Gail Shaw-Clemons, born in Washington, DC, received her Masters’ Degree in printmaking from the University of Maryland. She has exhibited extensively, with many works included in public and private collections in the USA, Brazil, Norway, Sweden, China and Ireland. Shaw-Clemons is currently an adjunct professor at Bowie State University and is retired from the United Nations International School in New York.
My passion is printmaking! Stone lithography was my first love. Through the years my work has evolved to include mixed media and three-dimensional prints, with less of an interest in creating editions.
My imagery consists of printing overlapping layers of colors, textures, patterns and stencils, in order to create depth and illusion. I have also abandoned the rectangle shape of the typical print, as to create more drama and interest.
I am fascinated by West African Adinkra philosophy and symbols of the Akan people, while often incorporating those symbols into my work. The Adinkra symbols are not just decorative objects, or drawings, but actual messages conveying ancient traditional wisdom relevant to aspects of life or the environment.
My major inspiration for creating is based on my developing knowledge of my history and ancestry. The more I learn the more I am able to comprehend the strength and resilience of the African American spirit against all odds. This knowledge gives me the courage and the freedom to create.