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Artists paint Black Lives Matter in EAC's parking lot

Riding my bike this morning, I saw three artists working on a colorful mural (is it still called a mural when it's not on a wall?) in the Evanston Art Center parking lot, so I stopped by to find out who they were.

When I got home, I found that EAC had announced the creation of the mural on its website a few days ago.

So here's the scoop about the artists.

Sholo Beverly is leading the artistic direction with contributing artists Baz Cumberbatch, Blanca Cortes, David Johnson Niari, Ziana Pearson-Muller and Grant Rogers.

Sholo Beverly is an artist working in mixed media, inspired by the organic shapes in nature, and the visual stimulation of the female body and energy. With a concentration in mixed media, Sholo is a vessel of intuitive creations.

Baz Cumberbatch’s art career began in his youth when he started making and selling t-shirts using shells, leaves, bones, corals, sea fans, pieces of palm, coconut and bamboo trees in the Caribbean. In 1989, crowned South Caribbean Windsurfing Champion, Baz traveled the world before moving to California and then Hawaii to pursue a career in windsurfing, art and to raise a family. In 2011, Baz visited Alaska and saw that the water, mountains, skies and land looked like the tropical trees that surrounded him. Upon returning to Hawaii, Baz began creating the all natural mixed media pieces he sells today in Maui and Evanston.

Blanca Cortes is a born and raised Salvadorean, lefty, graphic designer and illustrator. Her style is bold and minimalist and she gets inspiration from cats, food history and myths.  

David Johnson Niari, currently living and working in Chicago, IL, makes drawings, paintings and mixed media artworks. By referencing romanticism, grand-guignolesque black humour and symbolism, his drawings reference post-colonial theory as well as the avant-garde or the post-modern and the left-wing democratic movement as a form of resistance against the logic of the capitalist market system. Niari’s works are based on formal associations made through labour-intensive processes that open a unique poetic vain. Multilayered images arise in such a way that the fragility and the instability of our seemingly certain reality is questioned.

Ziana Pearson-Muller (Z) is a 21 year old queer painter/artist, born and raised in Evanston. Ziana’s love for the arts started as young as grade school and stuck with her through her high school years. Ziana got into photography her freshman year, and began freelancing sophomore-junior year and got into acrylic painting and modeling around that same time as a hobby. It wasn't until Ziana’s senior year that she actually considered starting painting in a business aspect, began selling work through Facebook then moved to Instagram after she graduated in 2017. It's been so many years with her craft and she loves what she does because of the journey it has taken her on. Ziana’s main goal is to be as versatile as possible in this life.

Grant Rogers creates art that is a reflection of the times. It doesn’t matter the medium that he uses paint, digital, video or music as long as what Grant is feeling and experiencing is conveyed through his work. Grant’s work can be playful yet serious sometimes sad but always optimistic. I hope it moves you in some way. Because great art provokes thought and conversation.  So, let the artist’s work speak and if you listen closely there’s a message for you to hear.


Stop by the EAC to see the mural for yourself. But ... make sure to go inside as well to see the art center's current exhibit, Soulworks, curated by Evanston artist and gallerist Rose Cannon and artist Fran Joy.

And, make sure to support local BIPOC artists by visiting their exhibits and purchasing their work!

You can find a list of Evanston BIPOC artists--who are members of Evanston Made--here.

Find out about the Soulworks exhibit here.

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