Description Nina Simone, The High Priestess of Soul,' was one of the most iconic American musical giants of the 20th century. She was a successful singer, musician, pianist, songwriter, and social activist. Nina was Born on February 21, 1933, in Tryon, North Carolina. In 1950, she started learning music at the 'Juilliard School' in New York City but had to drop out of the course due to a lack of funds. Soon, she started performing in night clubs and hoped to build a career in music. Her breakthrough, the 1957 song 'I Loves You, Porgy,' marked the beginning of the Nina Simone era. Her music spanned a broad range of musical styles, including classical, jazz, blues, folk, R&B, gospel, and pop. In the 1960s, she became one of the most popular female music and fashion icons. She enjoyed a career resurgence in the '80s. A staunch Civil Rights activist, she was known for tunes like 'Mississippi Goddam,' 'Young, Gifted and Black,' and 'Four Women.' Simone died in France on April 21, 2003.
Kenneth Calvert, Saint Louis Member Since April 2009 Artist Statement Ken Calvert, painter, illustrator, graphic designer, and muralist was born in St. Louis, Missouri. He earned his BFA degree from Lindenwood University. His work demonstrates an ability to handle difficult aspects of the natural world as well as a sensitivity to modernist innovations. Among his numerous national and international solo and group exhibition credits are Philadelphia, PA, Chicago, IL, Rio de Janeiro, Hampton University, Howard University and Morris Brown College. Calvert’s "Cultural Connections" exhibition opened at the Beach Institute and Savannah State University in Savannah Georgia, in 1998. His works were featured at the Vaughn Cultural Center in St. Louis in 1999. Following his acclaimed exhibition / lecture, “Through the Eyes of a Child” at the Missouri History Museum, Calvert returned to the Beach Institute in Georgia for a yet another solo exhibition in 2003. Calvert is credited with the cover painting for the Missouri Historical Society publication, "Discovering African American St. Louis". Amongst his Murals is “Cornerstones of Courage and Culture” at the St. Louis, City Hall. Calvert’s painting of Chokwe Chief Ndumba Tembo, is included in the Anheuser Busch “Great Kings and Queens of Africa Series”. He was the 1997 recipient of the "Romare Bearden Award" for artistic contributions to the St. Louis community.