Ebony G. Patterson received her BFA in painting from Edna Manley College of Visual and Performing Arts in Kingston, Jamaica in 2004. She received an MFA degree in 2006 in printmaking and drawing from the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis. Patterson has taught at the University of Virginia, Edna Manley College School of Visual and Performing Arts, and was an Associate Professor in Painting and Mixed Media at the University of Kentucky until 2018. Currently, she is the Bill and Stephanie Sick Distinguished Visiting Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Patterson's multilayered practice– in painting, sculpture, installation, performance, and video– uses beauty as a tool to address global social and political injustices. Her immersive gardens grow out of a complex entanglement of race, gender, class, and violence. Patterson seduces the viewer into acknowledging a darker truth lurking ominously beneath the surface. Upon closer inspection, the figures in these embellished paper works are disembodied, un-whole. While the bright, effusive visual cues on the surface of her work suggest vivifying celebration, these signifiers point to the opposite. Their ghostly forms hover amidst a tangle of flora and fauna, plants which themselves might harbor a secret poison. Patterson’s gardens are never far from notions of violence, of memorial, of blood and tears.