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Richard A. Long

Margaret Burroughs was born in St. Rose, Louisiana, near New Orleans, but was brought at the age of five by her parents, Alexander and Octavia Pierre Taylor, to Chicago where she grew up, was educated, and where her distinctive career has unfolded. She attended the public schools of Chicago, including the Chicago Teacher's College. In 1946, she received a BA in education and in 1948, an MA in education from the Art Institute of Chicago. From 1940 to 1968 she was a teacher in the Chicago public schools and subsequently a professor of humanities at Kennedy-King College in Chicago (1969–1979).

Burroughs has a national reputation as a visual artist and as an arts organizer. Her long exhibition record as a painter and printmaker began in 1949 and included exhibitions throughout the United States and abroad A retrospective of her work was held in Chicago ...

Article

Amber Karlins

was born in Norfolk, Virginia, to Reverend John J. Mainor and Alice Jeffries Mainor. Her sister was a piano player, and Dorothy grew up in a house full of music and sang regularly at her father’s church. However, despite her passion for music, she did not initially envision it as a possible career path.

At fourteen Dorothy began studying at the Hampton Institute with the intention of pursuing a career as a teacher. In 1929 she had the opportunity to tour with the school’s choir, and the director was so impressed by her potential that he called Dorothy’s father and insisted her major be changed to music. Although Dorothy was not consulted at all, she was nevertheless pleased by the change.

Soon after Dorothy was granted a scholarship to Westminster Choir College, where she studied choral conducting before graduating in 1935 She then moved to New York under the ...

Article

Paul Von Blum

artist and arts administrator, was born in Greenville, North Carolina, the son of John Ivery Outterbridge, a self-employed truck hauler, and Olivia Outterbridge, a homemaker whom her son imaginatively describes as a “poet of family life.” John Outterbridge's decades of artistic accomplishments, including paintings, sculptures, and mixed media assemblages, influenced and inspired younger artists of all backgrounds throughout southern California and the nation. His artwork, reflecting his profound dedication to recapturing the African and African American past, made him a legendary figure in African American art. Throughout his career, moreover, he combined administrative leadership in Los Angeles–area community art programs with a prolific record of studio production.

Each step of his life informed his artistic perspective Discovering his creativity in early childhood he drew and painted with his parents active encouragement He experienced both the slights and insults of the Jim Crow era as well as the ...

Article

Cynthia Hawkins

painter and cofounder of New York City's Kenkeleba House, was born in Conehatta, Mississippi, to Cleo Huddleston, an entrepreneur and author, and Joe Overstreet, a mason. He was the second of three children. His oldest sibling, La Verda O. Allen, owned a construction management firm, and the youngest, Harry, was an architect. Between 1941 and 1946 the Overstreet family moved five times before finally settling in Berkeley, California. Joe graduated from Oakland Technical High School in 1951 and then joined the merchant marine and worked part-time in this capacity from 1951 through 1958. At the same time he also worked as an animator at the Walt Disney Studios.

Overstreet began his art studies in 1951 at Contra Costa College. He established a studio on Grant Avenue in San Francisco, near Sargent Claude Johnson's studio. Mentored by the artists Johnson and Raymond Howell Overstreet ...

Article

Michael Collins

Alfred B. Spellman has cut a wide swath in the world of the arts as a music critic, poet, administrator, and educator. “It's a function of social consciousness,” he said in a 1992 interview (Dance/USA Journal, Winter 1992), “to provide art, strong art.” The creation, identification, and support of “strong art” have been the alternating currents of Spellman's career, whose highlights include the publication of his book of poems, The Beautiful Days, in 1965, the appearance of his classic Black Music: Four Lives (as Four Lives in the BeBop Business) in 1966, and his two decades of service at the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

One of two sons of the schoolteachers Alfred and Rosa Bailey Spellman, Alfred B. Spellman was born 12 August 1935 in his grandmother s house in Nixonton a hamlet outside Elizabeth City North Carolina Perhaps ...