Who to Watch in September: Cbabi Bayoc

    Driving around city, you’ve probably seen work by local artist Cbabi Bayoc, who wants his paintings to bring hope and color to the streets of St. Louis. Cbabi Bayoc is a self-created name that is an acronym for “Creative Black Artist Battling Ignorance” and “Blesses African Youth Of Creativity.”

    His work is proudly shown around the city, from the walls of elementary schools to the walls of St. Louis Lambert International Airport. Each piece has an underlying theme of family, children, music, and empowerment.

    Bayoc is best known for his 2012 series, 365 Days with Dad, in which he painted a positive image of African American fatherhood everyday for a year. The series began as a New Year’s resolution but turned into a dialogue within the community about the importance of family and supporting children.

    Recently, he’s collaborated with Anheuser-Busch, Coca-Cola, and MCA Records, but a stand-out project is his work with the St. Louis Promise Zone.

    “I don’t drive around St. Louis looking for public art, and I want to,” said Bayoc. “Where are the surprises?”

    In hope of inspiring the residents of North St. Louis through art and education, Bayoc created the Birds of Wisdom design for the free library boxes in the Promise Zone. His recurring theme of the importance of family and children is depicted by the birds representing the children in the community.

    “Children in the city actually have something they can relate to,” said Bayoc.

    You can learn more about Cbabi Bayoc and his work with the Promise Zone at hecmedia.org.