Bernard Stanley Hoyes
Bernard is a Visual Artist in Desert Hot Springs, CA
“I have been a creator of art, symbols of ancestral echoes since a child in Jamaica… The images I convey symbolize a culmination of these ancestral echoes brought to classical form. They are contemporary, eternal in spirit and stand as praise to our existence –past, present and future.”
— Bernard Stanley Hoyes
Collectors of Bernard’s Work
- Oprah Winfrey
- Natalie Cole
- Steve Harvey
- Keenan Ivory Wayans
- National Urban League
- Hoyes has participated in numerous solo exhibitions here and abroad.
- He has created murals in the inner city of Los Angeles, CA.
- His recognition and affirmation of traditional African religion and spirituality continues to find universal appeal, stunning audiences worldwide.
- Still acting on the creative impulse, he has a Sculpture Garden in progress on a 3 acre Mesa in Desert Hot Springs, CA.
- President Barack Obama has been photographed in front of his work. His craft has been fêted internationally in galleries around the world.
- Featured in Lyn Kienholz’s coffee table New Art Encyclopedia pictorial, “L.A. Rising: SoCal Artist before 1980” also supported by the Getty Foundation.
- Hoyes has developed a non-toxic etching process using an Electrolyte process and have pulled a collection of etchings since 1996.
- His sojourn to China to live and work with Stonemasons to create the Blue Fin Tuna Commission is well documented.
- Founded Caribbean Arts, Inc. in 1982 to publish and distribute his Fine Art prints.
Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Hoyes demonstrated artistic abilities early. Bernard Stanley Hoyes’ professional artist career began at the early age of nine. Bernard’s mother sold his wood carvings and watercolors to visitors at the Jamaica Tourist Board to help maintain the household and support his creative efforts. When he was trotted off to live with a great aunt in rural Jamaica, his exposure to the revival cults, ceremonies and rituals planted seeds deep within, that would manifest in his Art years later.
At age 15 he left Jamaica for New York City to live with his father, attend school and continue his art endeavors. He took evening classes at the Art Students League and excelled quickly. A Ford Foundation Scholarship was received which allowed him to study with professional artists in a Summer Arts program at Vermont Academy in Saxtons River, Vermont. A heady combination of his drive to excel and the influence of the civil rights movement placed Hoyes at the helm of propelling the Academy to institute social and cultural programs. Hoyes matured as a painter and a sculptor under the apprenticeship of established artists such as Norman Lewis, Huie Lee Smith and John Torres.
Upon graduation he was the first recipient of the Frederick Stanley Art Award and saw the launching of the school’s first formal arts department. When Hoyes attended an alumnus reception some years later, to receive the Florence Sabin Distinguished Alumni Award, he felt pride in seeing the new edifice housing a formal art department.
During the 70’s he, worked intensively on his “Rag Series” which symbolize, document and prophesied his journey from a struggling artist to one of prominence. At the end of 1975 he moved to Los Angeles to work as a designer for the California Museum of Science and Industry. He later resigned in 1978 returning to his studio to work as a full time artist. Hoyes was invited by and given a Board of Trustee Grant at the College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland, California. He set up a studio across the bay in San Francisco and became a full time artist.
In the early 80’s he began works that recall his Afro-Caribbean roots, specifically the rituals of African Spirituality and Christianity, since the Middle Passage. In this body of work, there is a heavy emphasis on the roles and power of woman, especially in the realms of music, dance and magic.
In 1997 he mounted a, 25-year Review at the Museum of African American Art and the Los Angeles Watts Towers Exhibition Center.
In the summer of 2006 he introduced Kensington Press Revival to the Arts community in Kingston, Jamaica. An Atelier for Printmaking, that shares Electrolyte etching with local artist.
“2009 Fall Tour – Europe” a three City Exhibition Tour of Europe that included an Artist residency in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Since 2013 hoyes has made his Studio in the Desert his permanent resident. Syncona Mesa, has for 25 years his Sanctuary, now it has a new Chapter. The Creative vortex that have been a safe haven for the spirits to suffuse his work, will convene.
2007: 25 year review of the Revival Series entitled ”Lamentation and Celebrations” at the Loves Jazz and Art Center in Omaha, NE.
“Places of Validation, Art & Progression” exhibit organized by the California African American Museum as part of the Getty initiative “Pacific Standard Time: Art in LA 1945-1980” exhibitions;
“Black Expo”, an assemblage of nationwide Afro-American artists
1979 Hoyes had a solo exhibition of the “RAG SERIES” at the William Grant Stills Art Center, a division of the L.A. Municipal Arts Department and a commemorative poster of “RAG NOUVEAU” was published. It has become a signature piece for the artist.
In November 1979 Hoyes had a solo exhibition of the “RAG SERIES” at the William Grant Stills Art Center, a division of the L.A. Municipal Arts Department
For the Galerie Lakaye exhibition “Vodou Reflections.” presented in conjunction with UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History exhibition “Sacred Arts Of Haitian Vodou.” A ceremonial table was installed by Hoyes entitled: “Burnt Offering,” it accumulated offerings over a three month period, transforming a domestic altar into one of personal symbolism.
The BOLIVAR; which received critical acclaim for the exhibition featuring the “Rag Series.” The exhibition comprised of over 50 pieces included an oil painting of Jamaican hero Marcus Garvey, which now hangs in the Government House of Jamaica’s Commission.
Shepardson Center Gallery, Vermont Academy
“IN THE SPIRIT OF CONTRIBUTION” commissioned by First A.M.E. Church, located on LaSalle Street in the Historic West Adams District. This mural is dedicated to both African American and Hispanic people who have made note worthy contributions to the building of America. Particularly in the area of Arts and Social/Political Advocacy.
“BLACK FOLK ART IN AMERICA”, commissioned by the Craft & Folk Museum (painted with the help of the children from Wilshire Crest and Carthay Elementary Schools).
Other murals were created with the assistance of children from the following schools: Sven Lokrantz School for Special Children, Mc Alister High Tri-C Program and 49th Street School for the 1984 Olympics.
Hoyes mural works and other special projects demonstrate his commitment to the public good.
- December 1995: The City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department presented an exhibition at The Watts Towers Arts Center in conjunction with the Caribbean Cultural Institute, Division of Caribbean Arts. An exhibition honoring the 25th year of his individual artistic vision, the 25th anniversary of the Watts Tower Arts Center, the 30th year of the anniversary of Kwanzaa, and the 15th year anniversary of Caribbean Arts. Titled: “Journey Through The Spirit: 25 Years of Magical Realism.”
- Worked with First A.M.E. Church’s “In The Spirit Of Contribution,” which employed community youth, including African-American and Latino gang members, to get together to recognize each other’s contributions to the spiritual and peaceful unity of Los Angeles, CA and the U.S.
- Developed a student art competition with the Jamaica Awareness Association and the California Afro-American Museum.
- Founded the First Annual Jamaican Art Seminar & Gallery Tour sponsored by California Afro-American Museum
- Founded the Caribbean Cultural Institute and Caribbean Arts, Inc. a publishing and distribution company in 1982.
“Massive” at the Museum of African-American Art, Los Angeles and again at Cal State Dominguez Hills Art Gallery.
In 2012, “Se7en Paintings, a Story in Performance”, was Staged. Choreographed dance, music, theatre Video and Visual Arts each riffing on the other, weave together a tale rooted in Jamaica’s spiritual traditions. Seven of Hoyes Iconic Paintings came to life on the Ford Theatre Stage in Los Angeles. “Seven Paintings” is sure to elevate, inspire and revolutionize the way we view art in the future.
Academic & Critical Recognition
Memberships & Associations
- Artist for Economic Action
- Artists Equity Association
- California Confederation of the Arts
- Studio Z
- Graphic Arts Guild
- Self-Help Graphics
During the period of the late 70’s, Hoyes worked intensively on his “RAG SERIES,” encompassing over 150 pieces.
Boards & Positions
Board Member, Museum of African American in Los Angeles.
In 1982 Hoyes returned to Jamaica and became a lecturer and assessor for the Jamaica School of Art under the direction of Cecil Cooper. The The original has traveled with the Garvey Centennial Exhibition sponsored by the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture to Museums across the country.
Caribbean Cultural Institute, provided classes, workshops and a space for cultural events centered around an Afro-centric theme.
Caribbean Arts, Inc., a publication company for graphic arts was formed which led to the creation of the “CARIBBEAN COLLECTION SERIES” and the “WALLPAPER SERIES” where old wallpaper prints were used as a source for developing new aesthetics.
Other Notable Work
Hoyes’ 1982 work was selected by editor Robert A Hill and the University of California Press for the cover of Hill’s 10 volume work on Garvey, THE MARCUS GARVEY & U.N.I.A. PAPERS (1983).
Jamaica Magazine: Local Art Redefined, Featured with 4 other artists, no by line, no dateline
Vermont Academy Life Winter 2013 “THE VISUAL ARTS ISSUE”
2011/12 Annual Report 2011 Sabin Award honoree Bernard Stanley Hoyes ’70, shares memories of the “Summer of 1968” in Saxtons River, his time at Vermont Academy, and art as a collaborative tool.
Vermont Life, Stage IV and Vermont 70 Magazines
1982 Lecturer and Assessor for the Jamaica School of Art under the direction of Cecil Cooper
Bachelor in Fine Arts in painting and graphic design from the California School of Arts and Crafts in Oakland
Vermont Academy in Saxtons River, Vermont
Art Students League, NY
Junior Art Centre at the Institute of Jamaica
- Florence Sabin Distinguished Alumni Award
- Frederick Stanley Art Award
By the 1980’s Hoyes had developed into a master of colorful and rhythmical compositions. On the spiritual significance of his visually engrossing powerfully expressive works, Hoyes explains that he paints “from an intuitive point of view,” that during the process the “spirits take possession” and the ritual theme becomes dominant. These insights, his Jamaican heritage and the membership of his paternal family in “revival cults” (an Afro-Christian sect with strong African retention roots) provide cues as to why these paintings are perceived as authentic revelations of altered states of reality.
The picture plane is developed from an intuitive point of view. Very little perspective is coupled with repetition and exaggeration to incorporate elements of African retention’s. Field of colors are infused with primaries in harmony. These works are intuitively inspired with no preliminary sketches. Each completed painting suggest the composition and content for the next. Color becomes personified as symbolic as various combinations are used to express national as well as spiritual connotations. The movement of the dancers is captured with posing, profiling and the preservation of facial and body expression and full figured framed against each other in dramatic crescendo. Implied lines everywhere work magic in utilizing minimum surface, textures. with much care are there to suggest/state roundness of forms, stress distances or accentuate perspective. Passionately consumed over the years with this work, a highly personal symbolism is projected that signals the arrival of a mature style. Example: “At The Table Of Zion”: this painting embraces the ritual in a spectacle of spastic bodies caught in spirit possession, around a “prepared table.” As a domestic altar, this one has a “steps feature” at the head which is unique to these cults, representing steps to heaven or steps for the gods to descend to do the bidding of mortals. From this early highlight work, a major painting with all its detailed contents is done from a bird’s eye view to give the sense of majesty and mysticism in the air.
In 1992 this prepared table comes to life in an installation for the exhibition “Massive” at the Museum of African-American Art, Los Angeles and again at Cal State Dominguez Hills Art Gallery. These tables or altars connect and mediate between the terrestrial and celestial, the material and the spiritual, the personal and communal aspect of everyday life. As the work grows from painting to installation, He was able to secure nontraditional installation spaces such as in “Casualties of Contemporary Life” installed in a burnt out building in downtown Kingston, JA. (A casualty itself from the 1977 insurrection). Also done in 1992, it calls attention to the suffering and state of the downtown and its residents, socially and physically. Ironically, Hoyes came back to Los Angeles that same week in the middle of its own insurrection. In response he immediately mount “Apparition of Healing Spirits” at several fire-bombed sites around Los Angeles to help the healing process. Allure, surrender, and love are represented by “Lures” formed from chicken meshes. These transparent figures are accompanied with ceremonial platters, fresh flowers and fruit to create a healing presence in the otherwise bleak and desolate locations of the aftermath of destruction and violence.
eCommerce & Sales
Product Lines & Collections
“KWANZAA HOLIDAY” card series celebrates this African American holiday with functional art.
“CARIBBEAN COLLECTION SERIES” and the “WALLPAPER SERIES” where old wallpaper prints were used as a source for developing new aesthetics.