Archive for February 21, 2013

Artist of the moment…..Hayward Oubre….

Hayward Oubre was born in the year 1916 in New Orleans. ¬†Oubre was a groundbreaker as he was an African American football player that also studied art at Dillard University. He was the first art major in the school’s history. Oubre then went on to Atlanta University where he was able to meet some great mentors.

One such professor was Hale Woodruff, a leader in the Harlem Renaissance movement. Woodruff was born in 1900 and was well known for his ethnic style of painting. Here is a great example of Woodruff’s style.


Another mentor that helped Oubre along his artistic path was the sculptor Nancy Elizabeth Prophet. Prophet came to fame during the Harlem Renaissance as a sculptor. She spent a fair amount of time overseas living in Paris, and gained a large following for her portraiture work.


Oubre was drafted into military service and joined a group of African American engineers that developed the Alaska Canadian highway.

After the war, Oubre used the G.I. bill to go back to school. This time he earned a Master’s of Fine Art’s Degree from the University of Iowa following two other well known graduates Elizabeth Catlett and Houton Chandler. I have written about Catlett many times as she was a great sculptor. Chandler was more abstract in his art and below is an example of his style.


During this time as an M.F.A. student Oubre was able to study in depth other forms of art such as printmaking. For printmaking he was able to study under the great Mauricio Lasansky. Lasansky was the son of a bank note engraver and went on to become a highly collected printmaker in the artworld. Here is a great example of Lasansky’s printmaking style.




Oubre also made many painting studies referring to his childhood. Oubre also began working with wood and clay.

Oubre went on to teach art at Florida A & M University, Alabama State University, and Winston Salem State University.

Hayward Oubre passed away in 2006 at the age of 90 years old.


If you enjoy Mr. Oubre’s work, especially the work with wire, please check out a wonderful artist hailing from Colorado that also loves to work with wire. Tim Flynn. Here is a great example of Flynn’s work with wire.




Oubre was highly talented and successful artist that is often overlooked when it comes to African American’s and their contribution to the artworld. Lets hope in due time more recognition comes this artist’s way. He was not only highly skilled, but also taught many modern and contemporary artists.

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