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Many Faces: Shiane Taylor

We’re continuing our Many Faces, One Collective series, this month featuring Shiane Taylor, written by Mecca Harris

Hey there, it's Mecca, ART 180’s Outreach and Cultural Strategy Manager. While much of my role involves engaging with young people, teachers, and youth organizations across Richmond, one of the most fulfilling aspects is nurturing deep connections with the teens directly involved in our Atlas and Community art experiences. Honestly, it’s a highlight of my job. But enough about me!

I'm thrilled to shine a light on Shiane Taylor, also known as Shi Boogie. Shiane joined our collective as one of ten high school students selected for our Atlas Artist Residency in 2023. Throughout her time in the residency, she dedicated herself to developing her artistry and fostering community among her peers. I immediately recognized her passion and grounded nature in the small conversations we had.

Shiane and her artwork at ART 180's exhibition of the 2023 Atlas Artist Residency.

Following the residency, Shiane transitioned to become a member of SQUAD, our Teen Ambassadors program, where our bond further deepened. I learned the meaning behind her name—a combination of the names of her two grandmothers, Shirley and Diane—her aspirations, and her love of butterflies. She would come in each week and update me on the pieces she was working on, and I followed her progress in her daily art challenges on Instagram. The consistency in her entrepreneurial endeavor, Mad Beauties, where she crafts captivating mixed-media visual art, is very inspiring to see. Her pieces explore mental health, beauty, communication across languages, nature, and other themes that call to her.

One thing that stands out about Shiane is her ability to tackle anything she sets her mind to, even if it pushes her beyond her comfort zone or demands hard work. I've witnessed her advocate for the importance of art, integrating art practices into other academic subjects and beyond. Whether it's the insightful 15-page paper for her IB math class titled “Art As A Coping Mechanism,” exploring whether “art can be used to deal with bigger things than boredom,” or her award-winning submission "Development of Writing" in RPS's History fair this past year, where she placed 3rd in the exhibition category and 3rd overall at the high school level! Though she is closing out a chapter as a senior at TJ, she begins one anew as an ART 180 student alumna and will become a VCU Ram in the fall, where she will major in Art Education and minor in Spanish.

Shiane's customized graduation cap!

Shiane's dedication and ability to intertwine art with everything she does is truly inspiring. I can't express enough how proud I am of her and how excited I am to witness her continued growth into the remarkable force she is destined to become.

And if her path leads her to become an art educator, then indeed, the kids are alright.

Mecca + Shiane during a First Friday exhibition at ART 180.


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