ATLANTIC CITY, NEW JERSEY — Tyrone Hart is homegrown and self-taught, a local artist of extraordinary talent.
Like most multi-generational black families in Atlantic City, his grandparents, Katie Bell and James Gardner, came here from Virginia in the 1920s to work and eventually made Atlantic City their home.
Hart's parents, Doris and Seymour, worked long hours when Tyrone was growing and it was Uncle Levert “Termite” Smith who encouraged his artwork.
Tyrone loved to sketch and doodle when he was young, he says. He tells me that Uncle Termite was illiterate, which contributed to the many years he spent being incarcerated though he was a gifted artist.
He never actually taught him anything, but always told Tyrone, “You’ll go further than me, because you can read and write.”
Unfortunately, art classes in school did not contribute to Tyrone’s development as an artist.
He didn’t know any other artists, art stores or venues that would display his work. He simply made the walls of his bedroom his canvass and drew a lot when his friends came over to hang out.
As a young boy at New Jersey Avenue School, Spiderman was his hero and he entered a homemade multimedia Spiderman project in a school art contest and won first prize.
It was later shown at the Atlantic City Art Center.
At Chelsea Junior High, an art teacher discouraged his drawings of animals, cartoons and a favorite toothache drawing so badly that he refused to attend art class at A.C. High School.
For the next 20 years or so after graduation in 1976, Tyrone didn’t produce much of anything. He worked — eventually joining a painters’ union partly because of his love for the scent of paints — got married and started a family.
Painting hotel rooms and the like helped Tyrone understand the science of painting, the precision involved, pigments and mixing techniques. He took a job painting signs at Great Adventures amusement park and learned about lead-based paints and how to blend colors.
When a car accident left him homebound in 2000, he became bored with household chores and to save his sanity, he said he began to draw again and by trial and error, taught himself how to paint people, places and things.
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Today, most funding comes from city grants, local businesses and casino donations.
Judge Nelson Johnson's latest book 'The Northside,' on Atlantic City's history of African-Americans, is missing key components says community leader. Johnson's previous book Boardwalk Empire was turned into the 2010 HBO series, the second season of which is filming now.
Jewish Family Service charity event bigger and better this year, plus a Drew Toonz take on the 'Moonshine Follies' billboard; Tyrone Hart's 'Northside' T-shirts and MBCA scholarships currently available for students.
His white hair tufted beyond tolerance, the minister stepped into the barbershop and its buzz of bonhomie. Combs raked scalps, scissors snipped furiously, and the scent of lilac water suffused the air. Twenty minutes later, the clergyman stood from the pedestal-chair and surveyed his reshaped dome. The dark skin of his forehead glistened below the white fringe. He paid the barber and paused on the black rubber mat. “Am I good for another dime?” The barber grinned. “You bet.” And so he did — 10 cents on number 357, a wager to be rewarded only if the digits corresponded, respectively, to the last number on each of the day’s win-place-show handles at Aqueduct Racetrack, some 90 miles to the north. The “numbers,” or “policy,” game was a lottery before lotteries were legal. Nearly everyone in town played it even...
Pop Lloyd played professional baseball in the Negro Leagues from 1906 to 1932, as a shortstop, second baseman and first baseman, including two stints with the Bacharach Giants of Atlantic City. In 1910 he out-hit Ty Cobb in a Cuban winter league series — .500 to .385.
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