The Evanston Art Center is proud to announce a Black Lives Matter mural!

Local artists of color designed and painted “Black Lives Matter” scaled to 50 ft by 25 ft in the Evanston Art Center parking lot. Sholo Beverly lead the artistic direction with contributing artists Baz Cumberbatch, Blanca Cortes, David Johnson-Niari, Ziana Pearson-Muller (Z) and Grant Rogers.

View images of the mural.

In the news.

Evanston Art Center receives 2020 Mayor's Award for the Arts.

Top Image by Patrick Hughes


Sholo Beverly is an artist working in mixed media, inspired by the organic shapes in nature, and the visual stimulation of the female body and energy. With a concentration in mixed media, Sholo is a vessel of intuitive creations. 

"It is our job as artists, to reflect the times." 
Nina Simon

I am currently a mixed media artist that draws inspiration from the female body and the organic shapes in nature. I have learned embracing my mistakes make for a better understanding of what the universe wants for my art. I am fascinated by emotions of space caused by outside disturbances. I am in wonder of every changing aspect of nature to being a human. Studying at Columbia college and SAIC I quickly realized you do not need to go to school for art. I rebelled against rules of technique and styles, to develop my own. I am a fashion junkie for textiles of patterns, and creating utopia environments visuals art. 

There has been a huge change in my work since Covid 19 and now the devastating injustice of George Floyd. Each piece of art represents the blood shed of the black race that continues today. I am channeling the pain and suffering of my ancestors that bare no faces to the ones that harmed them. Not being able to identify the faces takes you to the mindset of a black person not feeling relevant enough to live or have justice   I am also taking my art to the streets to advocate for social changes on racism, with bright colors, hidden messages to observe and process. The mediums I use are homemade inks, collage, pen and ink, and the new medium of encaustic wax painting. 

With our current situation in the world, my art has become a necessity for myself and others. There is a need for expression and discussion from POC. My artwork is something it has never been, and the experience has been life changing. 

- Sholo Beverly -

Baz Cumberbatch’s art career began in his youth when he started making and selling t-shirts using shells, leaves, bones, corals, sea fans, pieces of palm, coconut and bamboo trees in the Caribbean. In 1989, crowned South Caribbean Windsurfing Champion, Baz traveled the world before moving to California and then Hawaii to pursue a career in windsurfing, art and to raise a family. In 2011, Baz visited Alaska and saw that the water, mountains, skies and land looked like the tropical trees that surrounded him. Upon returning to Hawaii, Baz began creating the all natural mixed media pieces he sells today in Maui and Evanston.

Blanca Cortes is a born and raised Salvadorean, lefty, graphic designer and illustrator. Her style is bold and minimalist and she gets inspiration from cats, food history and myths.  

David Johnson-Niari, currently living and working in Chicago, IL, makes drawings, paintings and mixed media artworks. By referencing romanticism, grand-guignolesque black humour and symbolism, his drawings reference post-colonial theory as well as the avant-garde or the post-modern and the left-wing democratic movement as a form of resistance against the logic of the capitalist market system. Niari’s works are based on formal associations made through labour-intensive processes that open a unique poetic vain. Multilayered images arise in such a way that the fragility and the instability of our seemingly certain reality is questioned.

Ziana Pearson-Muller (Z) is a 21 year old queer painter/artist, born and raised in Evanston. Ziana’s love for the arts started as young as grade school and stuck with her through her high school years. Ziana got into photography her freshman year, and began freelancing sophomore-junior year and got into acrylic painting and modeling around that same time as a hobby. It wasn't until Ziana’s senior year that she actually considered starting painting in a business aspect, began selling work through Facebook then moved to Instagram after she graduated in 2017. It's been so many years with her craft and she loves what she does because of the journey it has taken her on. Ziana’s main goal is to be as versatile as possible in this life.

Grant Rogers creates art that is a reflection of the times. It doesn’t matter the medium that he uses paint, digital, video or music as long as what Grant is feeling and experiencing is conveyed through his work. Grant’s work can be playful yet serious sometimes sad but always optimistic. I hope it moves you in some way. Because great art provokes thought and conversation.  So, let the artist’s work speak and if you listen closely there’s a message for you to hear.

To offer your support of Black Lives Matter, please visit the mural, share it on social media and support local artists of color by purchasing their artwork, or donate to our Curatorial Fellowship that supports curators of color. You can also find a comprehensive list on our website of organizations to support, petitions to sign and ways to become involved.