CHARLES MINGUS III
Before Charles left California at seventeen to pursue Art and other interests, he won a scholarship
in Art, to the Chouinard Art Engineering Design Institute. he also studied Art at Pasadena City College with the Master Calligrapher, Shiro Ikegauwa, Having painted both day and night throughout the years on the West Coast, interrupted only by an acting job "Skin Of Our Teeth" at the Mission Theater with Sam Shepard, he made his move to New York. Shepard, the playwright, actor and musician, was a high-school friend who had transplanted to New York as well, and they roomed together as artists, collaborating on breakthrough theater projects.
Three members of the New York Six Gallery on St. Marks Place ( Macs Mc Aree, Lucio Pozzi
and Arnie Magneson ) discovered Charles and gave him his first one-man show, consisting of Neo-Surrealist canvases, watercolor and electro-kenetic assemblage. Overflowing crowds of enthusiastic poets,critics and artists attended the show opening.
In 1968 Charles' painting , " One Second in the Mind of His Honor , Mayor D . " , a Pop cartoon of exploded brains and guts, was chosen for the "CHICAGO" show at the Richard Feigen Gallery in Chicago .
During the time of the Poor Peoples Campaign in Washington, D.C., Charles was working for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference . Charles conceived and initiated a benefit auction sale exhibition to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., by persuading Rene d Hainoncourt, director of MoMA
at the time. With the support and assistance of Messrs. Michael Findlay , Carroll Janis and Stanley Levenson of SCLC.He organized a panel of noted American authors James Baldwin , Allan Ginsburg , Ralph Ellison, Robert Penn Warren and Amiri Imamu Baraka , and produced the subsequent film,"
A Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 1969 " . It was shot by Simon Nucturne at MoMA, and aired in association with Don Harper editor, Kit Lukas, executive producer at Channel 13.
During the late 1960s and into the 1970s Charles continued to paint as well as write plays. The play " Cheap Trick " was directed by Lee Kissman ,and premiered in 1970 at La Mama ETC. to a standing-room-only audience for its entire run . Ellen Stuart "Never before or ever sense have I seen such crowds coming to see any play , masses in the streets around the block like it was the moves." In 1971 " Out Of The Death Cart ", which Charles also directed, was produced by Joseph Papp at the Public Theater . The musical play " The Atlantic Crossing " was the premier production at Theater
For The New City .
In 1972 the MoMA commissioned Charles' painting " Time Seed." It was featured as premium card
of the year in their Christmas catalogue. Charles received additional exposure at MoMA's penthouse exhibition curated by Alexandra Anderson and mounted by the Art Lending Service .
Through his association with Kurt Dempster's Ensemble Studio Theater in the mid-seventies, Charles received a playwright-in-residence at Johnson State College in Vermont with John Ford Noonan .
Influenced by his prior association with Jonas Mekas' Film Makers Cinematheque, Charles renewed an interest in documentary film making. In 1980,he produced a film for the United Church of Christ on the "Wilmington Ten" featuring Rev. Ben Chaves with the New York video artist Cary Fisher .
" I like T.V. and take almost any opportunity to work with it I even put it in my plays, paintings and sculpture. " also developed in 1980 "Inscape", a video animated (computer parody) of his mandola watercolor paintings he also created the musical score .
His work has appeared on book jackets and album covers, and Charles has also enjoyed numerous group and solo exhibitions , including Allan Stone Gallery in New York City . His Watercolors were the subject of a lecture by Mr. Stone at Adolphus Gustavus College in Minnesota and at
Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island .
Charles' play , " Always On " a continuing work in progress , was commissioned by and performed
at the Lee Strassberg Institute in New York as a tribute to Lee Strassberg.