It's sad when a person who was known for so much life leaves this Earth. Cleveland was a ball of creative, expressive energy who never seemed to age and was always a joy to be around. This description of him on his website says it all:
Oakland Bay Area artist, Cleveland Bellow, began his lifelong career as an "activist" artist back in the heady days of the Civil Rights Movement. Influenced by the words and deeds of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, the leaders of the Black Panther Party, and campus reformers, he became a dedicated and tireless contributor to the community.Educated at the California College of Arts & Crafts, Bellow took his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design and his Masters degree in Art and Education. Having received his credentialing for both California secondary schools as well as California Community Colleges, he instructed and mentored students at numerous high schools, colleges and programs including the prestigious De Young Museum Art School of San Francisco. By sharing his talents and thoughts, he helped young people focus on the importance of education and pursuing their dreams. Many of his early works were drawings of some of the role models of the African American community, such as Stevie Wonder, Muhammad Ali, and Martin Luther King and he used these works of art in his teaching to help influence his students in a positive way.Bellow served as Cultural Affairs Liaison to Assemblyman Elihu Harris, Commissioner on the Alameda County Art Commission, Exhibits Curator to Earth 'N Arts Gallery of Oakland, District Organizer of San Francisco Neighborhood Arts Program, Consultant to Council of Museums and Education to Visual Arts in New York as well as other commissions, boards and appointments. In 1976 he received a Rockefeller Fellowship in Museum Education and in 1980, he was awarded the distinguished National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. He is the recipient of numerous other awards and honors.As a nationally and internationally recognized artist, Cleveland Bellow's work has been shown in New York, Boston, Chicago, Washington D.C., Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Lagos, Nigeria and in over 60 exhibitions. He has successfully published 22 Limited edition prints including two highly regarded portfolios; the Nimba Series Portfolio and the Contemporary Folk Heroes Portfolio. Hoodoo Man, a mixed media painting from the "Taking Another Step" exhibit is a featured piece of The Spears Gallery private collection.