All posts by bernardhoyes

Visual Art Master Bernard Stanley Hoyes About Bernard Hoyes Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Hoyes demonstrated artistic abilities early on. When he was trotted off to live with a great aunt in rural Jamaica, his exposure to revival cults, ceremonies and rituals planted seeds deep within that would manifest as art in his later years. Hoyes's formal art studies began at Junior Art Centre at the Institute of Jamaica. At age 15 he left Jamaica for New York City. His lessons continued at the Art Students League and Vermont Academy. A heady combination of his drive to excel and the influence of the civil rights movement placed Hoyes at the helm of propelling the Academy to institute social and cultural programs. Upon graduation he was the first recipient of the Frederick Stanley Art Award and saw the launching of the school's first formal arts department. When Hoyes attended an alumnus reception some years later, to receive the Florence Sabin Distinguished Alumni Award, he felt pride in seeing the new edifice housing a formal art department. He earned a Bachelor in Fine Arts in painting and graphic design from the California School of Arts and Crafts in Oakland. . During the 70’s he, worked intensively on his “Rag Series” which symbolize, document and prophesied his journey from a struggling artist to one of prominence. In the early 80’s he began works that recall his Afro-Caribbean roots, specifically the rituals of African Spirituality and Christianity, since the Middle Passage. In this body of work, there is a heavy emphasis on the roles and power of woman, especially in the realms of music, dance and magic. Hoyes has participated in numerous solo exhibitions here and abroad. He has created murals in the inner city of Los Angeles, Ca. He has curated exhibitions and held a position on the board at the Museum of African American in Los Angeles. Won awards of Excellence for his famous “Revival Series,” nationally and internationally. His works have been featured in numerous television and film productions, and collected internationally. His recognition and affirmation of traditional African religion and spirituality continues to find universal appeal, stunning audiences worldwide as evidenced by his "2009 Fall Tour - Europe." Oprah Winfrey, Natalie Cole, Steve Harvey, Keenan Ivory Wayans and the National Urban League are among his collectors. President Barack Obama has even been photographed in front of his work. His craft has been fêted internationally in galleries around the world. In 1997 he mounted a, 25-year Review at the Museum of African American Art and the Los Angeles Watts Towers Exhibition Center. Founded Caribbean Arts, Inc. in 1982 to publish and distribute his Fine Art prints. Still acting on the creative impulse, he has a Sculpture garden in progress on a 3 acre Mesa in Desert Hot Springs, Ca. Hoyes has developed a non-toxic etching process using an Electrolyte process and have pulled a collection of etchings since 1996. In the summer of 2006 he introduced Kensington Press Revival to the Arts community in Kingston, Jamaica. An Atelier for Printmaking, that shares Electrolyte etching with local artist. Hoyes held a 25 review of the Revival Series entitled ”Lamentation and Celebrations” at the Loves Jazz and Art Center in Omaha, NE. in 2007. His sojourn to China to live and work with Stonemasons to create the Blue Fin Tuna Commission is well documented. In 2009, he completed a three City Exhibition Tour of Europe that included an Artist residency in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Most recently Hoyes' work was on display as part of the "Places of Validation, Art & Progression" exhibit organized by the California African American Museum as part of the Getty initiative "Pacific Standard Time: Art in LA 1945-1980" exhibitions; and he is featured in Lyn Kienholz's coffee table New Art Encyclopedia pictorial, "L.A. Rising: SoCal Artist before 1980" also supported by the Getty Foundation. In 2012, “Se7en Paintings, a Story in Performance”, was Staged. Choreographed dance, music, theatre Video and Visual Arts each riffing on the other, weave together a tale rooted in Jamaica’s spiritual traditions. Seven of Hoyes Iconic Paintings came to life on the Ford Theatre Stage in Los Angeles."Seven Paintings" is sure to elevate, inspire and revolutionize the way we view art in the future. And to experience the work of Bernard Hoyes' beyond seven paintings, go to http://

Syncona Mesa, Mr. Bentley interupted


Bentley(La)  Mr. Bentley is Silky hair Yorkie Terrier, from L.A.. We got him one Christmas for the Family. He was costly for a dog. The other dogs that we have bonded with, were given to us. Over the years, laVera and I somehow became his chief custodian. In the move to the Desert, we inherited him by default. The Apartments the occupy in the city don’t welcome Pets. Our kids, now young adults, prefer to come visit “their” dog.

There wasn’t much hope of his survival in the Desert. Especially at Syncona, his options was few. Lavera’s routine of walking him around the tame Neighbourhood of Wilshire Center was interrupted. Now the Desert come right up to our door. You exit and you are in the wilds. Acres of uninterrupted desert landscape with all the wildlife at home.

Before the move we had arrangement to have him fixed. That was placed on hold, mostly because my sons, including myself, couldnt embraced the idea.  The big question was, do we then have come up with a name change, drop the “Mister.”? were we ready for a personality change that comes with neutering.? The move proved to so overwhelming, we never kept the schedule.

It was a good thing. Mr. Bentley is one feisty little dog. He carried himself proud,  head high with a distinctive strut. Petting him or holding him too long wasn’t interesting to him. He would ignore the yard dogs in the neighbourhood. After years of passing their gates, with the barking and flipping rabidly at the sight of him, no acknowledgement from Mr. Bentley, ever.  Other dogs being walked, we had to cross the street, because he didn’t play.  He gets to do all the sniffing, and if the other dogs try, no matter their size? they are not allowed to sniff him back. It would be a fight. he was great with kids, cats and birds. Still if they get out-of-order, he was ready to put them in line.

Consequently he was alway on a leash. He had a limit to play. when he was thru playing fetch, he would hide the ball or stick. when he was ready he would not take no, he had to be distracted.

Lavera was as scared as he was when they first settled into Syncona. Slowly, she learned to trust him to wander off, without a leash. I encouraged setting him free. If I was a Dog I would love that option. At first he didn’t go far, then the call of the wild dogs and the visiting Coyotes piqued his interest to go further.

Cayote Prowling

At night we would put him on a leash for him to go out and do his business. During the days, while I am working on the grounds he would keep me company. He would chase the Roadrunners, the Jack Rabbits and the Quails. He developed a hatred for the Crows. He would sense them from inside and would not settle down until he gets to go out and chase them off.

IMG_1191Found out that LaVera’s fear was mostly for his sake. She campaigned for fencing and I would not have it. my horizon will not be fenced. Plus I could not afford it. Mr. Bentley will have to survive thru transformation. His dog sense will have to allow him to adapt and survive. More and more, I retired the leash. Commands and rewards was our gateway to freedom.

The breakthrough came one night when laVera was in Australia vacationing with my Sister, Eileen. At night I would let him out then walk behind him. He developed a survival tact, where, as he hit the outside, he transform himself into a savage beast, as he attacked the dark. We would set up boundaries as we explore the Dark. I would be armed of course. I always let him have the lead. He would go to the first level and wait, when I catch up, he would go off to the next.

During one of those Blue moon nights we were having, he attacked  the dark. That was what I thought at first, until the scuffling and growls got loud. There was a Coyote, hiding in behind a creosote bush. As the Coyote recovered from Mr.Bentley”s attack and began to fight back, he tossed Mr. Bentley a few feet back. As Mr. Bentley fell to the ground, he realize he was in a serious fight, turned and ran back towards me.  With the Coyote in chase, snipping at his heels. I stepped between them. Again, the Coyote surprised, stopped in his track, showed me some teeth, turned and ran into the night. There was Mr. Bentley carrying on like he was Mohammad Ali after he whupped Liston. About a half hour later he came whimpering to me. He had a bruised rib and in pain. Picked some Aloe Vera, rubbed his side with it, as much as he would let me. I minced it up in his water for the next couple of days or so and until he was back to himself.


After that incident he would stay away from the visiting coyotes. he would come and alert me if one was nearby.  One morning on his rounds, where he would exercise doing sprints back and forth around the house. He didn’t make it around, as he encounter a Bobcat, about to devour his kill. Mr. Bentley decided, he wanted the kill and began to go crazy, charging the Bobcat. Good thing LaVera was close by with a rake. She was able to get on the other side of the Bobcat distracting him. Knowing he was outflanked, the Bobcat took off.  Then the amazing thing, Mr.Bentley would not let go of the dead Jack Rabbit. He wanted it for himself and was willing to fight us, for it. Never knew, he had that many teeth in his head. I had to take the rake to him, to run him off. He was transformed into a dog I didn’t know. At the same time, I was relieved . His chances for survival on Sycona Mesa was more assured, for now


Syncona Mesa

Far off from my next neighbour Syncona Mesa
Springtime at Syncona Coo Doves in a Family way.


This is my sanctuary for  the past twenty years.  Produced tons of Art, in all media, that went out into the world. Made a mark and made a living.  Now it a residence. There is a difference. Before I would seek solace and find my depth. I would get in touch with the Vortex that originate and radiate from this Table. Its always there, place settings for however many people present. I was the  sole guest for many stellar events. My tentacles ever reaching, to possess the spirits that avail themselves. Now I am in permanent observation. A turbulent flow in the absence of external forces.  Exposed, I am.  How will I respond to this pressure?

For one thing, its distracting as hell. There is always something. Every day is capitol. My first day on the Mesa was in the middle of Summer. The temperature was 120 degrees but felt welcoming. The creosotes blossoms were popping, filling the air with this resinous fumes. Its miasma took my breath away. As I gaged almost passing out, my thought was, I am too weak to live in this shit. But, the challenge to live in it was alluring. The seasons are distinct as the east and the west. Its climate is Caribbean and its Araby. The  winds are the nemesis and must be respected.  I have been close to ruination often.

Then there is the the arid land that hold all the minerals from the ground water. Great for bathing, but too unsafe for drinking regularly. But I find myself downing a glass ever so often to enrich my system. Certain plants cannot thrive in this environ. Oleanders, Palms, Eucalyptus and Evergreens flourish.

The wild life is ever present. Over the years I allowed them to have  sanctuary. A leaking sprinkler on the north side that I let drip, eventually formed a pond. With the high position of the mesa it attract Birds of passage. Roadrunners, owls, quails, Coo Doves, varieties of finches and sparrows. Lately the Crows are ever present. Late Spring the Falcons and Hawks appear to thin the population.

Cayotes, Bobcats, Wild dogs, Packrats and other Rats make their eventful appearances. Snakes, scorpions, Vinegarones, spiders, wasps and Bees are constantly invading the space. Once my dog  Tyson, let in a snake. I think he was spellbound by it. My son Berhane has a second sense with Scorpions and Vinegarones. He would sense them in the house and find them. The latter are like Scorpions without the tail with stinger. They do bite hot, and for a day or so, my spit had the taste of vinegar.

Then the season of the Bees. Discovering that they had set up living in the siding of the house. Waking up to what I though was an overcast turned out to be a swarm, blocking the morning Sun. Then the frightening thing, they zoomed in and pitched on the side of the house. I ran outside to see the spectacle.

They had cover the whole side of the house. The middle where a knot hole is located in the cedar siding, they converged into it like a whirlpool. In minutes they disappeared inside. Thousands of bees were now occupying  a cavity of the house.

The siding had to be removed. The queens found and two Honey combs removed. The Honey combs were the size of a extra large pizza, about a inch and a half thick, filled with delicious creosote tasting honey.

One of the most devastating ruin was from the water. The source, a Well only 90 feet down. Its totally live. All the minerals and diverse properties, being pumped out the ground at 98 degrees.

The other was a wind storm.  The winds up here, on average is 10 to 20 miles a hour. Being on a Mesa in direct path to the San Gorgonio Pass. That where the San Jacinto and San Gorgiono Mountains meet. That Pass accelerate the winds into a vortex aimed at the Mesa I call Syncona.

The saga of the Water ruin, I will tackle on another musing. Also the Wind storms, they have made two special visits over the years.  They will need their own rumination.

The year that it Hailed and Snowed was remarkable. I experienced a total contentment of being  truly Blessed. The mystical implications in regards to my work at the time, wasn’t explored and I should have. But, I was working on a show at the time. The event served as a sign that I was flourishing, on the right track. See, there was doubt. There was a lingering fear at that time.

That was the show that was visited by three Yuroba Priestesses.   Orishas from countries in the Caribbean. They were attending a convention in Maimi Beach, Florida, of  Yuroba Priestess from  the Diaspora. The visit was especially because of the works I am doing with the Revival Series.  A Symbolic communication was implied with this visitation. They were sent by the ancestor Eshu. To inform me of an entity that was in my surroundings that was not meant for me. So they told me, after doing a huddle to confirm whether or not they should clue me in. This too,  will have to take another musing to tell the whole story.  Actually, its a Saga that spanned over ten years.

By the River, can’t get a drink.

In my early life, I was  a struggling Artist.? At every turn I was unable to get any recognition or reward for my work. I was at the River banks of the money flow and couldn't get wet. Get the drift ?
In my early life, I was a struggling Artist.? At every turn I was unable to get any recognition or reward for my work. I was at the River banks of the money flow and couldn’t get wet, much less have a cup, to get a scoop. Get the drift ?   Love the metaphor of the River of Money. My Dad used it to give me a life lesson on getting hold of money. I was already grown at fifteen and full of myself, didn’t get it. My concern with possessing money was already eroded  because of the lack of it in my Mother’s world as a boy. I was already transformed into the idealist. That young man’s whose aim was to create the persona that would support a creative life in Art. This Painting from the Rag Series expresses the craving that I had developed, when the realities of being an Independent Artist exposed itself. There I was, just out the forest in search of the river. I was in the clearing, I could smell, hear, and see the water as it flows. I am trying to reach its banks, only the footing on the bed rocks is a challenge to surmount. occasionally i slip and get my ankles wet. Still I want to get closer, for a dip at first, then I was too deep and swimming in the swift current was not pleasant. I wish to be back on the banks. If I could just get hold of a vessel I would have a share.
This is my musing on my position in the metaphor that inspired this piece, from the Rag Series. The struggle to get a foot hold, then, to get so deep, there is still a survival issue, need to get a vessel, never having a pleasant experience by the River of money. While, some people are still trying to get to the clearing from out of the forest, some are on the banks, too busy getting a footing on the rocks, some are ankle deep, some are up to their waist, some with Vessels,  some are wading, and some are swimming for their life.