Dr. Auburn E. Ellis, founder of Studio 54oo, is a visual artist with studios in KC & Chicago. Painting, drawing and collage are an essential part of the artist’s practice as she explores the use of traditional mediums for art reflective of the African Diaspora. Rooted in ceramics and three-dimensional design, her work pushes the boundaries of texture and rhythm. During graduate studies at the Art Institute-Chicago, her scope of work included shows in Chicago, Prague and Italy.
Currently, she is working on an art series related to yoga instruction. As a Certified Yoga Teacher making art based on these teaching experiences is an important part of merging studio practice. Specializing in Kemetic Yoga, the realization that yoga originated in Africa (Ancient Egypt or Kemet) was a logical extension to her doctoral dissertation. The dissertation was completed using an African Centered Worldview. As a follow up, field research was conducted in several South Asian countries, including Bangladesh and Hong Kong, which was accompanied by a photographic portfolio. As a member of the African Diaspora, she feels it is imperative to re-define culturally grounded aesthetic in contemporary society. She is currently a faculty member at School of the Art Institute-Chicago. In addition, Dr. Ellis has a studio located at the Chicago Ceramic Center (in Bridgeport Art Center) and Studio 54oo located at 5506 Troost in Kansas City, Missouri.
In 2013 Dr. Auburn E. Ellis finished her Ed.D in Adult and Continuing Education at National Louis University in Chicago. As a lifelong learner, taking the initiative has always been the focus of both career and academics. Her dissertation is titled Integrating Aesthetics: Transforming Continuing and Professional Education through Africentric Practice. The research is focused on finding more positive ways to implement curriculum and instruction in urban communities. During her undergraduate career at the University of Missouri-Columbia she received both a Bachelors of Art in Studio Art and a Bachelors of Science in Art Education, subsequently completing the Masters program at The School of the Art Institute-Chicago specializing in Museum Education.
Working as an art instructor for Chicago Public Schools since 2007, Dr. Ellis has a wealth of experience developing curriculum and assessment. She has created and implemented curriculum development workshops for adult learners in several community programs including the Auditorium Theatre at Roosevelt University, Art Institute-Chicago, and Orpheum Theatre of Memphis. The dissertation, which focused on the history of art making as it pertains to people of the African Diaspora, was critical to developing art-based workshops and curriculum for practitioners in urban areas serving minority students. Implications for future practice took her to Asia to both lecture and conduct field research in three different countries.