November Artist of the Month

Bernard Stanley Hoyes

Bernard Stanley Hoyes was born in Kingston, Jamaica. From the early age of nine his mother sold his wood carvings and watercolors to visitors to the Tourist Board in Kingston to help maintain the household and support his creative efforts. ​ 

His took his first art classes at the Junior Art Center at the Institute of Jamaica and continued his art education when he migrated to New York, to live with his father, attending evening classes at the Art Student League. There he matured as a painter and sculptor under the tutelage of established artists like Norman Lewis and Hughie Lee Smith. ​ 

Hoyes’ work is heavily influenced by his Jamaican heritage and in particular the afro-christian revival cults still popular among some segments of the island’s population. Infused with strong primary colors and painted intuitively, his work dramatically captures the mysticism and majesty of the religion. We are offered a bird’s eye view of the spectacle of bodies caught in spirit possession, the ceremonial rituals and gestures - a rare anthropological treat. 

He has worked as a designer and lecturer and currently works full-time as an artist. He has exhibited extensively in the U.S. and Jamaica, and he has won a number of important commissions and awards  

For over four decades Jamaican-born visual artist Bernard Hoyes has captured powerful imagery of the masses and Afro-Caribbean ancestral spirituality. Best known for his “Revival” series, Hoyes recalls his Jamaican roots through rhythmic movement, vivid colors, and spiritual forwardness. 

Hoyes co-curated the “Visual Voice” exhibition with Charles Bibbs at the Riverside Art Museum. The museum highlighted the renaissance of 19 black artists during their quest for self-validation during the ’80s and ’90s in Southern California. 

Hoyes’ dedication to his craft is evident from an extensive list of acclaimed commissions and exhibitions. His work has appeared on “The Cosby Show” and “A Different World,” and hangs in the collections of Oprah Winfrey, Steve Harvey and Richard Pryor, among others. 

Some of his latest work, The Bernard Stanley Hoyes, MAAA exhibit: “Evolving Art Practice, Rags to the Revival Series,” ran from Sunday, July 2 through Sunday, September 24, 2017 at the Museum of African American Art (MAAA) 

Now Hoyes permanently resides at the top of a mountain in Desert Hot Springs. His studio and home, Syncona Mesa, is the creative vortex that allows his work to flourish.