Bacon, Art, (Contemplation)
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"Contemplation" by Art Bacon
30 x 24" acrylic on canvas --unframed
Dr. Arthur L Bacon to receive the"Realizing the Dream Mountaintop Award" at the Seventh Annual Legacy Banquet on Friday, January 16, 2015, at 6:30 p.m., in the Hotel Capstone located on the campus of The University of Alabama. The award recognizes an individual who, in keeping with Dr. King’s ideals of promoting social justice, peace and equality, is providing the type of vision, courage and leadership that seeks to improve the quality of life for all. Others receiving awards at the banquet include Chief Ken Swindle, Realizing the Dream Call to Conscience Award, and Tyler Merriweather, Realizing the Dream Horizon Award.
Dr. Art Bacon was born in West Palm Beach. His talent for art was recognized early and he won several prizes and awards before he graduated from high school. Bacon attended Talladega College where he earned an A.B. in biology. He also enrolled in a couple of art courses taught by David C. Driskell. At the end of his junior year he won the College’s Armstrong Award for Creativity Ability. During his senior year Bacon was severely beaten for sitting in the “wrong” waiting room at the Anniston Alabama Train Station. In graduate school at Howard University Bacon's involvement in art was limited to illustrations for scientific papers. He received the M.S. and Ph.D., in 1963 and 1967, respectively and is credited with discovering a new species.
Following postdoctoral research at the University of Miami, Bacon returned to his alma mater as chair and member of the biology faculty. In his first professional art competition, and the only African American in the exhibit, he won second prize and sold thirty ink washes. He has since exhibited many places including major cities such as New York and Atlanta. One of his earlier exhibits, 1999, was Artists (4) in the City at Cinque Gallery in New York City. Later, 2011, he was one of 44 nationally selected to participate in Visions of our 44th President on exhibit at the Charles H, Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit. His most recent show—in which he has three pieces--is the Etched in Collective History Exhibit at the Birmingham Museum of Art. The exhibit commemorates the last 50 years of the Civil Rights struggle.
Among the long list of individual owners of his paintings and drawings are Bill Cosby; U.S. Congressman John Lewis; Hank Thomas, Civil Rights activist and businessman. Institutions and organizations include the Birmingham Museum of Art, Mobile Museum of Art, The Driskell Center, Alabama State University, the State of Alabama, Atlanta University, Fisk University, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Gaylord Opryland and Talladega College. Bacon is also featured in Southern Living, Excellence, and Lakeside magazines, Black Art in America—an online journal, and numerous newspaper articles.
People are Art Bacon’s subjects of choice; especially older and neglected people whose experiences show in their faces. In the early days, he worked almost exclusively with the ink wash—lots of lines and very little color. He was a minimalist and believed that color interfered with his expression of feelings. He now uses more color and a number of other media and techniques—often combining several. However, he still like lines, and his palette is still limited. Bacon’s largest piece, 6’ x 28’, is the History of Black Music, a mural commissioned for the Burger King restaurant on the Hampton University campus.
In the spring of 2013 the Artists Showcase of the Palm Beaches, Inc., hosted an exhibit of his work and held a three day celebration in honor of Bacon’s contributions to art and science. The Mayor of West Palm Beach proclaimed March 2013, Arthur L. Bacon Month. In tribute to his work in education a wing of The Roosevelt Boy’s Academy will be named for Bacon. Recently, September 24, 2013, Bacon was among three artists honored by the Sankofa Society of the Birmingham Museum of art at its annual Sankofa Soiree.
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