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.

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

  1. Mary Ellen says:

    I listened to the whole thing–what a treat, and then this morning I heard about Spielberg’s new movie, RED TAILS, about the Tuskegee airmen. Can’t wait.

  2. Joyce Norfleet says:

    I listened to Clarence’s lecture first and really enjoyed hearing him talk about his days as a young Tuskegee Airman. It was an honor to have met him at the family reunion (20??), though he was not as energetic 20 some years after the interview. When we went to the Academy, we made a visiting history teacher’s day when I told him that the artist/airman was with us and he was able to meet him.
    I also enjoyed your interview. I’m so glad that you shared this. When I saw “Red Tails” I immediately thought of you and my time with the two of you.

  3. I am honored to say that I and my husband who was a Tuskegee
    Airmen, called this fantastic man and his talented and wife a
    friend. The video was great and wonderful advice to young people as a hold. Thanks for the E-mail, I througyhly enjoyed it.


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