Camille Billops (1933-2019)

Camille Billops
Camille Billops
Image Ownership: Public Domain

Camille J. Billops, artist, filmmaker, archivist, and professor, was born on August 12, 1933, in Los Angeles. Her parents were Alma Gilmore and Lucius Billops, and she has one sister, Billie. She married James V. Hatch, a professor of theater at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), in October 1963.

In 1954, Billops entered University of Southern California to study art and occupational therapy. She transferred to California State University, Los Angeles, and graduated from that institution in 1960. She then briefly studied sculpture with a Huntington Hartford Foundation Fellowship. Thirteen years later, in 1973, Billops earned a master’s of fine arts degree from City College of New York and then studied for her Ph.D. at the Université Paris-Sorbonne in Paris, France.

By 1965 Billops had established an international reputation as a sculptor, printmaker, and photographer. Her work was exhibited in Egypt, West Germany, Pakistan, Taiwan, and the United States. Although her first exhibition was at the African Art Exhibition in Los Angeles in 1960, her other exhibitions have included the Valley Cities Jewish Community Center Los Angeles in 1963; the Gallerie Akhenaton in Cairo, Egypt in 1965; the Atlanta (Georgia) College of Art Gallery in 1989; and Washington Project for the Arts that same year. In 1978, she was artist-in-residence at the Asilah First World Festival in Casablanca, Morocco, and her series