Artist StatementBeing a native of West Baltimore, Edmondson Village to be exact, I can say that my experiences have fueled my passion and creative process for image making. The images I’ve created are a reflection of my upbringing and education. I attempt to create work that combats negative, degrading, denigrating and stereotypical images that falsely depict African people throughout the diaspora. My mission and purpose is to illustrate the beauty of being an African in America while maintaining truthfulness and authenticity in the process. I wish to raise the level of consciousness of peoples of color, while providing others with a more full scope of the Black experience. I’ve painted several murals mostly through out the city of Baltimore. My subject matter is a reflection of the members of those communities. I strive to produce culturally relevant and culturally responsive art. Art is for the people. Art is not art, until it is viewed and deemed so by an audience. My desire is to continue to create meaningful art that can leave a lasting impact on Baltimore’s community and the world.
Artist Ernest Shaw, Jr. was born and has lived most of his life in Baltimore, Maryland. Mr. Shaw comes from a family of visual and performing artists. As a youngster growing up in West Baltimore, there was never an absence of influence, or inspiration. Mr. Shaw appreciates the support and encouragement of his parents, especially recognizing the fact that it is not easy to raise a child artist. Mr. Shaw’s work defines the duality of the African American experience. His artwork exhibits this dichotomy through an array of media and concepts. The most prevalent aspect of the artist’s work is his use and understanding of color and the figure. The figure in his work is a continuation of a rich history of African and African American figurative art. His use of color demonstrates a deep level of understanding of rhythm taught to him by several West African drum instructors.
Ernest is a product of Baltimore City Public Schools.
He is a graduate of the Baltimore School for the Arts. He obtained his Bachelors Degree in art from Morgan State University, and his Graduate degree from Howard University in Washington, D.C. Mr. Shaw is now a teacher in Baltimore City, and an adjunct professor at Coppin State University. Ernest also does consulting work centerd around equity and education.