Unknown as a painter to his community for most of his life,
Joseph Sylvester Casey filled his home with images of childhood memories
and scenic landscapes. Casey was born in Blackwell, Missouri in 1900. He
moved to South Bend in 1921 and worked at Studebaker and Bendix plants until
retirement. During the cold and snowy winter months, Casey focused on his
paintings of idyllic, rural Missouri farm scenes and wooded fishing spots.
Common images in his landscapes are quaint cottages, majestic mountains,
waterfalls, and solitary individuals fishing. In the paintings of this African-American
artist, the fishermen were always white, an ironic element present in personal
scenes such as My Hide Away.
Through these works Casey transcended the industrialized city in which
he lived. White fishermen illustrated his struggle to identify with leisure
activities frequently associated with white affluence. Entirely self-taught,
Joseph Sylvester Casey was adept at watercolor and acrylic painting. His
work was first shown to the public in 1991 at the Colfax Cultural Center,
South Bend Indiana, through the efforts of his close friend, Jake Webster.
Webster, another South Bend artist, was a friend of Mr. Casey's for six
years before he learned of Joe's artistic talents. *
Joe Casey's work is represented by Artpost
Gallery, 216 W. Madison St., South Bend IN 46601