Ted Ellis is one of the most impactful African American artists of his time. He has often been compared to Jacob Lawrence, widely recognized as the Dean of African American Art. Ellis has been pictorially documenting African American history and culture for over 30 years, and his work has been displayed around the world.
A trained chemist and Army veteran, Ted Ellis is the director of the Southern University at New Orleans Museum of Art. His powerful paintings invoke a deep emotional response and uplifting messages of faith, perseverance and hope. His art has been exhibited at Smithsonian sponsored events and his painting, Obama, the 44th President, was presented in honor of the 2009 Presidential Inauguration.
Ellis also recently completed a painting that captured the essence of Leidos-sponsored NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace, breaking down racial barriers as he became the second African American to win a NASCAR Cup Series race. (That portrait is currently on loan with a NASCAR patron and could not be included in the Leidos exhibition.)
The “Journey to Equity Excellence” art exhibition showcases key historical milestones and challenges faced by African Americans throughout American history. The exhibit includes portraits of icons such as Rosa Parks and Leidos intern/US Olympian Gabby Thomas and covers themes of diversity, inclusion, and accessibility. In his own words, “I paint Subjects that are representative of the many facets of American life, particularly, African American culture and history, as I know it. I like to think of myself as a creative historian. I was put here to record history…all aspects of American culture and heritage. My sole purpose has always been to educate through my art.”