Bernie Casey

Bernie Casey


Artist with ties to the Bay Area returns for an Artist Reception
to showcase 20 recent works

OAKLAND, California, May 9, 2003 ¾ Oscar-winning actor Sidney Poitier and author, radio and television personality Tavis Smiley are inviting the public to attend an artist reception for educated fine arts painter Bernie Casey. Casey will be in Oakland to present "Hopes and Dreams and Spring", a collection of his 20 most recent works, at The Thelma Harris Art Gallery, 5940 College Avenue, Oakland, California, telephone (510) 654-0443. The artist reception begins at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 17, 2003, with a talk by Bernie Casey scheduled for 6:00 p.m. The public is invited and admission is free. The exhibit will run from May 9 through June 30, 2003.

MMr. Casey, who received both his Bachelor of Science and Master of Fine Arts degrees from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio, has remained committed to fine arts throughout his life. With more than 30 solo exhibitions to his credit, Casey is especially excited about this one because of his former ties to the San Francisco Bay Area. When asked about the title of this exhibition Casey said: "Hope is the cornerstone of all our possibilities: it allows our dreams to come true. For no matter how unrelenting winter may seem, spring is inevitable."

Director of the gallery, Thelma Harris, said: "We are excited to present the work of outstanding artist, Bernie Casey. Hopes and Dreams and Spring is a collection of colorful, fun and fanciful work that touches the child in each of us and radiates sheer joy."

As an art educator, one of Mr. Casey's crowning achievements was to serve for 20 years as Chairman of the Board of America's largest university of art and design, The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Savannah, Georgia. At SCAD, Casey not only helped to guide the growth of the University, but was actively involved in recruiting students, encouraging them to combine their creative ability with education in the pursuit of career opportunities in fine arts. "Bernie is the most exceptional human being I have ever met. He has no 'average' in him! He is powerful in motivating young people to set high goals and then work hard to achieve them, not only in art - but in all of life's pursuits," commented former SCAD president, Richard Rowan.

Casey's paintings continue to be acquired by a prestigious list of collectors which include Dr. Maya Angelou who said: "I cannot see what Bernie Casey sees. Casey has the heart and the art to put his insight on canvas and I am heartened by his action. For then I can comprehend his vision and even some of my own. His art makes my road less rocky, and my path less crooked." Oscar winning make-up designer Stan Winston and his wife Karen also own original Casey art, and when asked about his work said: "Bernie Casey - his art, his truth - poetic, inspirational - a gift to us all." Grammy award winning singer, songwriter Bill Withers said: "A Bernie Casey painting is a window into the mind and soul of a man with an uncommon range of gifts and interests. Bernie is tough enough to have enjoyed a stellar professional football career, yet sensitive and vulnerable enough to reveal his inner most self in his paintings. He seems to be interested in almost everything and it shows in what he allows himself to feel and reveal through his art."

Other collectors include: author Terry McMillan, Nicole David, Arnold Rificin, Quincy Jones, Fisk University, NBA sports legend Bill Russell, Phoebe Beasley, Burt Reynolds, NFL sports legend Jim Brown, Sidney Poitier, and Tavis Smiley who commented: "If I could paint, I would want to paint like Bernie Casey with substance, style and savoir-faire."

While Casey's "first love is art," he also has an extensive list of other accomplishments that read like that of the "Renaissance Man" that he is. As an actor in film and television with more than 40 roles to his credit, Casey has played roles in films from: Guns of the Magnificent Seven, The Glass Shield, the James Bond Film - Never Say Never Again with Sean Connery, Sharky's Machine with Burt Reynolds, Once Upon a Time…When We Were Colored; to television roles in: The Simple Life of Noah Dearborn, The Last Brick Maker in America, Just Shoot Me and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. One of his latest works is a screenplay entitled "The Dinner." Mr. Casey wrote, produced, directed and acted in this non-fictional work dealing with contemporary social relationships.

As a former athlete in the NFL, Mr. Casey was a first round draft pick of the San Francisco 49ers, where he played as a wide receiver for six years. Before retiring, he played the same position for the Los Angeles Rams. As an All-Pro Wide Receiver, Mr. Casey is a football all American and is a member of the Mid-American Conference and Bowling Green State University Athletic Halls of Fame.

Casey lectures at colleges and universities and addresses groups and organizations throughout the United States. He has participated and exchanged ideas with artists throughout the world, including representatives from behind the Iron Curtain. In 1976, Casey was selected to represent the North American Zone in the Second World Black and African Arts and Culture Festival held in Lagos, Nigeria.

About Thelma Harris Art Gallery

Located in the heart of Oakland's Rockridge district, Thelma Harris Art Gallery is a full- service gallery, specializing in paintings, sculpture, and mixed media art. The gallery exhibits both Work Progress Administration (WPA) artists as well as contemporary masters. The gallery provides a full range of services including art education, individual and corporate consultation, museum quality framing and installations.


For media information contact: Terhea Washington at (443) 285-0999.
For information about Thelma Harris Art Gallery, call (510) 654-0443 or

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