Claflin University will host a special book signing featuring Dr. Leo Twiggs' latest book titled Messages from Home: The Art of Leo Twiggs on Thursday, Nov. 10.
The book brushes a broad stroke over the 40-year career that has made Twiggs an internationally renowned name in the world of art. It is the first book to be published by the Claflin University Press, making the institution one of only two Historically Black Colleges and Universities to have their own publishing outfit.
Messages contains more than 150 reproductions of Twiggs' paintings spanning 320 pages.
Twiggs said he sought to make the book itself an artistic experience by carefully selecting and placing his reproduced art in a meaningful way throughout. Messages features several die cuts renditions of his work and a 44-inch foldout section.
“I wanted my book to feel like a work of art,” he said. “In the age of electronic media, this book will be a little different.”
Twiggs first conjured up the idea of Messages in 2006 after he finished an art show at the University of Georgia, where he became the first African-American to earn a doctorate of arts from that institution.
A native of St. Stephen, South Carolina, Twiggs is a 1956 graduate of Claflin, where he studied under the legendary Arthur Rose. Twiggs is currently the Distinguished Artist-in-Residence at the University.
He later studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and received a Master of Arts degree from New York University. He was the first African-American to receive a Ph.D. in arts from the University of Georgia.
For many years, he was a professor of art at South Carolina State University. There, he developed that institution's art department and the I.P. Stanback Museum. He was named professor emeritus at S.C. State in 2000.
The cover of Dr. Leo Twiggs’ new book Messages from Home: The Art of Leo Twiggs, published by Claflin University Press.
Twiggs has received worldwide acclaim for his art, which is crafted in a unique, innovative batik method that he developed through artistic experimentation.
Twiggs has been featured in more than 70 one-man shows and has received international recognition. His work has been shown in exhibits at the Studio Museum and American Crafts Museum in New York and U.S. Embassies in Rome, Dakar and Togoland, among others. In 2002 and 2008, he was selected to design ornaments for the White House Christmas tree. The Georgia Museum of Art organized a retrospective of his work that toured the Southeast from 2004 to 2006.
The Twiggs' book signing will begin at 6:30 p.m. in Ministers' Hall on campus. A limited number of Messages will be available for purchase at the book signing. The event will feature a short program.