Come Witness the Magnificent Power of God as World Renowned Artist and Native Charlestonian Leroy “Chick” Campbell Debut’s His God Given Talent and Artistry depicted in his Original Piece Honoring the Emanuel Nine Entitled – “Bible Study”. Leroy returns to Charleston to give back to his community.
The Artist Leroy Campbell will present each family of the Emanuel Nine an embellished original, numbered, framed and signed print of the piece – “Bible Study” on Saturday, June 17, 2017, Gillard Auditorium @6:00 p.m.
In addition to the “Bible Study” presentation, Leroy Campbell will unveil for the first time to the public, his piece commemorating and honoring the survivors entitled – “Encouraging the Survivors”. The survivors will be presented an original, numbered, framed and signed copy of this piece.
Additional copies signed will be available for purchase. A framer will be available on the premise to assist with framing. Proceeds from the sale of the prints will be distributed to charities named by the families of the Emanuel 9 as well as Emanuel A.M.E. Church.
For advance purchase of either print, please contact: Leroy Campbell – 917-744-5705 or visit the website: [email protected] or [email protected]
The painting “Bible Study,” by Leroy Campbell, depicts the legacy of the Charleston Emanuel Nine and God’s indelible grace that engraved each of their names on the palms of His hands—Reverend Clementa Pinckney, Reverend Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, Cynthia Hurd, Tywanza Sanders, Ethel Lance, Susie Jackson, Reverend Daniel Simmons, Myra Thompson and Reverend DePayne Middleton-Doctor.
Campbell’s painting tells the story of an old-fashioned backwoods creek baptism. Behind the woman emerging from the water, trees bloom in vibrant shades of magenta, fuchsia and violet. The space between the trees is illuminated by the truth and light of God’s word, Matthew 13, the Parable of the Sower, the same passage the Charleston Emanuel Nine were studying the night the unthinkable occurred.
Infused in the right side of the collage is an example of seeds that fell on unfertile ground, seeds that had no depth of earth; shallow roots that left them scorched and withered. The clock that stopped when a bomb struck the 16th Street Baptist Church; killing four little girls in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963 symbolizes such unfertile ground.
The fruits of seeds that fell on fertile ground are represented on the left side of the collage by the 1964 calendar; depicting the year Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and other Civil Rights leaders witnessed President Lyndon B. Johnson signing the Civil Rights Act, a step towards freedom and equality for all. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. sowed and watered the seeds. God grew and multiplied them yielding a crop thirty-sixty, one hundred times that which he had planted in faith, demonstrating what God can do with a fertile heart.
Embedded in the background you will find also find the steeple of Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, the heart of the Holy City, now a symbol of unity, hope, strength, forgiveness, light in the darkness, and triumph over tragedy. The collage is designed to document and to teach.
Two men stand on either side of the woman being baptized; helping her to her feet. Although she is still weak, she is filled with the joy of God’s promises and the hope of the resurrection. The men are a reminder that no matter what we might be going through in life, whether it’s joy or pain, reminds us that we are never alone. The woman has been given wings to help her ascend to her new beginning, her new way of thinking, her new way of doing, her new way of being.
Her dress bears the black and white images of each of the Charleston Nine. She carries pieces of them in her soul—pastor, grandma, mother, father, daughter, son, senator, coach, barber, poet, entrepreneur, reverend, librarian, lover of jazz, custodian, speech therapist, matriarch, English teacher, guidance counselor, Community Development Director, choir singer, church member, advisor, leader, beloved. Next to each one of them are scripture and quotes to give each a voice, to give us counsel and understanding and direction.
A limited number of reproductions will be made from this sixty by seventy-two-inch original painting, each one numbered, embellished and signed by Leroy Campbell. Nine of these limited-edition prints will be given to the next of kin of each of the victim’s family.
Each month, the proceeds from the sales of “Bible Study” reproductions will be donated to a worthy cause or foundation on behalf of each of the Charleston Nine.
“No amount of money could ever give me the joy and the reward I’ve received from being given this mission, from being led by God to use my gifts to create, love and serve. I have been handsomely repaid by knowing I was chosen for such a time like this. I hope all who help keep the voice, the spirit and the intentions of the Charleston Emanuel Nine alive will receive the love that only God can put inside of us. Nothing can be greater than that.” – Leroy Campbell