Grigsby, Eugene, (Daytona Beach Church)
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Daytona Beach Church by J. Eugene Grigsby Jr.
16 x 19" oil on canvas c1941, framed
J. Eugene Grigsby Jr.— African American artist, educator, author, lecturer and researcher—was born on October 17, 1918, in Greensboro, North Carolina. His formal education began with a bachelor’s degree from Morehouse College and now the only living alumni from the graduating class of 1938. After Morehouse he earned a master’s from Ohio State University in 1940 and his doctorate (Ph.d.) in 1963 from New York University. His further studies include Arizona State University, the American Artists School in New York City, and even Ecole des Beaux Arts in Marseilles, France. In 1965, the Philadelphia College of Art conferred him with the degree of Doctor of Fine Arts in recognition of his talent, devotion and perception as an outstanding practitioner in the field of Art Education.
His first one man art exhibition was in the Grand Dutchy of Luxemburgand featured drawings of soldiers on the Queen Elizabeth.
Grigsby also directed and produced a hit musical comedy ‘Two Points Shy’ that entertained U.S. soldiers stationed in Germany.
Grigsby’s career highlights are equally remarkable, beginning in 1941 on the staff at Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona Beach, Fla., and artist-in-residence at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, N.C. By 1946 he was living in Arizona and teaching at the all-black Carver High School until 1954, a landmark year that closed the school and ended educational segregation in Arizona. Although he taught art at the Children’s Creative Center in the American Pavilion at the Brussels World Fair in 1958, Arizona remained his home. From 1954-66, Grigsby taught and served as art department chairman at Phoenix Union High School. Beginning in 1966 and spanning more than two decades, Grigsby served as professor in the School of Art at Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz.