Colorful Questions with Shawn Payne

Shawn may be a quiet person by nature but he certainly enjoys making a fashion statement, which is evident in his propensity for creating designer shoes in his artwork. Often employing mixed media (including gems, jewels, and glitter!), Shawn places his shoes everywhere… on people, on metro platforms, in space, growing from trees, and even replacing the stars on Old Glory. Shawn has big dreams and recently we sat down to chat with him about those dreams, his artwork, and his interests outside art.

At what age did you know you wanted to be an artist?

In my 20s. I watched a fashion show on cable and saw the designer’s fashions on TV and thought ‘I can do that.’


Why do you make this type of art? How do you choose your theme?

I want to be a shoe designer. Louis Vuitton, Steve Madden are my inspirations for my work.


How long have you been working at Art Enables?

Since 2009, so 13 years.


Describe your art in 5 words.

Fashionable, unique, different, cool, glamorous.


Do you have a favorite artist?

Yes! Andy Warhol, Keith Herring, Jean Michel Basquiat.


Do you have a favorite piece you’ve created?

That’s a difficult question. I like all of my pieces.


Have you had any other jobs other than being an artist?

I work as a clerk at the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Administration at the regional office Tuesday through Friday.


What else do you like to do other than art?

I like to listen to jazz and watch the news.


What is your dream project?

My dream project would be an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, or the Hirshhorn, or even the National Gallery of Art. I’d love to have my work at the Met Gala. 


What is your favorite color?



What advice would you have for someone who wants to be an artist?

Be patient, your time will come as a superstar.


Anything else you want to tell everyone?

Hopefully, in the next 5 years, I’ll be a superstar.


2204 Rhode Island Ave NE
Washington, DC 20018
United States




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Saturday: 9 am - 5 pm


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Studio Hours 

(for resident artists)

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Registered 501(c)(3). EIN: 52-2296718

2204 Rhode Island Ave NE
Washington, DC 20018
United States

Public Gallery Hours (Adjusted due to COVID)

Saturdays: 9 am - 5 pm, 

& by appointment


Studio Hours: resident artists only

M-F 9am - 5pm 


Registered 501(c)(3). EIN: 52-2296718



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