The Port Arthur Public Library will host a Martin Luther King, Jr. Arts and Literacy Program from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 17. Sponsors will host nationally known visual artist Ted Ellis of T. Ellis Art, with his prolific Civil Rights Art Exhibiton and Darlette Johnson-Daily of Kids in Dance.
Kids in Dance is a professional dance academy that blends ballet with praise dancing, formally known as liturgical dance. Faith and prayer is a part of the class. K.I.D. will perform their popular show “Healing from Bullying” and “Imagine, Bringing Awareness to Homelessness.”
Ellis, who lives in Houston, is recognized as an artist of historical importance. His unique style of art is enjoyed and collected by major corporations such as Coca Cola, State Farm and Walt Disney, along with private collectors Brad Pitt, Blair Underwood, Angela Bassett, Spike Lee and Bryant Gumble. Ellis’ paintings are in the permanent collection in such prestigious locations as the DuSable Museum, the first and oldest African American Museum located in Chicago; McKenna Museum in New Orleans; and the Amistad Research Center at Tulane University.
Ellis, who grew up in New Orleans, is a self-taught artist who paints in a style he calls “Tedism,” a style influenced by American Folk Artists and the Impressionistic painters of Europe. He has partnered with such notable organizations as the Tom Joyner Foundation’s “Art with a Purpose” program, which was awarded a federal grant through the Obama administration to help disadvantaged students.
In March of 2015 Ellis released a commemorative piece, “Bloody Sunday — Selma, 1965” for the City of Selma in honor of the 50th anniversary for the historic civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala. Ted had the honor of being the official Artist for the City of Selma in honor of the 50th anniversary. Ellis’ “Juneteenth Freedom Project” was featured at the U.S. Senate Building in celebration of the 150th Anniversary of Juneteenth in 2015.