Shantay Robinson

About Me

My love affair with art started early. At 10-years-old, I had already been touring the world with the Marie Brooks Caribbean Dance Company out of Brooklyn, New York. I was able to perform at Gracie Mansion  (the Mayor’s home in New York City), The United Nations, Gullah Festival in South Carolina, the National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta, the Apollo Theater, Sabemod Festival in Paris, France, and so many more places. Not only were weekly performances part of my enculturation into the art world, the walls of the dance studio, where I spent hours rehearsing, were filled with bright, colorful artworks by Black artists. I was so enamored with the paintings, I would admiringly stare at them when practicing ballet. To learn more, I enrolled in my middle school art class at Phillipa Schuyler School for the Gifted and Talented. There, I learned a bit of art history, and I learned that my favorite painting in the dance studio employed pointillism.

At 13, I moved to Georgia where I enrolled in Dekalb Center for the Performing Arts. While I was exposed to a wealth of experiences in dance, drama, music, musical theatre, and technical theatre, continuing to study visual art was not an option. Not until my senior year at Syracuse University where I studied Television, Radio, Film, did I again have an opportunity to be immersed in the visual art world. I worked at the Community Folk Art Gallery where I had the opportunity to curate a portion of the Black History Month exhibition. At Syracuse, I was very active in the arts community by performing with and eventually coordinating the activities of Creations Dance Troupe. Once I completed my undergraduate studies, I worked with the Peabody Award-winning PBS documentary television series EGG: The Arts Show.

When I decided to go back to school for a graduate degree, I never thought that pursuing writing would bring me back to what I now realize is a true love. At Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), I was required to take contemporary art and art criticism, opening my eyes to the depth of the discipline. As a student, I presented a paper at the SCAD Symposium on Art and Fashion. After receiving a Master of Fine Arts in Writing from SCAD, I started an art and culture blog, The Third Eye Site, which afforded me recognition as a finalist in the Andy Warhol Art Writers Workshop Competition.

As a participant of the inaugural class of the Burnaway Emerging Art Writers Mentorship Program, I learned about the practice of art criticism from notable critics from around the country. For the CUE Art Foundation Art Critic Mentoring Program, I worked one-on-one with a mentor to write a catalogue essay for Nancy Floyd’s photography exhibition, Weathering Time. I write weekly articles for Black Art in America, where I attempt to assert a distinct place for Black art in the larger art world. I have written for Washington City Paper, ArtsATL, Burnaway, Nashville Scene, ARTS.BLACK, Number, Inc., and AFROPUNK. I am an active member of Women’s Caucus for Art and co-editor of the Winter 2021 issue of the organization’s member publication, Artlines.