SOMERVILLE, NJ - Acclaimed artist and longtime borough resident Les Floyd will headline the annual Black History Month celebration at Verve Restaurant, Bar & Bistro Sunday, Feb. 19th.

 “He’s uniquely special in his own right,” said Verve owner Rick St. Pierre, “and he’s a favorite son of Somerville.”

Floyd’s website features images of his original artwork that bespeak his heritage and respect for history, including “Buffalo Soldier” and “Underground Railroad.”

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Floyd prefers to work with watercolor, pen and ink and acrylics, and describes his style as “traditional realism with slight impressionistic influence.”

Other artists have been invited to display their work at Verve’s celebration of Black History Month, including Aaron Fischer, Iam Bryant, Asia Washington and Gerome Stukes.

The celebration begins at 2 p.m. There is a $15 cover for all guests.

The Tyrone Stackhouse Band will perform from 3-6 p.m.

Verve will offer a “soul food,” buffet including smothered chicken, seasoned white fish, black eyed peas, collard greens, and cornbread from 2:30-4:30 p.m. 

Verve has been celebrating Black History Month for the past 15 years, an outgrowth of a friendship that grew between St. Pierre and Pat Lipson, proprietor of a former Somerville gathering spot on the east end of the borough called “Lips.”

“She took me under her wing,” St. Pierre said. “I’d eat lunch there, I love collards and black eyed peas. Lips is where I met so many members of the black community,” he added, which grew his appreciation and respect for the borough’s diverse and integrated community.

To cap off the celebration, Floyd will be the presenter of the “People’s Champion Award” at 4 p.m.

For further information, visit the Verve website, vervestyle.com or Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/Vervestyle/.

Verve is located at 18 E. Main St., across from the historic Somerset County Courthouse.