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Supervisors honor artist Charles White


A innovator of African-American images

The Board of Supervisors has unanimously approved a motion introduced by Supervisor Kathryn Barger to honor the legacy of pioneering artist and Altadena resident Charles White.

The motion directs the County’s Department of Arts and Culture to contract the artist’s son, Ian White, to design and create civic art that will be displayed at the soon to be renovated Charles White Park.

“I’m proud our County will tangibly honor the life and work of Charles White,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger. “He was a true master of his craft and a visionary for what is possible when art, social commentary, advocacy, and community come together. He has undoubtedly influenced generations of artists. I look forward to his talented son creating something special in his memory. It’s exciting to see his legacy continue.” 

Born in 1918, Charles White is renowned for highlighting African-American related subjects in paintings, drawings, lithographs, and murals. He was a distinguished professor at several institutions of higher education, including Dillard University, George Washington Carver School in New York, and the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles. 

His work is included in the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, among others. Mr. White lived in Altadena in his later years and his son is actively involved in the community today. 

The County’s Civic Art Policy – first adopted by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in 2004 – will fund this $100,000 project. The policy has created a special public fund to create civic artworks in unincorporated areas of the County.