project overview

A Journey Through Greatness     

My work is about the black experience.
— Vitus Shell

Vitus Shell was commissioned to create four murals for the interior of the Orange Mound Community Center. The murals depict different facets of the Orange Mound community, including people, schools and sports.  Vitus Shell worked closely with the Orange Mound Collaborative to collect information from Orange Mound residents about their history and experiences in the neighborhood. The memorabilia that Shell collected was copied and used as the background of the murals.  Images of people were also taken from the memorabilia and painted onto the backgrounds. The result is a mixture of old and new, and a creative interpretation of life in Orange Mound.

Watch the research and progreaaion of the panels below:


about the artist 

Vitus Shell 

Vitus Shell's paintings encompass a depth and intensity usually displayed in the work of artists far past his age. While a student at MCA, the Monroe, La., native traveled and learned more about different cultures and art forms. He attended the National Black Fine Arts Show in 1999 for the first time and received a first hand view of the inner workings of the art world. Other artists he met while at MCA who have continuously inspired him include Brenda Joysmith, George Hunt, and Alonzo Davis. 

To date, he has accumulated an impressive list of achievements, some of which include: participating in exhibits at universities, museums, and private galleries across the country; painting a mural for the National Civil Rights Museum's NBA Pioneers exhibit; and being commissioned to do public art by the Memphis UrbanArt Commission. Opportunities for Shell continue to arise for him and he leaves himself open to all they have to offer. He is humble about his bright future, yet poised to become of the greatest artistic "voices" of his generation.