John L. Moore Interview, 13 January 2009

Artist John L. Moore discusses his life and art. Born on the east side of Cleveland in 1939, Moore attended East High School and took art classes at the Cleveland Museum of Art before attending Cuyahoga Community College and later Kent State University, where he received his Bachelor of Fine Art. The artist discusses his experiences at these institutions, including information about numerous individuals who had an impact on his artistic development. After high school, Moore joined the Army, serving in the 101st Airborne Division, an experience he credits with advancing his personal and artistic development. As a non-traditional art student, Moore also worked at Cleveland's General Motors (GM) plant to support his family and to pay for school. While at GM, he initiated an employee art program to highlight artistic works by GM employees; the program evolved into an annual judged exhibit. The artist also discusses his teaching career, as well as the impact of Cleveland on his art. Moore left Cleveland in 1985 to continue his career in New York City. Throughout the interview, Moore shares observations and insights on the dynamics of race in the art world, illustrating the meaning of race in the conception, production, and consumption of artistic works by African Americans. This interview was recorded by telephone.

Participants: Moore, John L. (interviewee) / Busta, William (interviewer)
Collection: Each in Their Own Voice: African American Artists in Cleveland, 1970-2005
Institutional Repository: Cleveland Regional Oral History Collection

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Each in Their Own Voice: African American Artists in Cleveland, 1970-2005

The first generations of African American artists who were active in the Cleveland region were showcased in the 1993 exhibition Yet Still We Rise: African American Artists in Cleveland 1930-1970. In 2005, a second exhibition was organized by Cleveland Artists Foundation (ARTneo). In addition to gallery shows, this exhibit – titled Each in Their Own Voice: African American Artists in Cleveland, 1970-2005 – documented subsequent generations of African American artists through oral history…