Medgar Evers

Medgar Wiley Evers was an African American civil rights activist in Mississippi and the state’s field secretary of the NAACP. He worked to overturn segregation at the University of Mississippi, to end segregation of public facilities, and to expand opportunities for African Americans, including enforcement of voting rights. He was assassinated by a white supremacist and Klansman.

In May of 2007 I was given the assignment to illustrate 51 inductees into the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame that would be used in a traveling exhibit sponsored by Anheuser Busch. I have shown many these portraits in the past and for those that may not have seen them I will show a selection of these portraits.  The average size of these portraits was 10″ x 14″ and were drawn in pencil and colored with liquid acrylic paint.

Jesse Jackson

Jesse Louis Jackson Sr. (born Jesse Louis Burns; October 8, 1941) is an American civil rights activist, Baptist minister, and politician

Marian Wright Edelman

Portrait of Marian Wright Edelman, who is an American activist for the rights of children.

Con.Maxine Waters

Maxine Moore Waters currently serves as the U.S. Representative for California’s 43rd congressional district

Stevie Wonder

Stevland Hardaway Morris, known by his stage name Stevie Wonder, is an American musician, singer, songwriter, record producer, and multi-instrumentalist.

Lerone Bennett

Lerone Bennett Jr. was an African-American scholar, author and social historian, known for his analysis of race relations in the United States

Joseph Lowery

Joseph Echols Lowery (born October 6, 1921) is an American minister in the United Methodist Church and leader in the Civil Rights Movement.

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Rosa Parks

Rosa Louise McCauley Parks ( February 4,1913 – October 24, 2005) was an activist in the Civil Rights Movement. On December 1,1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, Parks refused to obey bus driver James F. Blake’s order to give up her seat in the “colored section” to a white passenger after the Whites-only  section was filled.

In May of 2007 I was given the assignment to illustrate 51 inductees into the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame that would be used in a traveling exhibit sponsored by Anheuser- Busch. I have shown many these portraits in the past and for those that may not have seen them I will show a selection of these portraits.  The average size of these portraits was 10″ x 14″ and were drawn in pencil and colored with liquid acrylic paint.

Dick Gregory

Richard Claxton Gregory was an African-American comedian, civil rights activist, social critic, writer, entrepreneur, conspiracy theorist, and occasional actor. My portrait of Dick Gregory was a combination of a photo given to me by AB which was combined with a photo of my hand and arm.

Ralph Abernathy

Ralph David Abernathy Sr. (March 11, 1926 – April 17, 1990) was a leader of the Civil Rights Movement, a minister, and a close friend of Martin Luther King.

John Lewis

John Robert Lewis is an American politician and is a prominent civil rights leader. He is the U.S. Representative for Georgia’s 5th congressional district, serving since 1987, and is the dean of the Georgia congressional delegation. In 2001, the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation awarded Lewis the Profile in Courage Award “for his extraordinary courage, leadership and commitment to civil rights.”

Henry Aaron

Henry Louis Aaron, nicknamed “Hammer” or “Hammerin’ Hank”, is a retired American Major League Baseball right fielder who serves as the senior vice president of the Atlanta Braves. n 1999, MLB created the Hank Aaron Award, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Aaron’s surpassing of Babe Ruth’s career home run mark of 714 home runs and to honor Aaron’s contributions to baseball.

I will show more inductees during the next week. This was a great assignment to illustrate.

cover illustration

I illustrated this small book “To Be Free” by Eleanora E. Tate in 2004. The book size is 5.25″ wide by 7.5″ high. There is a full color cover and eleven black and white interior drawings. It is a story about a teenage slave that escapes from a plantation near Beaufort, North Carolina.With the help from a man named Traveler and the Underground Railroad he he is hidden on a sail boat and becomes free when he arrives in Philadelphia. I hired two African Americans to pose for my drawings and used myself as a model for the slave owner.

To Be Free the boat builder

Chapter 1,The Boat Builder

To Be Free old Henry beaten

Chapter 2 Old Henry Beaten

Abram helping Old Henry

Abram helping Old Henry

To Be Free Abram on boat

Abram on the deck of the boat arriving in Philadelphia.

To be Free pencil 3

pencil sketch to show the art director

Abram photo 3

Photo reference of models

When Abram escaped he carried his saw in a poach because he wanted to be a carpenter, when he became free.

Abram and Traveler

Traveler finder Abram on board the ship.

Frederick Douglas

This illustration of Frederick Douglas was created for “America Its People and Values” which is a text book published by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. I created at least 50 drawings of historical Americans for this book. Only five were African Americans.This book was published in 1985 and these were some of the first of many drawings and paintings that I have created of Black history. I have posted many of these images on my blog before. These images were scans from the book. I didn’t get the originals returned. 

Benjamin Banneker

Matthew Henson

Phillis WheatleyCharles Richard Drew

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My photograph of wood shutters on a historical stone building seen while walking in Guanajuato, Mexico

posters 2 Guanajuato

While walking the streets of Guanajuato, Mexico several years ago ,I noticed this torn poster “El Curso Britannico” , and took this photograph. This is one of a series of photographs of textures found on buildings and streets in this city. Additional images of my paintings ,drawings and photographs can be found on my website http://studiodyess.com/ and fine art prints can be purchased at johndyessart.com

graffiti 1

While walking the streets of Guanajuato, Mexico several years ago ,I noticed this graffiti on the exterior wall of a building, and took this photograph. This is one of a series of photographs of textures found on buildings and streets in this city. Additional images of my paintings ,drawings and photographs can be found on my website http://studiodyess.com/ and fine art prints can be purchased at johndyessart.com

distressed wall 3

While walking the streets of Guanajuato, Mexico several years ago ,I noticed this  distressed exterior wall of a building, and took this photograph. This is one of a series of photographs of textures found on buildings and streets in Guanajuato, Mexico. Additional images of my paintings ,drawings and photographs can be found on my website studiodyess.com and fine art prints can be purchased at johndyessart.com

Dominic Monster Mutt drawing

This is a drawing of “Monster Mutt”, by my 5 year old grandson Dominic .

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Photograph of Monster Mutt.

Check out the new fabric design by my wife, Carolyn in her Spoonflower shop. It is based on Mexican tile design from photos we took while in Guanajuato Mexico. Named
“Guanajuato  Inspiration”.

Also see her revised design for fabric entitled, “ABC-123 Hot pink”. Perfect for kids clothes and room decor.

https://www.spoonflower.com/profiles/studiodyess