John L. Newman, an artist and a long-time faculty member at the University of Arkansas, has died. He was 74 years old.
Newman was a native of Rohwer, Arkansas. At the age of 6, the Newman family moved to Kansas City. He excelled in public schools and was offered a scholarship to the Columbus College of Art and Design in Columbus, Ohio, where he obtained a bachelor of fine arts degree in illustration.
After being drafted and serving as a military policeman in the United States Army, he worked for Hallmark Cards for three years before deciding to return to academia to receive a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Kansas. Newman then taught in the public schools and earned a master of fine arts degree in painting and printmaking from the University of Kansas.
In 1987, Newman and his family left Kansas City for Yellow Springs, Ohio, where he taught in a local high school and served as an adjunct professor at Wright State University. In 1990, Newman acquired a full-time teaching position at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville where he remained until he retired as professor emeritus in 2013.
Newman presented his artwork in numerous group and solo exhibitions throughout the United States, in Jamaica, and Macedonia. In 2010, he receive the Distinguished Cultural Award from the American Association of Blacks in Higher Education for his body of work documenting the Black American experience.