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A. M. Weaver

painter and mixed-media artist, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to James and Janey Bullock, of whom little else is known. She was the youngest of three children. An inquisitive child who was always making things, Bullock's creativity blossomed under the watchful eye of her mother and, later, her stepmother. When Bullock was twelve years old, her mother died, marking the beginning of a spiritual quest that eventually led her to becoming an artist.

Bullock's formal art education began in 1958 at the Samuel Fleisher Art Memorial, a Philadelphia institution that provided free instruction to adults and children. The 109-year-old school had a reputation for fostering the growth and development of artists, and Bullock stayed there for a year. Later she attended the Hussian School of Art in Philadelphia, from 1965 to 1966 Bullock arrived there at a time when the school still followed the traditional academic approach to ...

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Cynthia Greenlee-Donnell

visual artist, was born in Long Creek, North Carolina, the only child of Joseph Kelley and Ella Kelley, farmers. Evans was raised primarily by her maternal grandmother, a domestic worker in the Wrightsville Beach resort community. Evans also believed she had roots in the Caribbean, and specifically, Trinidad, which was reported to be the ancestral home of a female slave ancestor who came to the United States via the Charleston seaport. While Evans was in the sixth grade, financial necessity forced her to abandon her studies. She became a sounder, a type of traveling vendor who sold shellfish from the Atlantic Ocean.

As a young girl, Evans had persistent, color-drenched dreams that informed her nascent, creative vision. The spectral revelations continued well into her adulthood, well after her marriage to Julius Caesar Evans at age sixteen. The Evanses had three sons, Elisha, David, and George ...

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Minnie Jones Evans was raised by her mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother in Wilmington, North Carolina. She left school after the fifth grade and began working. She was perpetually employed in low-paying jobs. At age sixteen, in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, she married Julius Caesar Evans, with whom she had three sons. Her artistic career began on Good Friday in 1935, when she began drawing in response to visions, voices, and dreams she claimed to have since childhood, whose message, she said, was “Draw or die!”

Working with simple materials crayon graphite ink and oils on paper or board Evans created thousands of mixed media drawings and collages inspired by her visions in which stylized flowers and foliage exotic birds strange creatures angels and royal or divine figures are major motifs Self taught hence an outsider rather than folk artist and a devout Christian who knew the Bible by ...

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Anne Kingery

an artist active in a variety of mediums, was born to Charles and Elizabeth Talford Scott (a steel worker and a fiber artist/domestic care provider). Joyce Scott is descended from three generations of artists. Elizabeth Talford Scott is renowned for her quilts, which she extensively exhibited during the late twentieth century. From an early age, Scott was encouraged by her parents to make and study art. In 1970 she graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, with a bachelor of fine arts degree in Art Education. In 1971 she gained her master of fine arts degree from the Instituto Allende, San Miguel Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico.

From 1974 to 1976 Scott continued her education with a residence at the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle, Maine, where she studied Yoruba weaving techniques with the Nigerian artists Twins Seven Seven and his wife, Nike Seven Seven ...

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Jennifer Lynn Headley

artist, was born Clarissa Thompson in Washington, D.C., to working-class parents Ethel Mozell Thompson, a domestic worker, and Clarence Thompson, a mailroom clerk. She and her five siblings grew up in a segregated, low-income African American community in Northern Virginia. As a child Sligh noted how African Americans were portrayed in the local Washington Post as criminals and on welfare and collected family photographs to piece together her own history of a positive black American family experience As a teenager she realized that her family was treated differently because of her race and her father placed additional restrictions and chores upon her that were not required of her teenage brothers Her mother was active in the local National Association for the Advancement of Colored People NAACP and enrolled Sligh in the all white Washington Lee High School in Arlington Virginia because the Negro school did not ...

Article

Paulette Coleman

painter and mixed-media artist, was born William Mack Tolliver in Vicksburg, Mississippi. He was the second oldest of fourteen children in an impoverished family of cotton pickers. Tolliver demonstrated an early interest in art. In first grade, he copied pictures from the newspaper comic strips. By the time he reached the third grade, he was copying elaborate illustrations of Old Testament narratives found in a family Bible. Tolliver's father bragged about his son's drawing ability, but never actively encouraged it. In contrast, Tolliver's mother enjoyed drawing; and even after a tiring workday, she encouraged her children's creativity and curiosity. She held drawing contests with William and his older brother, and she introduced William to art books available at the public library. It is estimated that Tolliver read more than four thousand books, mostly on art, during his youth.

Tolliver never attended a formal art class but he studied Old ...