Shawna Cheatham, also known as “Shawna Divine” is an autodidactic (self taught), multidisciplinary, multidimensional, multimedia fine artist and native Baltimorean. Her mixed media visual artwork incorporates an eclectic blend of bold, bright hues, and muted tones which reflect her culture and environment. Mediums include: textile, metals, glass, leathers, paper, acrylic, and more. Shawna Divine has rendered works on paper, canvas, wood, and metal. Shawna Divine’s artwork has been displayed and curated at various spaces and festivals in the last several years such as Towson Arts Collective, Sowebo Arts Festival (poster auction), Baltimore International Black Film Festival, Baltimore Rhythm Festival, The Gathering festivals, and more recently ArtScape.
The artists beautiful, uniquely styled jewelry collection under the brand AfrindecentriQs is a wonderful, diverse assortment of boldly styled adornments. The collection of original hand crafted jewelry offers earrings, bracelets, rings and, necklaces utilizing various mediums. The artist utilizes influences and raw material from cultural and environmental spaces such as textiles, found objects, leathers, authentic west african clay beads (pendant peices),copper wrapped metaphysical healing stones and crystal adornments.
To speak of Shawna Divine musically, she is a phenomenal vocalist who ranges from tenor, contralto, to second soprano. She has a deeply soulful, powerful projection that she seemingly effortlessly controls and pulls back to a smooth sweet falsetto. With a back round in gospel with, rock, soul, alternative, and R&B influences, this songstress enjoys singing many genres of music. Her presence onstage is powerful, unique, and refreshing. Shawna Divine holds her own as a solo a cappella vocalist, easily blends as a strong backround vocalist, and is also a powerhouse lead vocalist with live band accompaniment. Notable performances recently, include Light City Baltimore 2017 (Spread Light Sandtown) as lead vocalist with ColurBlynd, backround vocals for “Jazzo” with “Mixed Ancestry”at Baltimore Pride Festival 2017.
As a percussionist Shawna Divine has performed with her children “5trybe” per Christina Cook’s Rhythm Key at the Baltimore Refugee Rescue Day with Kim Poole. Shawna Divine and 5trybe have contributed their cohesive, synchonistic , percussive vibration to various organic spaces throughout the city. As an adult living with high functioning autism managing the care of her children two of whom are also on the autism spectrum music, art and abundant creativity outlets are employed as a coping mechanism in all of their daily lives. The presentation of these superlative gifts have manifest in the omnifarious realms of media the artist uses to express herself.
Negating the stigma and myths associated with individuals with developemental, neurological disabilities/ diagnosis the artist focuses on art as a means to facilitate healing and change the common narrative and perceptions about people who are differently abled and are presented with certain challenges. Intentionally focusing on and exploiting her abilities to create facilitates an awareness in the public eye as a part of daily overcoming and navigating in todays society. As an advocate for autism education and awareness information and resources are shared via facebook community page: https://www.facebook.com/AFRO-Aspies-ROCK-226810690702797/ . Current information about Afridecentriqs Creations by Shawna Divine activities and upcoming events can be found here at https://www.facebook.com/Afrindecentriqs/