BRENTWOOD– Artist Ulysses Marshall turned a childhood hobby into a career.
As a child, he listened to his grandmother’s stories about their African-American heritage as he played with paper dolls.
Marshall, now 66, creates mixed-media collage paintings inspired by his paper dolls, using canvas, paper, acrylic paint, cardboard and Spackle.
“My inspiration comes from my African-American heritage. It comes from the dignity, the pride, the strength of my people,” said Marshall, who lives in Bowie.
He studied at the Maryland Institute College of Art, and now spends his time teaching and creating artwork of his own. “Art to me, basically is happiness,” he said.
His works are currently featured in an exhibit at the Prince George’s African American Museum, titled “Paper Dolls.” The curators paired local poets with each piece of art.
“And that was really exciting and amazing when I came to read other people’s thoughts about the works,” he said.
All month, the museum is hosting poetry readings featuring those who contributed to the exhibit. Visitors are encouraged to write their own poetry in response to the art as well.