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About The Artist


Ted Ellis is a passionate man. He is passionate about his family, passionate about his heritage, and passionate about his art. Just ask him and he proudly declares, “For more than 30 years I have painted subjects that are representative of the many facets of American life as I know it. I like to think of myself as a creative historian. I was put here to record history and all aspects of American culture and heritage. My sole purpose has always been to educate through my art.” T. Ellis grew up and was educated in New Orleans, a degreed Chemist, and graduate of Dillard University he has always been inspired by a city known for its history, style, and artistic exuberance. This backdrop inspired T. Ellis to capture the essence of the subjects of his childhood in the glory of their rich cultural heritage.


In December of 2019, T. Ellis completed his master’s degree in Museum Studies at Southern University in New Orleans (SUNO) and will eventually pursue a doctoral in the same field of study. His continued efforts are to advocate for the importance of visual literacy and continuing his commitment of preserving African American history and culture through art have been paramount. T. Ellis is keenly aware that visual comprehension increases learning. He wants to bring greater awareness to the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace, schools, universities, cultural institutions and museums, showing how this will provide an enriching opportunity for people in communities throughout the United States. Mr. Ellis is the first African American artist to be appointed to a federal commission. The 400 Years of African American History Commission established by the Department of Interior is responsible for planning and creating programs that will recognize and advance the historical and cultural contributions of African Americans since 1619 under PL115-102. The official federal logo and seal, as well as the 400th Distinguished Service Award was created by T. Ellis. Each will become part of the U. S. National Archives. T. Ellis artistic talents has provided him the opportunity to be appointed as Scholar-in-Residence at Old Dominion University.


Extremely dedicated to his craft, the artist draws on a style that was born in his childhood from impressions of his native city. T. Ellis is self-taught, his art style is authentic, it boldly blends folk and impressionism. You can see how his work evokes nostalgia and inspiration. The art of this man both reveres and celebrates the traditional values of his culture. He is on a mission to bring even more value to humanity, by increasing human capital through cultural nutrition. Ted Ellis, the man, lives the life he paints about. His past and current contributions of his time and artwork have benefited many service organizations; United Way, ICLS, African American Visual Arts Association, Harlem Fine Arts Show, Black Art in America, Pigment International, Jack and Jill, Inc., the Tom Joyner Foundation, United Negro College Fund, the Links, Inc., and school systems around the country. T. Ellis involvement in the community as an art advocate and educator has earned him recognition from numerous organizations and city officials. One of T. Ellis’ exhibits entitled, “Our History, Heritage and Culture, an American Story”, encompasses the diversity and cultural similarities of all Americans. The debut of this exhibit started at the Rosa Parks Museum and was displayed at several schools and universities. Some of Ellis’ previous exhibits include, “American Slavery: The Reason Why We are Here”, ‘‘Say My Name’, and “Courage of Conviction, African-Americans who Serve in the Military from Colonial Times until Now”, and “Born in the Spirit” were featured throughout the country. The latest series of paintings tell a visual story of African American achievement, “400 Years Then and Now…A Story to be Told” is the next visual storytelling saga of T. Ellis that will be a major traveling exhibition. For over 25 years Mr. Ellis has continued to pictorially document the history and culture of African Americans that rivals the artistic contributions of Jacob Lawrence, Romare Bearden, Elizabeth Catlett, Dr. Margaret Burroughs and many more significant artists that has preceded him.


Ellis, who currently resides in Friendswood, Texas, has been recognized as an artist of historical importance. Several of his paintings are in the permanent collection of the DuSable Museum, McKenna Museum, The Free People of Color Museum and the Amistad Research Center. His trailblazing efforts will continue to build his artistic legacy and garner even more recognition. In the last 30 years, many corporations and private collectors have continued to admire and collect his work. A few of the prominent individuals who enjoy his creations are as follows; the late Johnny Cochran, Angela Bassett, Judge Henry Wingate, Roland Martin, Ed Gordon, Blair Underwood, Susan L. Taylor, Bryant Gumbel, Joyce Roche, Spike Lee, and Brad Pitt. Several major corporations have commissioned T. Ellis; a few of which include Walt Disney Studios, the Minute Maid Company, Coca-Cola, Phillip Morris, and Avon, Inc. He has also been featured on local and regional television programs, in magazines such as Upscale and Southern Living, Newsweek, and is featured in newspaper articles throughout the country. His popular art images have been found on book covers and collectible prints. Mix a man with conviction and something happens. In the case of Ted T. Ellis, a man of artistic passion and purpose with the gift of science, history and knowledge, that is something special. That, alone with his art is priceless.




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