Bogalusa Daily News
Bogalusa artist Alvin Carter dies

Alvin Carter
Bogalusa artist Alvin Carter stands next to one of his
paintings at his former studio on Columbia Street.
Carter, known for his colorful murals and paintings
depicting the African American struggle, died Friday
at the age of 66.

Bogalusa Daily News
By Jacob Brooks     September 9, 2009

(Bogalusa, LA) - Alvin Carter, the Bogalusa artist known for colorful street-side murals and paintings depicting the struggle of African Americans, has died at the age of 66.

Carter died Friday night at Lakeview Regional Medical Center in Covington following a heart attack, said his mother, Mattie Carter Wallace, a Bogalusa resident.

"He loved anything to do with painting," Wallace said on Tuesday, still grieving after her son’s death.

Carter suffered from severe asthma and breathing problems, and his heart failed him while undergoing a procedure, Wallace said.

Carter was born in Bogalusa March 31, 1943, and graduated from Central Memorial High in 1961.

Even in high school, Carter was an aspiring professional artist, selling his paintings at a local store on Columbia Street, said his mother.

He joined the U.S. Navy after high school, serving on a ship and developing an appreciation for photography, Wallace said.

After a four-year enlistment, Carter attended art schools in California and Minnesota, eventually residing in St. Paul, Minn., where he developed his trademark skills as a muralist.

"He was commissioned to do different paintings in St. Paul and Minneapolis," Wallace said.

After living in South Bend, Ind., and elsewhere, Carter returned to Bogalusa about 10 years ago, his mother said.

Here, he continued to paint out of his studio on Columbia Street and later 5th Street.

He worked with children at his studio and art students at local schools.

"He wanted to teach the children,” Wallace said. "He just loved the kids."

Carter often used vibrant colors — neon green, orange, bright blue — in his paintings that had a way of making them pop into viewers' eyes.

Many images that he painted looked “like it was just going to jump off the wall," Wallace said.

Wallace said Carter learned a lot at the art schools he attended, but much of his talent was simply a "gift from God."

Carter, who commonly sat outside his studio watching people walk and ride by the street, readily spoke to anyone willing to listen about his art or artwork in general. Art, according to Carter, does not always need to mean something.

"Don’t question why the birds sing, just enjoy the song," he said during an interview with The Daily News in 2007.

Funeral arrangements are pending with Cook-Richmond Funeral Home.


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