As part of M&T First Fridays @ the Gallery, Shantell Martin and the AK’s Curator of Public Art, Aaron Ott, had a conversation in the AK’s auditorium about Martin’s work and creative process. This talk was FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. Martin’s exhibition, “Someday We Can,” was also be free April 7, May 5, and June 2, 2017.
Shantell Martin has been drawing since she was a little girl growing up in the Thamesmead estate public housing complex in London. As the only mixed-race child in a family full of blonde, blue-eyed siblings, she always felt different. Perhaps that’s why, from an early age, Martin has been asking herself the same question: Who are you?
Martin sees the act of drawing as essential to our creative nature. She recognizes the notion that many cultures, including our own, perpetuate a myth which presents artists as rarified geniuses and creative masters crafting works of precision well beyond common capacity, but counters this claim by openly revealing the simplicity with which she operates, encouraging others to drop their guard and express themselves.
Martin’s first solo exhibition, “Shantell Martin: Someday We Can,” opens Saturday March 11 at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and will be availalble through Sunday June 25.
Martin’s CAI residency will involve the execution of a mural on Buffalo’s East Side, in connection with the Albright-Knox Public Art Initiative’s Mural Program. Exhibiting Martin’s works in the Museum and simultaneously executing a permanent outdoor public mural is intended to make a public statement that beautiful and inspiring creative work does not strictly belong hanging on walls in marble buildings or behind glass but belongs to communities and should be present in all neighborhoods.