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A Revolutionary Artist’s Ambition to Demand Change and Empower Women Through Art

Through art, Shawntay Gorman centers on the struggles of people of color and shares messages of social injustice and women’s empowerment.

“I call myself more of a revolutionary artist. I try to always wiggle a message in there somehow, especially when I do bigger events or have bigger clients that are more inclusive to non-brown and Black people,” Gorman said.

Gorman’s inspiration comes from artist Andy Warhol, considered one of the founders of the pop art movement. Similar to Warhol, she uses vibrant colors and paints portraits of celebrities.

“I do a lot of hip-hop portraits. I’ve done things like Jay-Z, Nispey, and Tupac. I have a really dope Michael Jordan piece and a Chadwick Boseman piece,” Gorman said. “I also take inspiration from my community, the ups and downs that we go through, our struggles, and our culture.”

Photo: @lustingforlight
Photo: @lustingforlight

2022 was a pivotal year for Gorman. She accepted a contract with L’Oréal to customize fragrance bottles for luxury brands, worked on a mural at the Kimpton Sawyer Hotel and did a live painting for Filipino American History Month.

Gorman says she is grateful for the open doors and opportunities not many women of color receive as artists.

“It’s two completely different art cultures between Sacramento and the Bay Area. I love that Sacramento is starting to get it together. I just wished it was as inclusive as they claim it,” Gorman said.

Sara Scott, a friend of more than ten years, has seen Gorman grow as an artist and mentor.

“If I ever get lost or don’t know how to pursue something, I go to Shawntay, and she gives me the tools that I need to be successful in my art,” Scott said. “She’s relentless, passionate about her art, and represents the city of Sacramento through and through.”

Gorman is excited about the future of art and the rise of creatives in Sacramento.

“I’ve been seeing some dope women of color being artists, getting out there and grinding,” Gorman said. “There’s this explosion of artists that are getting some shine, so keep going and believe in yourself.”

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