Moses Groves was not always an artist. As a bass, baritone, and second tenor, he recorded with his group, Little Jimmy and The Tops, their hit singles, “Puppy Love” and “Say You Love Me” in 1959. Little Jimmy and The Tops were especially successful in Philadelphia. They also performed three times at the world famous Apollo Theater in Harlem. The group, however, eventually disbanded. One of their members, Sylvia Peterson, went on to sing with the Chiffons who recorded the hit song, “He’s so fine.” The lead singer, Jimmy Rivers, went solo and Groves was drafted to the Army in 1963 during the Vietnam War. He completed his time of service before he would have been deployed. A future filled with life, love, and art intertwined would ensue for this passionate artist.
Groves began his art training in 1969, although his budding artistry started as a first grader with drawing. Groves continued his art training at the Art Students League of New York, at New York University on a one-year scholarship and at the National Academy Museum and School for sketching where he spent two years.
His first instructor was Joe Hing Lowe, 79, an instructor at Ridgewood Art Institute in Bergen County, N..J. Groves studied under Lowe for five years. Lowe did not remember his former pupil from so many years ago but offered a commentary on what it took to create any type of art. “You have to have patience and skill,” Lowe said.
Groves agreed with his former teacher. “You have to be very patient. You have to almost like be alone,” said Groves. An artist had to have a plan as well. “First of all, you have to form it in your mind,” he said about the process. An artist had to decide if he or she wanted to leave a legacy behind with the painting. “I feel I want to leave a legacy.”