The culmination of Shantell Martin's residency will be the creation of a permanent public mural in the East Side neighborhood in connection with the Albright-Knox Public Art Initiative’s Mural Program.
Shantell Martin is more than an internationally celebrated visual artist; she is a storyteller, an inspiration, and a "sharer" (as opposed to a performer). Her work is described as “a meditation of lines; a language of characters, creatures, and messages that invite viewers to share a role in her creative process.” Martin’s practice is rooted in the notion that anyone can be an artist and that our shared environment is potentially the most productive space to create that culture.
Martin often creates work in front of an audience, and this mural presents the opportunity for people to witness the fabrication of her piece. Her production is itself an act of sharing her creative process with witnesses, composed of of movement and grace, chance and reaction, inspiration and intuition. Martin says that she is often surprised by the final outcome of her large works since the physical proximity required to make them means that she cannot see the total composition until she steps back.
Martin says she never knows what she will draw prior to putting the pen to her chosen surface. “The pen knows where it is going and I just follow,” she says. 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.
The event is free and open to the public. Times and locations will be posted once they are determined.