Our Stories: Works by Claudia Smith-Jacobs, Carl Lopes, Joe Diggs and Robin Joyce Miller (February 5 – March 1)
Multiculturalism has shaped both the art and the life of the artist Claudia Smith-Jacobs. She is both multi-ethnic [Haitian-American, Cherokee, French, Scotch-Irish] and multi-lingual. She speaks English, French and Portuguese and has travelled extensively.
Graduation from Boston University [B.A. in Political Science] was followed by acceptance into the graduate program in African Studies at UCLA. Subsequently, she trained at Georgetown University for admission into the US Peace Corps/Brazil. After two years in Brazil, she returned to the United States to complete a Master’s degree at Lesley University, followed by a certificate in “Lingua e Cultura Portuguesa” at the Universidade dos Acores in Portugal.
Claudia Smith-Jacobs has studied art in France and in England as well as at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Cambridge Adult Education Center, the Falmouth Artists’ Guild, the Cape Cod Art Association, the Cotuit Center for the Arts and the Provincetown Art Association Museum.
She is a Juried Artist member of the Cape Cod Art Association as well as a member of the Fort Point Arts Community in Boston, the Provincetown Art Association and Museum, the Cotuit Center for the Arts and the Falmouth Art Center.
Claudia Smith-Jacobs has won numerous awards including the Falmouth Cultural Council Elaine Pear Cohen Award, the Romanos-Rizk Scholarship given by PAAM. She has been selected Artist-in-Residence by “Les Amis de la Grande Vigne” in France.
Claudia Smith-Jacobs teaches at the Falmouth Arts Center.
Joseph Diggs is a contemporary artist whose work has been described by Mara Williams, Chief Curator at the Brattleboro Museum of Art and Culture, as having, “swooping brushstrokes, glancing lines, and dripping swaths of paint. Hovering between action painting, graffiti, and realism, they are complicated compositions in which faces, text, or symbols provide clues to Diggs’s family’s place in the history of the U.S.A.” Joe was born to a military family in Croix Chapeau, France and grew up on Cape Cod where he now lives and paints. Joe earned his BFA at Southeastern Massachusetts University and following years of travel and work experience, Joe earned an MFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design’s Program at The Fine Art Work Center in Provincetown, MA. He is currently represented by the Berta Walker Galleries of Provincetown and Wellfleet, MA.
In January 2018, Joe was selected to receive a residency at the Vermont Studio Center. During this month-long residency, Joe developed a rich body of work that was displayed in a solo show at The Brattleboro Museum and Art Center in February 2019. Following this successful show, Joe traveled to Cuba as a participant in an art and cultural exchange, which inspired the work for his most recent solo show, A Tribute to Joe’s Twin Villa, in July 2019 at The Cotuit Center of the Arts. Although Joe is based on Cape Cod, his work is housed in a number of collections including, the Walker Gilmore Collection of Philadelphia, PA; the Dukes Collection of Larchmont, NY; Jonathan and LaShonda Chirunga Collection of Lexington, MA; the Heuser Collection of Louisville, KY; and the Lovekin Collection of Toronto, Ontario.
Carl Lopes’ paintings are a respectful nod to centuries of influential African design and tradition. Colors, patterns and compositions pay tribute to his ancestral heritages and cultures, yet maintain a direct contemporary vibe. Masks, portraits, birds, and fish are embellished with geometric motifs and designs that are visually striking. Airbrushed acrylics, holographic papers, glass beads, and jewelry are attached to wood panels and coated with high gloss poly-resin. His paintings appear as if they are stained glass and lit from behind.
Carl is a third-generation Cape Verdean-American who grew up in New Bedford/Fairhaven, MA. He is a career artist and retired art educator who now devotes full time to his studio work and business. He received his Master of Fine Arts advanced degree in painting from Pratt Institute and has consistently shown his work in exhibitions across New England for the past 45 years. Carl’s recent solo exhibits were hosted by the Zion Union Heritage Museum, the Cotuit Center for the Arts and the Cape Cod Museum of Art. His work is currently on loan to the US Embassy residence in Cape Verde. Permanent collections include the Cahoon Museum of American Art, the Cape Cod Museum of Art, many restaurants, business offices, and private homes. He is currently represented by Creative Hands Gallery in Osterville.
Carl is on the board of directors of the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod, Cultural Center of Cape Cod, Cotuit Center for the Arts, and Zion Union Heritage Museum, where he is a resident artist and lecturer on Cape Verdean culture.
Robin Joyce Miller
In most of my works, my goal as an artist is to take you on a pictorial journey of the African American experience. Color, texture and visual rhythms characterize my unique style of mixed media collage. I use decorative papers, paint and sometimes objects to create my work.
My art expresses the reverent pride I have in my cultural heritage. I want the viewer to look at my art and see the elegance, strength, faith and inner beauty of a people who have been devalued throughout history, yet continue on with dignity and grace.
In this exhibit, the viewer will see a few early works from my Langston Hughes Collection that illustrate his poems. These were done from about 2001 – 2005.There is a transition with an addition of materials like beads, metals, rocks, fiber and more in The Negro (Langston Hughes), Chameleon and Gateway which were all done in 2019. Chameleon and Gateway were both inspired by a trip to NYC’s Metropolitan Museum of Art to view African sculpture, fabric and other artifacts.