ATTENDING ART SCHOOL in Jamaica, Ebony G. Patterson made a “classically inclined” painting that she didn’t love. Her undergraduate professor recognized that she was struggling and asked her why she was pursuing the medium in that style. “Ebony, is this really what you want to do?” he asked. “This is torture.” She knew he was right and agreed it was indeed torture. After he was gone, the artist said to herself, “I don’t want to do this” anymore.
Patterson shifted gears and hasn’t looked back. Studying in the United States, she earned an MFA in printing and drawing from Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. (2006). In the nearly two decades since, she has steadily built a highly regarded, multidisciplinary practice grounded in botanical beauty and substantive social issues.