In 1983, local artist Clarence Shivers was commissioned by the Miller Brewing Company to illustrate its annual calendar celebrating the accomplishments of civil rights luminaries. We asked his wife Peggy to talk to us about the portraits. In the slide show above, Peggy takes a look back at the time in the 1980s when they researched the paintings, then traveled around the country with the exhibition. Clarence Shivers passed away in February 2007.

In this short audio clip below, Peggy remembers meeting civil rights activists Jesse Jackson and Fannie Lou Hamer:

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As a result of their research difficulties during the realization of this project, Clarence and Peggy decided to establish the Shivers Fund at the Pikes Peak Library District more than 16 years ago to expand the library’s collection of African-American works, present classical music concerts and provide scholarships for young people interested in pursuing the study of classical and performing arts.  Here’s a Culture Cast interview with Peggy Shivers discussing the genesis of the Shivers Fund and the art of her husband Clarence.

Clarence was a retired lieutenant colonel in the air force and an original Tuskegee airman (you may have seen his Tuskegee Airman bronze in the sculpture garden at the United States Air Force Academy). To hear more about his time as a Tuskegee airman, here’s a video from the Pikes Peak Library District.

(Thanks for your comments, one and all: thebigsomething@krcc.org)

 

3 Responses to Clarence Shivers' Gallery of Greats: Civil Rights Leaders

  1. Rose Enyeart says:

    Thank you for the slide show and the interviews. They brought back so many memories and made me remember those times of triumphs and struggles. MLK will always be my hero and one who truly walked the talk. Thank you, Mrs. Shivers, for sharing your love and your husband with us. It was truly inspiring.

  2. Judy Fair-Spaulding says:

    The best by the best! Thank you, Peggy, for reminding us of the importance of remembering and celebrating all these accomplishments today and every day!

  3. Clarence and Peggy Shivers have had a profound influence on
    all of us here in Colorado Springs. They have indeed “walked the
    walk”. If they saw a need, they stepped in and filled that
    need. They have narrowed the cultural gaps that have existed in our community – Clarence with his wry humor, creativity, and infectious smile, and Peggy with her amazing energy, spirit, open heart, and talent! Thank you for sharing these remembrances and
    for reminding us to embrace our higher selves!
    With great admiration, Martile Rowland

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