Houston-Based Artist Ted Ellis Selected for 400 Years of African American History Commission

ABOVE: Houston-based artist Ted Ellis

More exciting news for the city of Houston!

Houston-based artist Ted Ellis, who is also an advisor to Pigment International®, which is a multi-media arts collective that promotes multicultural arts, culture and innovation, has been appointed to serve on 400 Years of African American History Commission, under the auspices of the National Park Service (NPS).

Pigment International’s founder, Patricia Andrews-Keenan, submitted a letter on behalf of Ellis, outlining his 30 years as an artist and cultural historian, which led to his selection.

The African American History Commission was formed by Public Law 115-102 and signed into law on January 8, 2018 to establish a Federal commission, that is to be administered by the NPS, which coordinates the 400-year anniversary in 2019 of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans to the English colonies at Point Comfort, Virginia, on the site of what is now Fort Monroe National Monument.

The nomination noted that Ellis is a unique mix of artist and cultural historian who will fit seamlessly into this committee.

“I am humbled and honored to be a part of this African American History Commission,” said Ellis. “Throughout my career I have painted subjects that are representative of the many facets of American life as I know it. 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 is one of 15 members of the African American History Commission, appointed by the Secretary of the Interior, based on recommendations from governors, Members of Congress, civil rights and Historical Organizations, the Smithsonian Institution and private citizens.

The African American History Commission is tasked with planning, developing, and carrying out programs and activities throughout the United States to recognize and highlight the contributions of African Americans since 1619, and to encourage civic, patriotic, historical, educational, artistic, religious, economic, and other organizations to organize and participate in anniversary activities to expand understanding and appreciation of the contributions of African Americans. They will hold their first meeting within the next 30 days at Fort Monroe National Monument in Hampton, Virginia and will be active through July 1, 2020.

Ellis is currently a Master’s Degree candidate at Southern University in New Orleans pursuing a degree in Museum Studies. Most of all Ellis, a native of New Orleans, is passionate about his heritage, passionate about his community and passionate about his art.