Aaron S. Bivins
Aaron Bivins attended The University of Toledo in Ohio, receiving a B.A. in Art, as well as a Teaching Certification. He also studied watercolor landscape painting with the late prominent Toledo watercolorist, Walter Chapman and acrylic and oil landscape painting with noted Toledo artist, Richard Dziak.
Working primarily in acrylic, oil and watercolor, he also explores other media as he paints portraits of people and animals, landscapes, architectural studies and still life. Bivins is a former junior high school art teacher in the Toledo Public School system—he now serves as a painting demonstrator and conducts watercolor and acrylic workshops and classes, as well as jurying art shows throughout the region.
Throughout his career, he has won numerous awards, including several Best of Show and First awards, at shows such as the Crosby Festival of the Arts (receiving a First Award in 2015), Toledo Botanical Garden (Ohio); Art on the Mall, The University of Toledo (First Award in 2012); the Roots of Diversity Multicultural Art Show, Arts Commission of Greater Toledo; Arts, Beats & Eats in Pontiac, Michigan; the Findlay Fine Arts Festival (in Ohio); the Marion Art and Music Festival (in Ohio); the Salt Fork Arts & Crafts Festival (Cambridge, Ohio) (First Award in 2016); Harrison Rally Day for the Arts Fine Art Show (Perrysburg, Ohio) (Best of Show in 2012) and many more. Aaron Bivins’ paintings are represented at galleries throughout the Northwest Ohio region and his numerous community and commercial gallery exhibits include two solo exhibitions at Flatlanders Gallery in Blissfield (Michigan), a solo exhibit at American Frame in 2017, two solo exhibitions at the Main Library Gallery of Toledo Lucas County Public Library (Ohio) in 2015 and 2023 and yearly contributions to the annual Juneteenth Celebration at the Toledo Museum of Art (Ohio).
In 2015, he was honored with a solo exhibition, Great Migration, at the Main Library Gallery of Toledo Lucas County Public Library. The exhibit was inspired by the mass movement of African Americans from the rural South to northern US cities in the early to mid-20th century. The show comprised twenty watercolor portraits of African American citizens, painted from historical and contemporary photographs, including some of Bivins’ own family, connecting contemporary audiences to the vast historical narrative of the Migration.
Bivins’ paintings are included in many private and public collections throughout the country, such as that of the Toledo Federation of Art Societies (Ohio), as well as in the corporate collection of ProMedica Toledo Hospital (Ohio). Bivins is an Associate member of the Ohio Watercolor Society and Past-President of the Northwestern Ohio Watercolor Society. He is also a member of the Toledo Artists’ Club and the Toledo Federation of Art Societies (Ohio).
Aaron Bivins began exhibiting at 20 North Gallery in the 2001 exhibit, Ancestral Africa, one of Peggy Grant’s eighteen annual Black History Month shows hosted during her tenure as 20 North Gallery’s Art Director. Bivins would go on to exhibit annually in the Black History Month Exhibit from 2005-2013 and was the featured artist for that show in 2010. As well as displaying his work year-round in stable representation, 20 North Gallery was honored to debut in 2020 his new series of abstract paintings in his solo exhibition Around the Corner. His principal exhibitions at 20 North Gallery include 20 North / 20 Years (2012), Art for All Souls (2012), Black History Month: The American Experience as Guest Co-Curator (2013), Luminosity (2017) and TFAS100+3: Juried Regional Exhibition (2020), a program of the Toledo Federation of Art Societies, hosted that year by 20 North Gallery as a member organization.
To learn more about Aaron Bivins’ artistic career and professional history, visit his artist Facebook page, Watercolor with Aaron S. Bivins.
My paintings are done in an Impressionist and painterly style. They are done in watercolor, oils, acrylic and gouache and are full of color, movement, energy and spontaneity, all in an effort to touch and move the visual senses. When you view my many subjects, I don’t tell the whole story in my painting—your visual experience helps you complete the works!
Aaron Bivins’ previous 20 North Gallery exhibits:
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