Clarence Heyward

Clarence Heyward



Using painting as my primary tool of communication, I make works examining my identity as a Black American man, husband and father; compositions documenting my life experiences and how the media and historical documentation contribute to the perception of Black Americans and our collective culture. Much of my work is influenced by my memories which serve as a database filled with television shows, movies, music, and pop-culture which become metaphors and or references used in my compositions.


Clarence Heyward is a painter whose work explores notions of the Black American experience, primarily focusing on how the use of media and historical documentation is used to shape perceptions of Black American culture. His work investigates cultural truths, challenges stereotypes, and examines identity.

He has exhibited his work in spaces nationally including the 21c Museum of Durham, the Harvey B. Gantt Center for Cultural Arts, the Wiregrass Museum, the Museum of Science and Industry Chicago, Art Miami Art Fair, the Dallas Art Fair, the Container-Santa Fe, the North Carolina Museum of Art, the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, and (CAM) the Contemporary Art Museum of Raleigh.

Heyward was the recipient of The Brightwork Fellowship residency at Anchorlight Raleigh in 2019-2020, the Emerging Artist in Residence at Artspace, Raleigh in 2021, the Ragdale (IL) artist fellowship in 2022 and was the 2022 Artist in Residence at NC State University. His work is in the collections of several notable private and public institutions including the North Carolina Museum of Art, the Nasher Museum of Art, the Ackland Art Museum, the Cameron Museum of Art and the Rubell Family Collection.