OVERTON--Clarence A. Clarence "Cleve" A. Overton, died April 29, 2020 of a cardiac arrest at his home in Bradenton, Florida, with his wife of 50 years at his side. An extraordinarily talented artist and author, he was born in Staten Island, NY and began life's adventure as a soldier in the all-black army unit, the 76th/933rd AAA in Japan, where he served from 1945 to 1948. He taught as an adjunct professor of art at Baruch College in Manhattan and the College of Staten Island, CUNY. Cleve exhibited his artwork nationally and internationally in juried shows and his works are in private collections in the USA, Europe, Africa and Asia. He lived in the DRC ('84-'86) and moved to Washington, DC in 1989. He lived in Senegal ('93-'95) and visited Mali, Niger, Ghana, Cameroon, Armenia, Switzerland, Italy, the U.K., the Netherlands, Cuba, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and Saudi Arabia. He exhibited in many galleries, including The National Museum of Dakar, Senegal, the Colonnade Gallery of GWU, Fitchburg Art Museum in MA, Savannah College of Art in GA, HNTB Architects and Parrish Gallery in Washington, DC. His media included clay sculpture and pottery, wood, steel, copper, tin, woodcuts, and mixed media. Cleve published two photographic books with his wife, Jude Andreasen: Creative Recycling: Handmade in Africa and The Doors of Senegal. He published a non-fiction memoir, In the Shadow of the Statue of Liberty, a book of essays, The New Annals of Staten Island, and a fictional satire based on his adventures in Africa, The Last Train to Kisangani. Many of his works have been donated to the Archives of the College of Staten Island. Cleve will be fondly remembered for his exceptional talents, remarkable accomplishments, and a commitment throughout his life to just causes. He was a tremendously creative, inventive, spontaneous and often unpredictable artist, a loyal, generous, forgiving friend, and a fierce proponent of social and racial justice. He is predeceased by siblings Eugene, Fred, Alice and Russell. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Jude Andreasen, his sisters Inez and Mabel, brother David, his two daughters, Dr. Valarie Overton and Rev. Leslie Fowley, and their respective husbands Mitch and Robert, four grandchildren: Adam, Kim, Peter and Bobby and four great-grandchildren, Peter, David, Luke and Lily, and scores of other relatives and friends. Cremation at Brown & Sons Funeral Home in Bradenton will be followed by interment at Arlington National Cemetery in Spring 2021 TBD.
Published in New York Times on May 3, 2020.