Southern Artist, Ted Ellis on Tour for Black History Month Exhibiting His Series 'Spirit of the South' at the 61st Annual CIAA Basketball Tournament

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Ted Ellis continues his Southern tour in celebration of Black History Month with his fine art exhibit ‘Spirit of the South’, a tribute to the Southern culture and heritage of African Americans, at the 61st Annual CIAA Basketball Tournament.

Ted Ellis continues his Southern tour in celebration of Black History Month with his fine art exhibit ‘Spirit of the South’, a tribute to the Southern culture and heritage of African Americans, at the 61st Annual CIAA Basketball Tournament. The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) is an athletic conference consisting of 12 historically African-American institutions of higher education: Bowie State University, Elizabeth City State University, Fayetteville State University, Johnson C. Smith University, Livingstone College, North Carolina Central University, St. Augustine's College, St. Paul's College, Shaw University, Virginia State University, Virginia Union University, Winston-Salem State University, all working together to set an overall standard of excellence. Established in 1912, the CIAA is the nation's oldest black athletic conference, rich in history and heritage. The tournament runs through Saturday, March 4 at the Bobcat Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina.

A self-taught painter, Ellis has been recognized as one of the most celebrated artists of the 21st century. Born and raised in New Orleans and a proud son of the South, Ellis’ Southern roots extend deep into his craft. The series ‘Spirit of the South’ opens a historic window into the rich cultural life and heritage of the revered characters of his childhood. In particular, the rural life scenes follow Ellis’ soulful and familiar images through poignant settings, allowing the viewer to linger with them as they tend to everyday chores, tackle back-breaking but not spirit-breaking work, take a break to go fishing, and walk with heads held high to church on Sunday morning. His signature style of using broad brush strokes and emotionally charged colors, invite you to genuinely feel the aura of each moment expressed.

When asked to describe his passion, he states with emotion, "I take pride and pleasure in capturing the essence of a particular subject and manifesting it on canvas, knowing it will last as an eternal memory." ‘Spirit of the South’ is an invitation to step into a time in history and not only experience the brilliant visual images of Ellis’ memories with your eyes but to also ‘hear’ them with the voice that is Ellis' canvas.

About The Artist

Ted Ellis is one of the leading African American contemporary artists capturing American culture and heritage. Referring to himself as a ‘creative historian’, Ellis’ visual narratives in his famed series ‘Celebrating American Life and Culture’, document the passion, dignity, strength and unyielding courage of his subjects. Boldly blending realism and impressionism, evoking nostalgia and inspiration, the series vividly pans through the social, spiritual, work and family life of his characters, creating a cultural heirloom for African Americans and a national treasure for America.

Ellis is currently working on a captivating new series of paintings, appropriately titled “Healing, Hope and Rebirth”, depicting the needed process of healing, the embrace of hope, and the deeply innate goal of rebirth for Hurricane Katrina survivors. Expressing grave concern for the large numbers of people still displaced without housing, jobs, and medical care, Ellis is determined to make this series one of the catalysts that encourages the nation to continue supporting the ongoing relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina survivors.

About The Company

T. Ellis Fine Art, Inc. was founded in 1991 and offers a wide variety of themes spanning from contemporary to traditional, including religious and historical settings. The collection includes a large number of original drawings, prints, hand-embellished etchings, and textured prints. The business has sold over 1,750,000 prints and posters and has developed a prestigious and dedicated client base of private collectors and organizations throughout the country. Major corporations have commissioned Ellis; a few of which include: Pepsi Cola, Walt Disney Studios, Exxon/Mobil, Merck, State Farm, The Minute Maid Company, The Coca-Cola Company, The Phillip Morris Corporation, and Avon Incorporated.

Through the 501(c) organization, Community Arts Initiative, Inc., Ellis generously contributes time and artwork to various causes sponsored by the organizations previously mentioned in addition to: The United Way, Links, Jack and Jill of America, and various public school districts around the local and regional areas. His involvement in the community as an art advocate and educator has earned him recognition from numerous organizations and city officials. He has also been featured on local, regional, and national television programs including MSNBC and in magazines such as Upscale, Southern Living, Newsweek. He is frequently featured in newspaper articles throughout the country. His artwork may also be found on CDs covers and in books.

Additional information about Ted Ellis and T. Ellis Fine Art, Inc. is available on the web at

His work is also on display in galleries throughout the country and in the T. Ellis Fine Art showroom in Friendswood, Texas (281-933-0300).

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Cindy Parris