Nelson Stevens

Nelson found himself in the position of proving to the professors and the people in the Art Department that there was such a thing as 'Black art' he began to research the Wall of Respect in Chicago and ran into great resistance his professors believed that there was no prejudice in art; prejudice existed but certainly not within the world of art. Nelson developed the concept that 'art was for the sake of people'.

AFRICOBRA/Farafindugu '68, Chicago. The African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists (Africobra); the term 'bad' means aesthetic integrity, artistic and social commitment. AfriCobra was established in 1968, members:

* Napolean Jones-Henderson
* Adger Cowans
* Wadsworth Jarrell
* Michael Harris
* Nelson Stevens
* Akili Ron Anderson
* Frank Smith
* Murry DePillars and James Phillips
* Jeff Donaldson (deceased)
* source: Drum Magazine Page 31, Volume 18, Number 1&11, May 1988.

FESTAC '77 Lagos, Nigeria
The second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture attended by 15,000 artists from 57 lands.

Teaching Interests:
-Art and Murals
-Drum Magazine - Faculty Advisor and Consultant 1977

Future Work:
Nelson' would like his next focus to be on creating art to be displayed on billboards the idea is to take billboards, which are located according to marketing people in strategic areas and putting pure art on [them]. It's not a brand new idea, but it is an idea that he wants to start putting his energies behind. The stumbling block at this point is getting advertisers who own the billboards to deal with this concept and give up the space.

1958 AAS Advertising, Design Mohawk Vally Technical
Institute, Utica, N.Y.

1962 BFA Painting, Art Education Ohio University
Athens, Ohio

1969 MFA Studio Art/Art History Kent State University
Kent, Ohio

Work Experience:

2003 University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Professor of Art, Emeritus

1978 Sabbatical Leave, research in print making and offset
lithography, Washington, D.C.

1974-77 Director of Summer Public Arts Program. Hiring and
utilizing skills oof University art majors to further mural
painting in New England area. Specificallly Western
Massachusetts, Springfield, Hartford, and Boston

1972-2003 Associate Professor of Art, University of Massachusetts,
Amherst, Department of Art and W.E.B. Department of
Arican American Studies

1969-1971 Assistant Professor of Art, Northern Illinois University,
Department of Art

1966-1968 Education Coordinator for Cleveland Museum of Art
and Cleveland Junior High Schools

1968 Gallery Lecturer, Cleveland Museum of Art

1967 Instructor oof Art, Case Western reserve University

1966-68 Instructor of Adult Drawing and Design, Karamu House
Cleveland, Ohio

1962-66 Artist/Teacher, Cleveland City Junior High Schools,
Cleveland Board of Education

1961 Layout Artist, Work in opaquing negatives, Cramwell
Printery, Albany, New York

1957 Assistant Commercial Artist,General Electric Company
Utica, New York

Courses Taught:
Intoductory Drawing - undergraduate
Introductory Painting - undergraduate
Advanced Drawing - graduate/undergraduate
Advanced Painting - graduate/undergraduate
Relief Printmaking - graduate/undergraduate
African American Art History - graduate/undergraduate
Contemporary Black Image Making - graduate/undergraduate
Publication Production and Design - graduate
Aesthetics in African American Art - graduate/undergraduate
Theories and Practices of Visual Thought - graduate/undergraduate

AfriCOBRA’S Exhibition Record:

1969 WJ Studio, Chicago, Illinois
Notre Dame University, South Bend, Indiana
Afam Studio and Gallery, Chicago, Illinois

1970 Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, New York
National Center for Afro-American Artists, Boston, Massachusetts
South Side Community Art Center, Chicago, Illinois
“Black Expo,” International Amphitheater, Chicago, Illinois

1971 Museum of Science & Industry, Chicago, Illinois
Museo La Tertulia, Cali, Columbia
Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, New York
Northern Illinois University, De Kalb, Illinois

1972 Howard University, Washington, D.C.
Langston Hughes Center, Buffalo, New York
State University of New York, Albany, New York
Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, New York
Haiti Gallery, Rochester, New York
Malcolm X Community College, Chicago, Illinois

1973 Northern University, De Kalb, Illinois
Rainbow Sign Gallery, Berkeley, california
University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts
Howard University, Washington, D.C.

1975 Carnegie-Mellon Institute, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

1977 FESTAC ‘77
Afro-American Historical & Cultural Museum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

1978 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.

1979 Jackson State University, Jackson, Mississippi
Miami University, Oxford, Ohio
University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania
Centre D’ Art Port-au-Prince, Haiti

1979 Winner of the Portia Pitman Grant to paint the Centennial Visions Mural
at Tuskegee Institute
Tuskegee, Alabama

1980 Museum of African & African-American Art, Buffalo, New York
Lamont Zeno Gallery, Chicago, Illinois
South Side Community Art Center, Chicago, Illinois
United Nations Security Council, New York, New York

1981 Neighborhood Art Center, Atlanta, Georgia

1985 University of Maryland-Eastern Shore, Princess Anne, Maryland

1986 Saginaw Black Arts Festival, Saginaw, Michigan

1987 “AfriCOBRA in Detroit,” National Conference of Artists Gallery, Detroit, Michigan

1988 “AfriCOBRA USA,” 16eme Festival of Culture, SERMAC, Fort De France, Martinique
Fay God Gallery, Atlanta, Georgia

1989 ”AfriCOBRA and Group Fromaje, Esthetique Universelle, Universal Aesthetics,”
Howard University, Washington, D.C.

1990 “AfriCOBRA: The First 29 Years Traveling Exhibition,”
Lee Hall Gallery, Cemson University, Clemson, South Carolina
Nexus Gallery, Atlanta Georgia
University Gallery, Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, Florida
Afro-American Cultural Center, Charlotte, North Carolina

1992 “AfriCOBRA Reunion,”Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, Illinois

1998 “Trans-African Art Exhibition,” Art Atrium II Gallery, Portsmouth, Virginia

Works may be found in many private and public collections including: the Smithsonian, Schoumberg's Library and Research Center, NYC, and the Chicago Institute of Art.

Proudest Accomplishments of the 90s:

Founded "Art in the Service of the Lord", which commissioned African American artists to do Sacred works of art to form a Black Christian Fine Arts Calendar that existed for four years and circulated 15,000 copies of our art each year.