Ted T. Ellis of the DU Class of 1986, art ambassador for the National Juneteenth Organization has been selected to showcase ten of his historical paintings from his Juneteenth Freedom Project Series at the U.S. Capitol Russell Rotunda in Washington, DC. June 15-19th, 2015. This acknowledges the historical importance of the art of T. Ellis. The Russell Rotunda is in the Richard Russell Senate Building located at 2 Constitution Avenue, Washington, DC 20009. This exhibition was supported by Senator John Cornyn and his staff from the State of Texas.
This year marks the 150th Anniversary of Juneteenth, for the last ten years Mr. Ellis artistic efforts to pictorially documenting the beginning of slavery up onto the election of the first African –American president of the United States. These ten iconic paintings created by Ted T. Ellis, powerfully captures the strength and accomplishments of African –Americans over a period of 400 years.
Gen. Gordon Granger, on June 19, 1865 read executive order #3 in Galveston, TX, proclaiming slavery was official abolished. This event happened two years later after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863
The Galveston Daily News, the oldest new publication in the State of Texas, selected T. Ellis painting, “Free At Last” as their official image used for this 150th commemorative magazine. Over 40,000 magazines were published and distributed throughout the state and country.
• About Ted T. Ellis: Ted Ellis is a passionate man. He is passionate about his family, passionate about his heritage, and passionate about his art. Just ask him and he proudly declares, “I paint subjects that are representative of the many facets of American life as I know it. I like to think of myself as a creative historian. I was put here to record history and all aspects of American culture and heritage. My sole purpose has always been to educate through my art. “Ellis grew up and was educated in New Orleans, a city known for its history, style, and artistic exuberance. This backdrop inspired Ellis to capture the essence of the subjects of his childhood in the glory of their rich cultural heritage. T. Ellis resides in Friendswood, TX with his family.
• Extremely dedicated to his craft, the artist draws on a style that was born in his childhood from impressions of his native city. Ellis is self-taught and boldly blends realism and impressionism in his work, evoking nostalgia and inspiration. The art of this man both reveres and celebrates the traditional values of his culture. Ted Ellis, the man, lives the life he paints about.
• His recent commission by the City of Selma, AL to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March from Selma to Montgomery was monumental and illustrates the artistic genius of T. Ellis. He generously contributes time and artwork to various causes; United Way, ICLS, African American Visual Arts Association, Jack and Jill, Inc., United Negro College Fund, Heritage Christian Academy, and public school districts around the globe. Ellis’ involvement in the community as an art advocate and educator has earned him recognition from numerous organizations and city officials. Ellis’ latest exhibit entitled, “Our History, Heritage and Culture, an American Story”, encompasses the diversity and cultural similarities of all Americans. The debut of this exhibit started at the Rosa Parks Museum and will travel across the country. Some of Ellis’ previous exhibits include, “American Slavery: The Reason Why We are Here”, ‘‘Say My Name’, and Courage of Conviction, African-Americans who Serve in the Military from Colonial Times until Now”, and “Something to See, Native Son Comes Home”, and “Born in the Spirit.”