Jamaican artist Ebony Patterson speaks about the politics of art reception, what it’s like to live and work between different countries, and how her love of making motivates her.

“My passion for making is what drives everything else because fame is fleeting. And all these other things, like having a show right now—nobody may even be interested in showing my work in twenty years! I have to make sure that the work is what really gives me gratification.”

Ebony Patterson is a Jamaican artist represented by Monique Meloche Gallery in Chicago and an Associate Professor in Painting and Mixed Media at the School of Visual Arts and Visual Studies at the University of Kentucky, Lexington. Ebony Patterson was born in Kingston, Jamaica. She began drawing, painting, and experimenting with craft-oriented art works in high school. Patterson earned an Honors Diploma in Painting from the Edna Manley College of Visual and Performing Arts in Kingston, and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Printmaking and Drawing from the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis. Patterson has been featured in such publications as The New York Times, Frieze Magazine, Huffington Post, Art Papers, Art Nexus and The International Review of African American Art. Her work has been featured in group exhibitions at venues such as Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans; Frost Art Museum, Miami; Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA), Brooklyn; Studio Museum, Harlem, New York; Museum of the Americas, Washington D.C.; the National Gallery of Jamaica, Kingston; and Kunsthale KAde Amsersfoot, The Netherlands. Her work has also been featured in solo exhibitions at such venues as Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago; See Line Gallery, Los Angeles; the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, Louisville; the National Gallery of Bermuda, Hamilton, Bermuda; and Alice Yard, Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago.

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