Lois Gibson: Forensic Artist to give presentation
The Stark Museum of Art will sponsor forensic artist Lois Gibson for a presentation “The Art of Catching Criminals”, on Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Gibson’s presentation will take place at the Lutcher Theater, located at 707 W. Main Avenue. The event is free and open to the public. It will be followed by a book signing at the museum located at 712 Green Ave.
Gibson is an accomplished forensic artist and according to the Guinness Book of World Records is the World’s Most Successful Forensic Artist.
She will give a Powerpoint presentation with photos of her drawings and of the actual person. She will also profile some of her most fascinating cases.
Gibson has had many times in her life where her work has been life-changing not only for the victims but for herself as well. But, the biggest moment of her life is when she discovered she could do this type of work.
She sent a friend out to look at someone and come back with a description of them. ‘It is so difficult to draw something you can’t see,” she said. But, she knew in her heart she could do this. When her friend returned she described a man at a local gas station. Once the drawing once complete, together they returned to the station and she pulled out the sketch.
The attendant walked out of the office and immediately she knew it was the man since it was a total match.
“I collapsed on the pump and cried with relief,” Gibson said. The man was shocked when he saw the drawing since he knew she had not been there before.
From then on, a career of helping others was born.
Gibson has helped solve more than 1,260 crimes and has been with the Houston Police Department since 1982. Gibson is the author of “Faces of Evil,” a true-crime book which details her most gripping cases, and is currently on sale in the museum store.
The book is riveting as she not only lays out her personal life even during the difficult times, but of her cases as well.
Chapter 12, “A Look of Murderous Rage”, tells of a case where a 9-year-old girl was raped and also left behind to tell Gibson of her mother’s killer who hog-tied and strangled her and finally attempted to set her on fire.
The girl began by looking through a FBI Facial Identification Catalogue. Together they worked to piece together the suspect.
He was later arrested with items he had stolen during the murder.
Gibson also wrote the first textbook teaching of her profession titled Forensic Art Essentials.
Gibson is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and the FBI Academy Forensic Art Course. Currently, she teaches forensic art courses at Northwestern University Center for Public Safety in Evanston, Ill. In addition, Gibson has been featured on segments of TRU TV’s Forensic Files and A & E’s The First 48.
People often ask her if she has nightmares from the things she has seen, she replies, “ no.”
“The dead-eyed mug-shot stares of the killers and criminals whose faces I draw don’t stalk my dreams because I know that, as the Apostle Paul put it, ‘faith is the evidence of things unseen,’” she wrote.
According to her book, every time she holds a sacred photo of the remains of another mangled life and the sweet young voice cries out to her from a dumpster or ditch or whatever else passes for a grave, then she knows it is not the time for tears and mourning, “Not yet.”
It is after she had completed the portrait of a smiling child on her drawing board and from there into someone’s heart motivating them to go straight to their photo album and from there to the police department… never until what’s left of a body becomes a once breathing child who loved and was loved.. never until then does she let herself mourn, she wrote. “Never until then do I let myself weep,” she wrote.
Following Gibson’s presentation, the museum will host an exhibition celebration and reception with light refreshments along with a signing of her book “Faces of Evil.” Visitors will also have the opportunity to explore art making techniques and participate in hands-on activities in the museum’s current exhibition “Explore Art,” which will be on display through Sept. 22, 2012.
“We are excited to bring to Orange the leading expert in the field of forensic art. I had the pleasure of attending Lois Gibson’s keynote presentation at Texas Art Education Association Conference in 2010. She galvanized the audience with stories about her work which often requires her to be among the first people to talk to victims of assault. Listening to her describing her experience made me realize how many other skills, besides proficiency in drawing, a forensic artist must have”, commented Elena Ivanova, Chief Educator of Stark Museum of Art.