This month the Palm Springs Art Museum hosted, “Civil Rights in America: Where Do We Stand Now?,” the first full art exhibit of African-American artwork in Palm Springs. We spent 15 minutes with event organizers and asked them to share their thoughts on the historic project:
We had a two hour art show in 2013 and because of the overwhelming success of that event when Wes Rankins, vice-president of the organization and chair of the 2013 event approached the Palm Springs Art Museum, the museum asked if the we would sponsor and create a full African American exhibit and they would house it. We then approached the City of Palm Springs for sponsorship and Palm Springs overwhelmingly said yes.
We selected the work of Synthia SAINT JAMES and Charles Bibbs because we wanted perspectives from both the African American female and male points of view. “Civil Rights in America: Where Do We Stand Now?” is actually our theme for this year and it seemed fitting for an art exhibit. I spoke with each artist about the theme and asked if they had pieces that reflected theme. Both said yes and were allowed to curate from their own body of work.
The overwhelmingly positive response from the community has been more than we ever imagined. What surprised all of us are the tourists from Canada and the East Coast who have come to view the exhibit. The exhibit has broken so many boundaries.
About the artist:
Riverside artist Charles Bibbs is an internationally acclaimed artist, entrepreneur and philanthropist, who is most noted for his exquisite artistic renderings that convey deep senses of spirituality, majesty, dignity, strength and grace.
Bibbs’ work displays a unique, strong and stylized quality done in a combination of abstract and realistic interpretations of contemporary subjects that are beautifully fused into multifaceted ethnicity, larger-than-life images.
In his effort to support the arts and other artists, including young and emerging artists, Bibbs has founded a number of organizations and businesses: Art 2000 Visual Arts Association (also a mentorship program), Art On Tour, Images Magazine, The Inland Empire Music and Arts Foundation. Bibbs’ own corporation, B Graphics and Fine Arts is recognized as one of the leading publishers and distributors of his beautiful art images.
In his 30-year art career Bibbs has received over 100 recognitions and awards for his art and philanthropic spirit, including the “Key to the City” awards in 7 major cities across the United States. Some of his collectors include songwriter and producer Frankie Beverly, actor, comedian and radio host Steve Harvey, actress and entertainers Queen Latifah and Tkeyah Kemah, Songwriter Smokey Robinson, the University of Arizona and Fox Searchlight Pictures, just to name a few.
“I have some notoriety, in terms of exaggeration of the human figure, and using natural imagery-birds and other symbols out of nature. However, my most important goal is to make profound aesthetic statements that are ethnically rooted, and at the same time arouse spiritual emotions within us.”
–Charles Bibbs, Artist