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June 24, Durham native Ernie Barnes might have been from a neighborhood called the Bottoms, but he propelled his way to the top using sports and art. He was nurtured by a mother determined to expose him to a larger world and by a supportive segregated black community.
Barnes, who would have celebrated his 80th birthday July 15, will be remembered through his paintings. In addition, 20 of Barnes' artifacts will be on display, including his painting palette, brushes and blocked letters he earned as a football player at Hillside High School in Durham. This exhibit is an amazing opportunity for the state of North Carolina. Edwards says the works are divided into three sections: Durham roots, his NFL career and his artistic journey.
His father, Ernest E. He was always big for his age. Holmes, who graduated third in his Hillside High School class of , enrolled at N. State as an electrical engineering major and joined the tennis team, becoming N. Meanwhile, Barnes was offered 26 athletic scholarships but decided to attend North Carolina College at Durham, which eventually became North Carolina Central University.
Barnes married Andrea Burnett his freshman year. Her father was a school principal. Barnes enrolled at North Carolina College in the fall of and officially left the spring of While the school has no record of his major, folks knew Barnes wanted to be an artist. Vann, coordinator of University Archives and instructor of Public History, said Barnes arrived on campus with an athletic scholarship and was a student-athlete under Herman Riddick, formerly the coach of Hillside High School. At the time, art teacher and sculptor Ed Wilson taught at the college.
Sometimes it came at the expense of other things. When I moved in my second house in Durham in , he brought me a painting on cork for my fireplace. He was originally selected by the Washington Redskins, who renounced the pick minutes after discovering he was African-American. Barnes, a 6-foot-3, pound offensive guard, played for a succession of professional teams, including the San Diego Chargers and the Denver Broncos.
While at the Colts training camp, Barnes was interviewed by N. Clark, a sportswriter for the Baltimore News-Post newspaper. Until then, Barnes was always known by his birth name, Ernest Barnes. Barnes had a successful football career, but it was not a lucrative way to make a living. This was before football players starting making big money in the s. His other side hustle was always his art. Barnes was often fined by Denver Coach Jack Faulkner when he was caught sketching during team meetings.
Barnes' signature style was elongated figures, which really captured the movement of athleticism on the field, the court and even sitting on the bench. And he did just that. This is what Barnes wrote about that night, according to papers provided by his estate.
It was the first time I sneaked into a Rhythm and Blues concert and saw people moving on the dance floor with raw passion. My little Christian mind was shocked. If my mother knew I was here Then after a while, the music had me moving.
What I observed was the no inhibition, no self-consciousness or rigidity, just fluid movement while the music punctuated every bump and grind.
I stood among the dancing with my mouth dropped and nobody noticed me. That one is featured in the exhibition. Many celebrities bought Barnes' work, including actor and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte, comedian Flip Wilson and actor and political activist Charlton Heston. Barnes became the official artist of the Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
Barnes was married three times and had five children. He died on April 27, His family and friends are expected to attend the exhibition. For many Durham residents, they knew Barnes would make it one way or the other. For details, go to ncmuseumofhistory. The Ernie Barnes Family Trust. Living People wondered if Durham's Ernie Barnes would be an athlete or an artist.
Coming out of high school, Barnes was offered 26 athletic scholarships but decided to attend North Carolina College at Durham, which eventually became North Carolina Central University.
Juli Leonard jleonard newsobserver. Artist Ernie Barnes at the Baltimore Colts training camp in Artist and Durham native Ernie Barnes in front of one of his canvases in Reach her at bridgettelacy att. Living What to Watch on Saturday: NC chefs have raised thousands for hurricane victims. The biggest party yet is Sunday. Take Us With You Real-time updates and all local stories you want right in the palm of your hand./p>
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