Charles Mills (artist)john mills artist, charles mills artist loft
Charles Norman Mills December 14, 1920 – October 20, 2009 was an African-American artist whose paintings appeared on canvas and as murals on neighborhood walls, focusing on events in African-American history and culture His work Wall of History, a mural depicting centuries of African-American history, located at the entrance to downtown Fort Lauderdale's Sistrunk Boulevard, has been called his greatest achievement
Mills was born on December 14, 1920, in New York City and grew up in Harlem He attended an arts high school in Manhattan As a youth, Mills learned about his roots through his frequent visits to a collection of books on African-American culture and history located on the second floor of a building on 135th Street, a collection that was later placed in the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
Mills served in the United States Army and after completing his military service worked as a medical illustrator at the VA Medical Center in Brooklyn This was a position that his daughter described as having "brought out the art in him" and Mills would go on to spend two decades designing and illustrating medical books He started designing fine art, after taking instruction at The Career School of Commercial Illustration in New York and at the Brooklyn Museum, with many of his works shown in collections and galleries in New York City
He moved to South Florida in 1985, settling in Fort Lauderdale He taught at the Coral Springs Museum of Art, continued painting and had his works shown in area galleries and museums His mural at the entrance to Sistrunk Boulevard in his adopted home town, commissioned by the City of Fort Lauderdale, have been considered his greatest work, telling the story of the African-American experience from slavery to modern times In 2009, the Jim Moran Foundation honored him as an African-American Achiever for his six decades of painting and his focus on the African-American experience
Mills died at age 88 on October 20, 2009, at a hospice in Pembroke Pines, Florida He was survived by his wife, Thelma, as well as by two daughters, five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren
- ^ a b c d Lewis, Gregory "Painter of black experience Charles Mills dies", South Florida Sun-Sentinel, October 21, 2009 Accessed October 23, 2009
- ^ Mills, Michael "With a Very Wide View of History: Charles Mills and the Twentieth Century", New Times Broward-Palm Beach, December 23, 2008 Accessed October 23, 2009
- ^ Biography of Charles Mills Archived November 21, 2008, at the Wayback Machine, Charden Art Accessed October 23, 2009
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