A new stamp in the Black Heritage Stamp series will feature an oil painting of Ernest J. Gaines, as announced by the US Postal Service at an issuing ceremony at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where Gaines worked. Best known for his novels A Lesson Before Dying and The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, the writer is the 46th honouree of the series.
The oil painting featured on the stamp is based on a 2001 photograph of Gaines. It was designed by Mike Ryan with art by Robert Peterson.
An up-and-coming Black figurative painter based in Oklahoma, Peterson specializes in figurative painting with a concentration on portraiture. In his works, he seeks to capture a softer side of black people while still showing their strength and resilience. The artist's recent solo show at Claire Oliver gallery was sold out, resulting in his first museum acquisition at the Wichita Art Museum. Peterson describes his art as his truth and his voice.