YABO: One More River to Cross

The estate of Albert John Stewart, known as Yabo, will display the late artist’s work in the West Las Vegas Library Gallery. Yabo, a painter, poet, playwright and mask maker, exhibited his work throughout New England and won numerous awards and recognition during his lifetime. 

Yabo was born in Hope, Arkansas in 1924 and raised in Santa Monica, California. In 1945 he became the first black salesman for Pep Boys in California, and was later one of the first Black car salesmen in Los Angeles. In 1983 he settled his family in Rhode Island and fulfilled a life as the founder of the Arts and Letters League of the Bantu. He was a member of the Black Heritage Society of Rhode Island and the Church of the Latter-Day Saints. After raising six children he moved his family to Las Vegas and he studied art and literature at the University of Nevada Las Vegas.

Yabo was quoted as saying “In my mind I still dance with the elephant, I still dance with the rhinoceros.” His paintings illustrate his stories of ancient peoples, Black broncobusters, Black Buccaneers and most notably, resisting slaves. He was a self-taught artist who quit school at age 13. However, he was a prolific reader and writer, having written thousands of pages of poems and plays. His family-owned work includes more than fifty visual art pieces. His art has appeared on university campuses including Brown University and Johnson & Wales College. Both the Mayor and Governor of Providence and Rhode Island have recognized the contributions of Yabo to the arts community as his work has been displayed in the government buildings in their state. He passed away in October 1992, and left his artwork to his family. 

On  exhibit at West Las Vegas Library from April 1, 2021 through June 1, 2021

Monday: 10:00AM – 8:00PM
Tuesday: 10:00AM – 8:00PM
Wednesday: 10:00AM – 8:00PM
Thursday: 10:00AM – 8:00PM
Friday: 10:00AM – 6:00PM
Saturday: 10:00AM – 6:00PM
Sunday: 10:00AM – 6:00PM