Artist John L. Moore discusses his life and art. Born on the east side of Cleveland in 1939, Moore attended East High School and took art classes at the Cleveland Museum of Art before attending Cuyahoga Community College and later Kent State University, where he received his Bachelor of Fine Art. The artist discusses his experiences at these institutions, including information about numerous individuals who had an impact on his artistic development. After high school, Moore joined the Army, serving in the 101st Airborne Division, an experience he credits with advancing his personal and artistic development. As a non-traditional art student, Moore also worked at Cleveland's General Motors (GM) plant to support his family and to pay for school. While at GM, he initiated an employee art program to highlight artistic works by GM employees; the program evolved into an annual judged exhibit. The artist also discusses his teaching career, as well as the impact of Cleveland on his art. Moore left Cleveland in 1985 to continue his career in New York City. Throughout the interview, Moore shares observations and insights on the dynamics of race in the art world, illustrating the meaning of race in the conception, production, and consumption of artistic works by African Americans. This interview was recorded by telephone.


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Moore, John L. (interviewee)


Busta, William (interviewer)


Cleveland Artists Foundation



Document Type

Oral History


68 minutes

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.

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