I made the commitment, and it is absolutely the best decision I've ever made, even though I swore (laughter) on my mother's [Mattie Williams Pitchford] grave I would never teach. Yet, that is--but my friends say that it is--God's punishing me by making me teach because I used to pick on them so much, you know. They were teachers, and I just laughed at them, (laughter) you know. So--and at Chicago State, you know, when we were going away, when were all graduating from Englewood [Englewood High School, Chicago, Illinois] if they were going to Chicago Teachers College [Chicago State University, Chicago, Illinois], you know, we just thought, ah, anybody can go to Chicago Teachers College, you know. And the fact that I end up being a professor at Chicago Teachers College, they just see it as an absolute justice, you know. And perhaps it is, because I, I just--but I love it. It's been a wonderful--you learn so much from students, you know. And particularly as a, as a professional artist, they approach and do things and create art in ways that, you know, I never thought about, you know. And I'll go like, oh, I'm taking that (laughter), you know.$And I felt very strongly about a lot of stuff socially. It has always pissed me off, racism. You have no idea, even as a little kid. You know, I thought, this is stupid. You know, it just never made sense to me. And I just wasn't going to go quietly. And I thought that a lot of the values that, the moral values that I had as a youngster, I thought they were universal, actually. We weren't taught to do this because this is better for black people. We were taught to do things because it was better for people period, you know, and to have a very broad thought about how the world runs, you know, not just America even, you know. And I will take some social issues and have that as a, as subject matter. For instance, this pot that's over to the right, I did this pot when Katrina [Hurricane Katrina] was going on. And that's just the name of it, because I hadn't been paying attention because I was busy and hadn't been watching TV or listening to much radio. And I get up, I ten--I get up four, five o'clock still a lot now. And I was watching TV, and I couldn't believe it. I mean, I just could not--you know, I'd heard them talking about there's gonna be a flood and stuff. But what I was seeing, I just--'cause I saw water full of debris, and I didn't know what the debris was, and then I saw it, you know. And it just, it just knocked me for a loop. And I just ate my breakfast and went to the studio and built a pot and painted it, you know. That's the way I just kind of purged the, the desire to absolutely kill somebody, I mean, you know, just go--I just wanted to go slap George Bush [President George Walker Bush]. That, that's what, you know--like, just shake him, you know. Now this, this, this, this, you know, man, I know you ain't connected, but (laughter), you know, this is crazy. This won't work, you know. So, that's, that, and I'm okay, and--$$So, so you use your, your interest in, in world events and politics--$$Yes.$$--inform your art.$$Yes, absolutely.

Preston Jackson

Sculptor, art educator and gallery owner Preston Eugene Jackson was born on March 1, 1944 in Decatur, Illinois. The son of Shirley Armstrong Jackson and foundry worker, T.J. Jackson, he grew up in Decatur where he began drawing at the age of seven. Jackson attended Oakland Elementary School and Stephen Decatur High School, where he ran the one hundred yard dash in 9.7 seconds. Graduating in 1962, he attended Millikin University while working at Revere Copper. In 1967, Jackson enrolled in Southern Illinois University where he earned his B.A. degree while playing jazz guitar with his group, Preston Jackson and the Rhythm Aces. Jackson, mentored by Marvin Klavin, obtained his M.F.A. degree from the University of Illinois in 1972.

From 1971 to 1972, Jackson served as an instructor of drawing and painting at Decatur’s Millikin University. He was professor of art at Western Illinois University from 1972 to 1989. Jackson joined the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1989 as professor of sculpture and head of the Figurative Area. Appointed chair of the Sculpture Department in 1994, Jackson served in that capacity until 1996. Since 1995, Jackson has served as owner of The Raven Gallery, home of the Contemporary Art Center in Peoria, Illinois.

As an artist, Jackson specializes in bronze and steel sculpture and painting. Best known for his work with bronze castings, Jackson has also created two-dimensional pieces and large monuments. Jackson is recipient of five state public art commissions through the state’s Capital Development Board. His works include a life size bronze Jean Baptiste Point du Sable in Peoria; bronze façade and doors for the Cahokia Mounds Museum; a Martin Luther King memorial bust for Danville, Illinois; “Let’s Play Two,” a bronze relief of Ernie Banks for ESPN Zone in Chicago; “Dr. Dan,” a bronze bust of surgeon Dr. Daniel Hale Williams for Northwestern University and a cast bronze sculpture of Irv Kupcinet for the City of Chicago. Jackson’s major exhibitions and shows include: “Duo Exhibit,” 1995, in Rockford and “Bronzeville to Harlem,” shown since 1997 in nine different cities. Inspired by African American oral tradition, Jackson created the exhibit, “Fresh from Julieanne’s Garden” which has been exhibited since 2004 in Chicago, Peoria, Madison, Wisconsin and other cities. Jackson’s lectures and workshops have been presented at Oklahoma City, Chicago, St. Louis, Jackson, Mississippi, Decatur and Bloomington, Illinois. His work has been displayed across the United States in exhibitions, and he was named the 1998 Laureate of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois. Currently, he serves as a professor of sculpture and the head of the figurative area at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is owner of the Raven Gallery, home to the Contemporary Art Center of Peoria. Jackson is the sculptor of The HistoryMakers bronze award statuettes.

Accession Number

A2006.168

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/13/2006

Last Name

Jackson

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Stephen Decatur High School

Oakland Elementary School

Southern Illinois University

University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign

Millikin University

Search Occupation Category
Speakers Bureau

No

First Name

Preston

Birth City, State, Country

Decatur

HM ID

JAC21

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - 0 - $500

Favorite Season

Fall

Sponsor

Isobel Neal

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

South Carolina

Favorite Quote

Huh.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

3/1/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Thai Food, Seafood

Short Description

Sculptor Preston Jackson (1944 - ) specialized in bronze and steel sculpture and painting. He taught at many universities, most recently as a professor of sculpture and the head of the figurative area at the School of the Art Institute, Chicago. Jackson also owned The Raven Gallery, home to the Contemporary Art Center in Peoria, Illinois.

Employment

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Bradley University

Contemporary Art Center of Peoria

Western Illinois University

Millikin University

Caterpillar Inc.

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Medium Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Preston Jackson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Preston Jackson lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Preston Jackson describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Preston Jackson describes his mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Preston Jackson describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Preston Jackson describes his paternal family's recollections of slavery

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Preston Jackson talks about his parents' move to Decatur, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Preston Jackson talks about sundown cities

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Preston Jackson describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Preston Jackson describes his childhood neighborhood in Decatur, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Preston Jackson describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Preston Jackson talks about his dyslexia

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Preston Jackson remembers Oakland School in Decatur, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Preston Jackson describes his experiences at Decatur's Oakland School

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Preston Jackson describes his early interest in music

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Preston Jackson describes his family's religious upbringing

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Preston Jackson recalls his activities at Stephen Decatur High School

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Preston Jackson describes his decision to attend Millikin University

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Preston Jackson describes his experiences at Millikin University

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Preston Jackson describes his experiences at Southern Illinois University

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Preston Jackson reflects upon his college experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Preston Jackson remembers Charles Koen and Leon Thomas

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Preston Jackson describes his musical career in southern Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Preston Jackson recalls his decision to obtain an M.F.A. degree

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Preston Jackson remembers the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Preston Jackson recalls the political climate of the 1960s in Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Preston Jackson recalls graduating from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Preston Jackson recalls his influences at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Preston Jackson describes his transition from painting to sculpture

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Preston Jackson describes Western Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Preston Jackson remembers early exhibitions of his artwork

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Preston Jackson describes his philosophy of art

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Preston Jackson describes his work, 'Fresh from Julieanne's Garden'

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Preston Jackson describes two of his commissioned sculptures

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Preston Jackson describes his sculpture, 'A Masquerade'

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Preston Jackson reflects upon the state of the art world for artists of color

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Preston Jackson reflects upon the changing art world of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Preston Jackson shares advice for young artists

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Preston Jackson describes his sculpture for Chicago's McCormick Place

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Preston Jackson describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Preston Jackson reflects upon his life

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Preston Jackson reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Preston Jackson describes his family

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Preston Jackson talks about practicing taekkyeon

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Preston Jackson describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

3$7

DATitle
Preston Jackson describes his childhood neighborhood in Decatur, Illinois
Preston Jackson describes his work, 'Fresh from Julieanne's Garden'
Transcript
What was some of the, what was your neighborhood like, were you in the country sort of like or semi country?$$Oh no, no, we were in the city [Decatur, Illinois].$$In the city.$$Yeah beautiful area of town, it was a mixed neighborhood. We had Germans on one end and well a little later on there was one Japanese kid and it was a mixed neighborhood, yeah. We really didn't know anything about a neighborhood that was all black, but we understood that the majority was black. And we understood what we all had in common, it was only 'til we went to school that it, it really dawned on us that we were different. You know kindergarten, that we were different and the jokes you know from slapstick stuff. The old vaudeville stuff from movies and, then it really sunk in and that was how we treated each other. What was funny and what was laughable you know and, and all of the humor that came out of being black and the cartoons, especially Disney [The Walt Disney Company] cartoons. And, and the guy [E.C. Segar] that did Popeye and Betty Boop you know, different cartoonist, but comic books especially Al Capp was very hard on, on black culture. Yeah, yeah it and so it crept, consciousness crept into our minds, and the irony of it all, most of it we saw as funny, until we reached an age whereas we had to be bus boys and we were treated different. And we begin to note that there were eating establishments that we could not go into.$Well can you describe some of the highlights in your career and some of the pieces you've cre- created and you know give us some stories behind some of those pieces. I know we don't have them in front of us but, if you can just give us a brief kind, and we will show some at one point (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) I hope so right. Well the highest light, the brightest light would be what I'm doing now, 'Fresh from Julieanne's Garden,' you know.$$Now Julieanne was one of your relatives?$$Yeah my great-great grandmother you know.$$Okay.$$Yeah, Julie, 'Fresh from Julieanne's Garden,' this, I had an exhibit at the Cultural Center [Chicago Cultural Center] here in Chicago [Illinois] and now the exhibit is traveling, the pieces are traveling. It was a very successful show in many ways, one is that I got my point across, two I was able to tell my history, our history. And three, it you know, I, I started getting some pretty lucrative commissions from that, from that showing you know. So you know this is, this is the height, these are high times in my career, in the, I see future things. I feel very positive about future things happening you know, only thing that I'm very pessimistic about is pessimistic about is the fact that we always seem to find ourselves in wars. We, I mean if one war situation is over, we'll find another one you know, and I'm not saying we, but it happens all over the world. Some kind of conflict happens when our young people have to go off and get their bodies torn to pieces you know. So I do have this thing in the back of my mind if these situations aren't positive, then my life isn't you know. I mean I, I can't be fully happy or comfortable when those things are going on you know. Crime situation you know, and the direction parts of pop culture has turned you know and, and the results of it.

Elizabeth Catlett

Acclaimed printer maker and sculptor Elizabeth Catlett was born on April 15, 1915, in Washington, D.C. Growing up with grandparents who had been slaves, she was very aware of the injustices against black women. She attended Lucretia Mott Elementary School, Dunbar High School and then Howard University School of Art where she graduated cum laude in 1936. After she became the first student to earn an MFA degree in sculpture from the University of Iowa in 1940, she studied ceramics at the Art Institute of Chicago and later in New York she studied lithography at the Art Students League.

In 1946, Catlett accepted an invitation to work in Mexico City’s Taller de Grafica Popular, a collective graphic arts and mural workshop. There she cultivated the theme for her work, the African American woman. In 1947, she produced her first major show “I am a Negro Woman,” a series of sculptures, prints, and paintings through a Julius Rosenwald Foundation fellowship, which toured black women’s colleges in the South. That same year she married Mexican painter Francisco Mora. A lively community of artists surrounded her and Mora, including Diego Rivera and his wife Frida Kahlo. From 1958 through 1976, she directed the sculpture department at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico.

In 1993, Catlett received her first New York City exhibition since 1971 and in 1998 the Neuberger Museum of Art in Purchase, New York honored her with a fifty year retrospective. Her paintings and sculptures were in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum, in New York, the Baltimore Museum of Art and the New Orleans Museum of Art.

Catlett passed away on April 4, 2012 at age 96.

Accession Number

A2005.170

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/26/2005 |and| 7/27/2005

Last Name

Catlett

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Paul Laurence Dunbar High School

Lucretia Mott Elementary School

University of Iowa

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Art Students League of New York

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Elizabeth

Birth City, State, Country

Washington

HM ID

CAT02

Favorite Season

Fall, Winter

Sponsor

Dianne and Louis Carr

State

District of Columbia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Cruises

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Mexico

Birth Date

4/15/1915

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Mexico City

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Watermelon

Death Date

4/2/2012

Short Description

Printmaker, art professor, and sculptor Elizabeth Catlett (1915 - 2012 ) was an acclaimed visual artist known for her works that explore African American themes. She was especially well-known for her depictions of a mother and child motif, both in two and three dimensions. Catlett spent much of her life in Mexico, where she directed the sculpture department at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico for nearly twenty years.

Employment

Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas

George Washington Carver School

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Blue

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Elizabeth Catlett

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Elizabeth Catlett's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Elizabeth Catlett talks about her mother's background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Elizabeth Catlett talks about her father's background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Elizabeh Catlett remembers her ancestors

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Elizabeth Catlett recalls her childhood in Washington D.C. in the 1920s

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Elizabeth Catlett reminisces on summers in North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Elizabeth Catlett describes her extended family in Lincolnton, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Elizabeth Catlett shares childhood holiday memories

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Elizabeth Catlett remembers Lucretia Mott elementary school in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Elizabeth Catlett recalls the Washington D.C. neighborhood of her youth

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Elizabeth Catlett remembers role models from elementary and high school

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Elizabeth Catlett explains her family's thriftiness

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Elizabeth Catlett details her transition into college

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Elizabeth Catlett recalls her high school involvement in swimming

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Elizabeth Catlett describes her early desire to pursue art

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Elizabeth Catlett recalls her uncle's troubled life

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Elizabeth Catlett reminisces about her brother's life and early death

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Elizabeth Catlett remembers her relationship with her brother

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Elizabeth Catlett comments on role models of her youth

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Elizabeth Catlett describes the great personality differences between her sister Sara and herself

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Elizabeth Catlett reflects on her sister's life

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Elizabeth Catlett describes life in Washington D.C. in the 1920s

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Elizabeth Catlett discusses key memories from Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, Washington D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Elizabeth Catlett comments on her study of black history

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Elizabeth Catlett details her experiences as an undergraduate in Howard University's art department

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Elizabeth Catlett describes color-consiousness in Delta Sigma Theta sorority

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Elizabeth Catlett dispels myths of Lois Mailou Jones influence on her art

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Elizabeth Catlett describes campus life at Howard University on the cusp of WWII

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Elizabeth Catlett discusses her scholarly pursuits at Howard University

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Elizabeth Catlett remembers studying under E. Franklin Frazier

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Elizabeth Catlett describes a menial job she held after college

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Elizabeth Catlett explains her involvement in protesting racial inequality in black teachers pay

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Elizabeth Catlett gives reasons she wanted to leave Durham, North Carolina, part I

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Elizabeth Catlett describes why she left Durham, North Carolina, part II

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Elizabeth Catlett details her successes as a teacher

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Elizabeth Catlett explains her decision to attend University of Iowa

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Elizabeth Catlett reminsces about graduate life at the University of Iowa

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Elizabeth Catlett remembers her artistic influences at University of Iowa

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Elizabeth Catlett discuses her battles against a racist administrator at the University of Iowa

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Elizabeth Catlett recalls her most influential teacher, Grant Wood

Artis Lane

Artis Lane was born in North Buxton in southern Ontario, Canada, on May 14, 1927. When she was two years old, Lane’s family moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where Lane attended school and began to distinguish herself as an artist. By the age of fifteen, she was painting portraits of her classmates, and after graduating from high school, she was awarded a scholarship to the Ontario College of Art in Toronto. After graduating, she married journalist Bill Lane and moved with him to Detroit, where the Urban League, Detroit Chapter, played an instrumental role in Lane’s being the first woman to be admitted to Cranbrook Art Academy. Lane used her artistic talent to help support her family by painting portraits of auto industry executives and then Governor of Michigan George Romney.

Lane met actress Diahann Carroll shortly afterwards, and moved to New York City, where she continued to paint portraits while becoming a member of Portraits Incorporated. She soon moved to Los Angeles and began working with Universal Studios. There, she met actor Cary Grant, and the two became close friends. Over the ensuing decades, she was commissioned to paint such notables as President John F. Kennedy, Frank Sinatra, Henry Kissinger, Barbara Bush, Rosa Parks, Michael Jordan and Aretha Franklin, among others. In addition to her portraitures, Lane created bronze sculptures for the National Council of Negro Women’s Dorothy Height and Mary McLeod Bethune.

Lane has created bronze sculptures for the Soul Train Awards and has designed book covers and the original logo for the Dance Theatre of Harlem. Lane has held exhibitions throughout the United States and Canada. Her works can be seen in the Smithsonian Institution, the University of Missouri Library, AT&T’s corporate collection, the offices of Motown Records and numerous private galleries.

Lane is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Women of Excellence Award from the Chatham-Kent Family YMCA in Canada, the Museum of African American Art Award in Los Angeles, and the Women for Women Award from the Martin Luther King, Jr. General Hospital Foundation. In 2004, Lane continued to live and work in Los Angeles.

Accession Number

A2004.235

Sex

Female

Interview Date

11/16/2004

Last Name

Lane

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

North Buxton School

Ontario College of Art and Design

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Artis

Birth City, State, Country

Ontario

HM ID

LAN04

Favorite Season

Fall

Favorite Vacation Destination

California

Favorite Quote

Rise Above It.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

5/14/1927

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

Canada

Favorite Food

Spinach, Garlic

Short Description

Sculptor and painter Artis Lane (1927 - ) is an award-winning portrait painter and sculptor; subjects include John F. Kennedy, Frank Sinatra, Henry Kissinger, Barbara Bush, Aretha Franklin, Michael Jordan, and Rosa Parks.

Favorite Color

Azure Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Artis Lane interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Artis Lane lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Artis Lane recalls her mother's family

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Artis Lane discusses Mary Shadd Carey, the abolitionist

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Artis Lane describes her mother's home

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Artis Lane reflects on her father's family and Buxton, Ontario

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Artis Lane recounts her early artistic endeavors

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Artis Lane shares childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Artis Lane discusses Raoul Abdul and Spencer Alexander

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Artis Lane describes North Buxton, Ontario, Canada

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Artis Lane recalls her elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Artis Lane details how her parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Artis Lane reflects on the racial climate in Canada

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Artis Lane remembers her high school art studies

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Artis Lane shares her experiences in Toronto

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Artis Lane recounts her courtship and marriage

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Artis Lane remembers being the first black student at Cranbrook Academy of Art

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Artis Lane explains her family's reaction to her husband

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Artis Lane explains why she has no college degree

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Artis Lane recalls her early career in portraiture

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Artis Lane lists some of the people she painted

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Artis Lane recounts her move to Los Angeles

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Artis Lane discusses her work in Los Angeles

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Artis Lane remembers an influential professor of art

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Artis Lane expresses her views on conservatism and religion

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Artis Lane details her search for the "generic man" and "generic woman"

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Artis Lane discusses the intersection of metaphysics and art in her work

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Artis Lane recalls painting Dorothy Height

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Artis Lane describes her friendship with Cary Grant

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Artis Lane discusses Charlton Heston

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Artis Lane reflects on her portrait of Ronald Reagan

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Artis Lane recounts meeting Nelson Mandela

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Artis Lane remembers painting John F. Kennedy

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Artis Lane recalls her portrait of Yeslam bin Laden

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Artis Lane describes her most difficult portrait

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Artis Lane discusses her portrait of Rosa Parks

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Artis Lane talks about her favorite piece

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Artis Lane reflects on meeting Bill Clinton

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Artis Lane details her creative process behind sculpting

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Artis Lane recalls her sculptures of Malcolm X and Ronald Reagan

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Artis Lane discusses her husband and the film he produced

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Artis Lane expresses her hopes for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Artis Lane ponders her career and legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Artis Lane describes her family's reaction to her career

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Artis Lane reflects on how she wants to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$4

DAStory

2$12

DATitle
Artis Lane describes her friendship with Cary Grant
Artis Lane details her creative process behind sculpting
Transcript
Now you sculpted and painted some of the Hollywood stars like Cary Grant and Charlton Heston and some others?$$Yes, I took my portfolio into Universal Studios through an art director and I only did them not hoping to sell them but to get some work from the studios and make a living and they promptly bought them. Elke Sommer who is quite a well known artist herself, Rock Hudson, in that era many of the stars had cabins or cottages on the lot there. And when I painted Cary Grant it was, I was introduced by a Korean lady he--who owned the restaurant where all the stars would go. And so I got a call, "Artis, he wants you to come over to his cottage," and I walk in with the portrait and it was just about pre-dinner time. And he look at the, had a look at the portrait, said "Have you had dinner?" And I said no. I cancelled--he cancelled his own dinner at home and took me to this Anna Ko the Korean girl who had told him about me. I'm sitting there in the restaurant. I had never sat with such a, an icon or a living legend. One woman came over to my table, insisted that she knew me at, to our table. And he said young lady we were--he had owned a champagne company up north and wine company and said "Young lady you can have one drink and then you can go back to your table," because it was obvious that I, she had pushed herself on us. And we became very good friends, a confidant. He married Dyan Cannon, who asked my husband [Vince Cannon] to manage her career. She saw what he was doing with mine and we would get different calls from him. They divorced shortly after they married and he returned the portrait he commissioned me to do of her in exchange for a little boy's, a study of a little boy, unhappy to, unable to live with that portrait. But the kind of friendship was just--he was very deeply into metaphysics believe it or not. But going through that LSD [lysergic acid diethylamide], a series of treatments under supervision and so we'd have strong arguments about that against it. Anything that altered the mind I felt dishonored the God mind we are given so we would go round and round about--discussions that other people don't know about. There have been many books written about him but my husband called him the, encouraged him to accept the Oscar [Academy Award] cause he was very upset that they did not give an Oscar to a leading man when dealt with comedy, romantic comedy and felt that they should, that that was just as serious an art as the dramas. So over the years even into when Jennifer was born she would come to our house to do the homework. He would call because of the views he had on women, very old traditional opinions about a woman's hair shouldn't be so, over a certain length after a certain age and that very few women in the film industry maintained their femininity because of the pressures put on them. They ended up almost talking like men you know they had to be balls-y and that one of the few--I asked him if he ever went, had a friend--"Do you have any black friends?" I said to him. And he said, "Joe Louis because I was also a boxer. We got to be good friends and Count Basie [William Count Basie]"--because I always challenged people when they claimed to be liberal, "Do you have any friends of color," you know? That for me is a, a test of sorts. You could seek them out if you're a race that's more accepted I think it's the responsibility of the white race to make an effort to develop a friendship with people of other races rather than remain in that clique and still maintain your liberal (unclear) open.$You sculpt in, in wax primarily right?$$Yes--$$You cast it in bronze. Can you tell us about the process that you use?$$Oh yes, I'm happy to because I find that I have to travel so much. [Scultor, Auguste] Rodin used to carry a piece of wax around in his pocket. You can work with wax wherever you go, just work in the sun. It warms it up and it's pliable. But I find that if I incorporate tubes of black oil in a large turkey cooker and heat that wax, victory brown wax, add the tubes, mix it together, the result is that the wax you do resembles, it even photographs like a finished black patina bronze so it cuts one step out you know in trying to get an idea of how it will look so that, that's my way of working through that system. I'm very rapid in many, on the sports figures. I'll do gesture pieces that take minutes as opposed to this long--I've spent two and three years on a piece perfecting--if I want it to feel a very rested, calm. The agitation of a gesture leaves--you need that raw finish, the, the swoop, scoop of wax. Often I've taken like a machete knife and just slabbed it on the armature. First you work of course with an armature to center through the body. So it's exciting to portray an emotion through a gesture or through the calm work, work, work, try working the surface and perfecting it.

James Earl Reid

Renowned sculptor James Earl Reid was born at Stump Hope Farm in Princeton, North Carolina, on September 9, 1942. In 1970, Reid was awarded his master’s degree in sculpture from the University of Maryland College Park.

While attending the University of Maryland, Reid worked as a graduate teaching assistant, and remained there after earning his M.A. degree, rising to become an assistant professor over the next eleven years. In 1979, Reid received his first major commission for a work of art when the City of Baltimore asked him to create a sculpture of jazz legend Billie Holiday, who spent her childhood there; the sculpture was unveiled in 1985 in the Druid Hill section of Baltimore.

The same year as the as the Billie Holiday sculpture's unveiling, Reid found himself in the center of a controversy that would take him to the United States Supreme Court. Commissioned by the Community for Creative Non-Violence (CCNV), Reid had been asked to create a sculpture for a Washington, D.C., Christmas pageant; his submission, Third World America: A Contemporary Nativity, featured a homeless family holding a newborn child over a steam vent, and featured the words “And still there is no room at the inn,” on the base. The struggle with the piece began early, when initially the National Park Service refused to put the piece on display. The bigger issue, however, arose with the CCNV, when both they and Reid filed competing copyright claims on the work of art. After an initial District Court ruling favored CCNV, the case was taken to the Supreme Court, where Justice Thurgood Marshall wrote the decision in favor of Reid and all independent contractors; the case brought international attention to concerns for the rights of artists to retain creative and intellectual property.

After his landmark case settled, Reid continued to create works of art, holding numerous one-man shows and participating in many group shows.

Accession Number

A2004.117

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/3/2004 |and| 8/4/2004

Last Name

Reid

Maker Category
Middle Name

Earl

Occupation
Organizations
Search Occupation Category
First Name

James

Birth City, State, Country

Princeton

HM ID

REI02

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

North Carolina

Favorite Quote

You're The Artist.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Maryland

Birth Date

9/9/1942

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Baltimore

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fruit, Nuts

Short Description

Sculptor and painter James Earl Reid (1942 - ) was a renowned artist who served as an assistant professor at University of Maryland for eleven years. He was known for his legal case involving the Community for Creative Non-Violence, which brought international attention to the concerns for the rights of artists to retain creative and intellectual property over their work.

Employment

University of Maryland, College Park

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of James Earl Reid's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - James Earl Reid lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - James Earl Reid describes his maternal family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - James Earl Reid talks about his father, John Lee Reid

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - James Earl Reid talks about his family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - James Earl Reid talks about his aunts and uncles

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - James Earl Reid describes his siblings and moving to Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - James Earl Reid describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - James Earl Reid recalls learning about race and racism as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - James Earl Reid describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - James Earl Reid talks about the feeling of levitating as a child, pt.1

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - James Earl Reid talks about the feeling of levitating as a child, pt.2

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - James Earl Reid talks about trying to maintain a childlike approach to art

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - James Earl Reid describes his childhood drawings

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - James Earl Reid shares his elementary school memories

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - James Earl Reid describes his favorite subjects and the various schools he attended

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - James Earl Reid describes attending Southern High School in Cherry Hill, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - James Earl Reid talks about his favorite musicians and television shows

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - James Earl Reid talks about studying art at Southern High School in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - James Earl Reid describes the advantage of drawing live models

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - James Earl Reid talks about his early works of sculpture

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - James Earl Reid talks about his mother's reaction to his wanting to be an artist

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - James Earl Reid describes the Renaissance artists he admires

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - James Earl Reid describes his activities at Southern High School in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - James Earl Reid talks about winning a scholarship to Maryland Institute College of Art

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - James Earl Reid describes his mentors

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - James Earl Reid talks about learning the Maroger technique

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - James Earl Reid describes his attending Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - James Earl Reid recalls the struggles he faced as a representational artist

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - James Earl Reid talks about successful contemporary realist artists

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - James Earl Reid talks about Norman Rockwell, realism, and fine art

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - James Earl Reid talks about attending and teaching at Maryland Institute College of Art

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - James Earl Reid talks about working as an assistant to Pierre du Fayette in Columbia, Maryland

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - James Earl Reid describes attending graduate school at the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - James Earl Reid talks about art critics and consumers

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - James Earl Reid talks about contemporary black artists

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - James Earl Reid talks about the inspiration for his 1972 piece, Portrait of the Artist as the Young Man, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - James Earl Reid talks about the inspiration for his 1972 piece, Portrait of the Artist as the Young Man, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - James Earl Reid remembers the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - James Earl Reid talks about his artwork dedicated to Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - James Earl Reid talks about teaching at the University of Maryland at College Park

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - James Earl Reid describes teaching at various colleges

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - James Earl Reid talks about being commissioned to sculpt Billie Holiday in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - James Earl Reid describes his 1979 sculptures of Billie Holiday, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - James Earl Reid describes his 1979 sculptures of Billie Holiday, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - James Earl Reid describes how elements of his Billie Holiday sculptures were excluded

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - James Earl Reid describes his art piece, Third World America

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - James Earl Reid talks about his copyright disagreement over Third World America

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - James Earl Reid talks about the 1989 U.S. Supreme Court case, Community for Creative Non-Violence v. Reid

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - James Earl Reid talks about his activism

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - James Earl Reid reflects upon his legal battle over Third World America

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - James Earl Reid describes how the 1989 Supreme Court case, Community for Creative Non-Violence v. Reid impacted him

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - James Earl Reid describes his hopes and concerns for the black community

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - James Earl Reid comments on art featuring black historical figures

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - James Earl Reid expresses his regrets

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - James Earl Reid talks about his children

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - James Earl Reid reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - James Earl Reid reflects upon his artistry

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - James Earl Reid narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - James Earl Reid narrates his photographs, pt. 2

DASession

2$2

DATape

6$6

DAStory

5$7

DATitle
James Earl Reid describes his art piece, Third World America
James Earl Reid talks about the 1989 U.S. Supreme Court case, Community for Creative Non-Violence v. Reid
Transcript
Now that [his art piece, Third World America] was commissioned by an organization that has done a lot to put forth the plight of the homeless and the--to politicians to, to try to gain public support to do something about them.$$Yeah, to do something about this, about the situation. This is in 1985 when I think the homeless issue had been probably, you know, pushing towards the forefront as, as something of great concern within the national conscious of the American people and you know, so had it probably coming forth about two years prior to 1985 when I created this work, but in, right at the time when I was about to throw down as I said suing the City of Baltimore [Maryland] I got a call from Mitch Snyder who's the advocate for the homeless in, in Washington D.C., who had been fasting, etc., and you know to get rights for the poor and the homeless, and rights and benefits for the poor and the homeless, and so they had an issue which basically was a political issue that they wanted to assist in my assistance on help resolving and that is in creating this modern (unclear) or contemporary nativity scene that depicted a, openly depicted a black homeless family on a steam grate, which is a characteristic image of the homeless in Washington, D.C. 'cause they, they habitated on steam grates. And because I had seen a scene of a, not only the homeless living in Baltimore, but also of a homeless, young homeless girl cohabitating with the homeless underneath the Jones Falls Expressway Bridge a half a block or so from my studio. And she was walking around there with a baby in her arm and there were people--before I saw her there were people standing up above looking down below and pointing at this girl walking with this baby and of course I stepped up and looked at the scene and there it was I saw something, you know, with the power and interest in terms of subject matter that I basically as an artist just filed away for the future, not really thinking that I would be engaged to do a contemporary nativity scene that was derivative of the original, well the homeless family of, of Mary, Joseph, and the Christ child, you know, you know in their nativity scene and this would be viewed as contemporary nativity scene using the homeless, a black homeless family as the, as the primary subject matter. So, this young black girl that I saw with a baby really was a, an authentic catalyst for, for this, for my saying yes, I mean like that is, that is what I like to do. That's why, you know, so I agreed to doing this, to doing this homeless monument at cost, which supposed to have cost about 15, estimated at 15,000 dollar, but ultimately cost 19,500 dollars, 4,500 dollars of it came out of my own pocket. But, I created this work to highlight the plight of homelessness in America.$$Okay, and they, they paid you the money. There was a certain, there was a schedule right of when to be finished with certain parts of it and they, and they paid you on schedule as per a verbal agreement I read.$$Yes.$$$And, so, you know, this got into, evolved in a very contested battle between them and I, which basically it affronted the good original of the original intent of our alliance in getting together.$$So they supposed that they should be able to just sell these representations of the work and not given anything back.$$Well, the iss--$$That they owned it.$$Yeah, they, they owned it. They had absolute power and control and, you know, I have, would have no say in it, and that's what they, ultimately that's what they strived for, but they didn't know what they were doing. They were allying themselves with major corporation in a major corporation dispute that in terms of cop, copyright law and a work-for-hire and they tried to con, construct a case based on the Alden Decision in copyright law which said that the commission party was the author based on the fact that it was a work-for-hire. Well, my case was not a work-for-hire. I was not, I was an independent contractor, which was ultimately decided by the Supreme Court of the United States.$$They paid you no benefits, they didn't pay you any taxes or anything on your salary for that? There was no salary it was just--you were paid straight up as a contractor?$$Right, and so they-the important fact is I was not their employee. If I were their employee, if I could be construed, which they tried to fabricate that I was their employee, then they would own the copyright outright. They wouldn't have to share with me or whatever at all or they would have full control of it. And that, that kind of position as I said aligned them with major corporations who wanted to assume that same kind of position of authority over and control over independent contractors, and that, that issue just so happened was, you know, moving to the forefront by, by other decisions besides the Alden Decision as a matter to be decided before the Supreme Court of the United States and interestingly enough the case CCNV v. Reid and the gang I wanna point out they were the protagonist or antagonist, I was simply defending myself in carrying the issue forward all the way to the Supreme Court, defending myself, defending my rights in the work that I knew that I had, but somehow was arrested from me initially in the lower court who ruled that it was a work-for-hire, which is pure fictional, you know, again that was based on the fact that they used the Alden Decision and the Alden Decision argument, but ultimately I prevailed, prevailed through the Appellate Court and prevailed through the Supreme Court of the United States. And what I wanna bring into play right here is that the fact is what I'm very proud of is that Thurgood Marshall wrote the opinion, you know, and that connects me with, you know, in depth with one of my great heroes and our, you know, great heroes in the black community.$$Yeah, and it's also a landmark decision for artists and writers and other creative people all over the world.$$Exactly.

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
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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

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DATape

3$4

DAStory

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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.