Shantell Martin’s work has entranced audiences around the world in its intuitive energy, skill and bravura. With her highly personalized language of characters, faces, creatures, and messages, Martin invites viewers to actively engage in the creative process. Using drawing as a physical stream-of-consciousness, her work is characterized by a unique freedom, expressed through the possibilities of her chosen ‘canvas’ – whether a piece of paper or textile, a sculptural surface, wall or screen.
Martin is a designer, curator, cultural facilitator, choreographer, performer, teacher, and more. She has collaborated with iconic brands such as Vitra, Max Mara, Tiffany & Co, and B&B Italia, and in 2021 The North Face launched a Shantell Martin collection featuring her drawings inspired by pieces from their Search & Rescue archive. She has also collaborated with legendary artists such as Pulitzer Prize-winning performance artist Kendrick Lamar and acclaimed designer Kelly Wearstler.
From design, fashion, and celebrity collaborations to positions at MIT Media Lab, NYU, Columbia University’s Brown Institute, and choreographing a ballet at the Boston Ballet, Martin’s drawn LINE constantly evolves. Creating new connections, she explores themes such as intersectionality, identity, and play.
In addition to solo shows at renowned art institutions including the 92Y Gallery in New York City, the iconic Albright Knox Gallery, and the New Britain Museum of American Art, Martin has carved a path for herself as a producer and visual artist. At the Brown Institute for Media Innovation, she created a large-scale wall installation and worked with the Institute’s research group to explore how visual and computerized storytelling might influence media and technology innovation.
Presented in partnership with Design Core Detroit.
Series presenting partners: Detroit Public Television and PBS Books. Media partner: Michigan Radio.