PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — As we celebrate Black History Month, the theme across the country this year is Black art and African American artists.
Dr. Catherine Lowe is an ophthalmologist in Palm Beach Gardens. Her office looks like an art gallery where patients can see works of art up close.
"We try to feature African American artists. We have a variety of artists, Florida artists," Lowe said.
When asked which one is one of her favorites, Lowe answered, "Well, Caron is a great artist. She's done so much. She's done great work. And this artist is from Miami. She does really, really great work."
There's a story behind each picture. Dr. Lowe is giving her patients a glimpse into history.
"For a lot of people of color, they express themselves through their creativity and their art. It tells some very important stories. This is an interesting picture. I think we got that picture from the Black Historical Society. They had a lot of documented photographs, swimming at Singer Island circa 1925. That was almost 100 years ago. Singer Island was the first local beach for Blacks here in Palm Beach County," Lowe said.
Dr. Lowe said the artwork in her office is inspiring young patients.
"It really does inspire them, especially it's healing for them. So often children have a lot of things going on. They have a lot of stress now, and it's almost perform, perform, perform. And I tell them, you all are so talented, you are so knowledgeable," Lowe said. "The piece 'I Voted' is extremely important and was done by Dr. Arthur Bacon. He was from West Palm Beach, a West Palm Beach native, a professor who taught biology and has done so much research and lectured all around the world."
Dr. Lowe pointing to another picture, said, "This artist is Mary Anne Carroll. And the Florida Highwaymen, as far as I am concerned, they started a movement of art here in South Florida, with their cotton candy clouds and their spiritual birds all of the great colors that we see."
The back of another picture is a collage of magazines. When you look at the front of the picture, it tells a story.
"I think that's what life is all about. It's a picture, and sometimes we see parts of it and sometimes we don't see the other parts of it," Lowe said.
Artist Caron Bowman has several paintings here. WPTV met with Bowman.
"It's called 'Soul Sisters.' it was inspired by the unity of African people, especially among women. And how the sun is rising and these women are holding hands with African masks," Bowman said.
Bowman's works of art go beyond a canvas. You can see her murals in downtown West Palm Beach. She talked about a mural on Narcissus Avenue.
"The mural talked about artists who basically created music talking about social justice and change in America," Bowman said.
"We did a 'Wonderful Life' with Louie Armstrong. Louie Armstrong played at the Sunset Lounge in 1944. The sunset was the crowning jewel of the northwest community of our city. Some of the great virtuosos of the 20th century music came to the Sunset. Everyone from James Brown, Ike and Tina Turner, Otis Redding, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, Ray Charles, you name it, they came,' Bowman said.
Several works of art from African American artists will be on display at a family event on Saturday, Feb. 17 at Majestic 7 on Northwood Road in West Palm Beach.