Art Bacon, a native of West Palm Beach Florida, is a renowned artist and scientist who spent many years as an educator and administrator at Talladega College. He is now Professor Emeritus of the Natural Sciences and the Humanities. Although a biologist, painting and drawing has always been Bacon's passion. In addition to his parents, an early influence and strong source of inspiration and motivation was his high school art teacher, Mrs. I.E. Hudnell.
Bacon attended Talladega College where, in addition to his pursuit of a degree in biology, he was heavily involved in art-winning the Buell Gordon Gallagher Award for Creative Ability. During his senior year he was assaulted at an Alabama train station. After completing graduate studies at Howard University-where he discovered a new species of protozoa--and a postdoctoral at the University of Miami he returned to Talladega College to head the sciences. He also resumed his involvement in art and entered in a number of shows-usually as the only African American.
About his art, Bacon says," People are my subjects of choice; especially older and neglected people whose experiences show in their faces. In the early days, I worked almost exclusively with India ink washes, using lots of lines very little color-a technique I learned from Professor David Driskell while I was a student at Talladega College. I was a minimalist and believed that color interfered with my expression of emotions. I now use more color and a number of other media and techniques-often combining several. I still like lines and my palette is often limited."
Dr. Bacon has won a number of awards and recognitions in art and science. In his first professional competition, a major Birmingham Alabama show, he won second place and sold thirty drawings. His work may be found in numerous collections including the Birmingham Museum of Art, the David C. Driskell Center, Mobile Museum of Art, the State of Alabama, Fisk University, William and Camille Cosby, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Atlanta University, John Lewis, Hank Aaron, and Gaylord's Opryland. He has also appeared in Southern Living Magazine and other publications-most recently, the Collector's Edition of Visions of Our 44th President-Barack Obama.
For his collective contributions to art and science Bacon was honored by the Artist Showcase of the Palm Beaches in his hometown of West Palm Beach in 2012 and the City of Talladega in 2014 He also received the Realizing the Dream Mountaintop Award during the 2015 Martin Luther King weekend at the University of Alabama. Recently, (October 23), at a Payne Chapel Gala Honoring Trailblazers, Legends, and Rising Stars, Bacon received the first Augusta Savage Legend Award.
Bacon also gives an annual interactive phone lecture on Art and the Civil Rights Movement to an American Studies Class at the University of Warsaw, Poland.