December of 1971 saw Rainbow Sign’s gallery walls hung with the paintings and charcoal drawings of Herman Kofi Bailey. At the time, Mr. Bailey was a professor of Art in Black Studies at the Human Resources Institute of the Claremont Colleges in Claremont, California, with long list of other colleges and organizations on his C.V :
“The artist has taught at Florida A. & M. University, Spellman and Clark College and Coppin State College and was chairman of the art department of Kwame Knrumah Institute, Winneba, Ghana, West Africa. He has worked as graphic artist for Ghana News Agency, African Review, Ghana Institute of Art and Culture and was editorial artist in the office of the President of Ghana.
Bailey’s involvements in the United States are many. Among them are the Poor People’s Campaign, SCLC, Southern Voters Project, Institute of the Black World, National Conference of Negro Women Unity Drive, SNNC and lately as personal artist for Angela Davis.”
Throughout, his work has focused on portraying “the essence of Black folk the world over.”
While the mission statement of Rainbow Sign itself is a one full of positive vision, that walks a careful line around radicalism, Bailey’s art show is one of many examples of Mary Ann Pollar and Rainbow Sign creating space for radical artists and intellectuals.